Ottawa announces ‘unprecedented action’ to protect Fraser River chinook.  

Posted on June 23rd, 2020

CBC News

Spring Chinook Low Returns

Declines in chinook salmon populations have occurred across B.C., Alaska, Washington and Oregon. (Robin Loznak/The News-Review via Associated Press)

Expanded fishing closures and size restrictions are part of new actions announced by the federal government to protect threatened Fraser River chinook salmon. Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, says large areas of the ocean near the mouth of the Fraser River will be closed to fishing and chinook that are more 80 centimetres long must be released. He says they’re taking the unprecedented action because of historic low populations of chinook salmon, which are the favoured food of endangered southern resident killer whales.

In a technical briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon, Fisheries staff said the population of killer whales is currently at 72 individuals. While there were two calves born last year, there was also a loss of three individuals, and another whale is missing.  Marine vessels are required to turn their engines to neutral idle within approach distance of southern resident killer whales. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) The ministry says it is focusing recovery measures on threats of contaminants, reduced prey availability, and acoustic and physical disturbance.  For marine vessels, that includes restrictions on fishing within 1,000 metres of killer whales and slowing down to seven knots or less when within 1,000 metres of killer whales.

Big Bar landslide update

Fisheries and Oceans Canada acted last year to protect Fraser River chinook stocks, including efforts to clear a massive landslide in the river which further threatened the species. The Big Bar landslide happened in a remote area north of Lillooet some time in November or December 2018, but it was not reported to Fisheries and Oceans Canada until June 2019.

Michael Crowe, centre, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and two members of the B.C. Wildfire Service place a salmon in a vessel being used to transport them up the Fraser River with a helicopter, past a massive rock slide near Big Bar, west of Clinton, B.C., on July 24, 2019. The rock slide has narrowed the river, creating a five-metre waterfall that is preventing many migrating salmon from getting through to spawning grounds.  Earlier this month, officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada told a Commons committee that 99 per cent of early Stuart and 89 per cent of early chinook salmon were lost in 2019 because of the slide. They reported that about 60,000 fish were helped over the slide last year, while 220,000 made it past on their own once water volume dropped. Contract to clear B.C.’s Big Bar landslide balloons to $52.5M as crews’ race to allow for salmon migration Beech says of the 13 Fraser River chinook salmon populations, 12 are considered to be at risk. He says the latest chinook protection measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations, and environmental groups.

Decline in Chinook due to climate change, fishing

According to DFO reports, the declines in chinook salmon populations across B.C., Alaska, Washington and Oregon have been associated with “large-scale patterns of environmental change and increased environmental variability.” Those changes include rising water temperatures, pollution, deforestation, water extraction and extreme weather events. ‘Almost complete loss’ of early salmon runs at Fraser River slide last year: DFO Fisheries and Oceans estimates chinook productivity declined between 25 and 40 per cent since the early 1980s across many B.C. stocks.

The government says its new 2020 measures are aimed at reducing fishery moralities, but that some First Nations’ fisheries will continue to have priority access to salmon for food, social and ceremonial purposes.

The Canadian Press

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Evinrude Outboards casualty of Covid-19.

Posted on June 4th, 2020

Valcourt, Quebec, BRP (TSX: DOO; NASDAQ: DOOO) announced today it has re-oriented its marine business by focusing on the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products. The company will discontinue production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines. Its Sturtevant, Wisconsin facility will be repurposed for new projects to pursue BRP’s plan to provide consumers with an unparalleled experience on the water.

BRP says it remains committed to their Buy, Build, Transform Marine strategy which has been underway since 2018 with the acquisition of Alumacraft and Manitou boat companies in the U.S., followed by the acquisition of Australian boat manufacturer Telwater in 2019.

“Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand,” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. “We will concentrate our efforts on new and innovative technologies and on the development of our boat companies, where we continue to see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers,” he added.

Following BRP’s decision to discontinue E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines, the company has signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to their boat brands. BRP says they will continue to supply customers and dealer network service parts and will honor manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally.

With this announcement, BRP plans to position itself to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets through technologically advanced solutions. They will leverage their R&D resources to enhance the boating experience with unique new marine products, such as the next generation of engine technology with Project Ghost and the next generation of pontoons with Project M, code names for new products we expect to transform the industry.

BRP will also consolidate Alumacraft operations from two sites to one. All Alumacraft operations will be transferred to St Peter, Minnesota and the Arkadelphia, Arkansas will be permanently closed. In addition, they will upgrade the boat production facilities to reorganize manufacturing sites and apply the modularity model used elsewhere in BRP’s ecosystem.

FTR reached out to BRP regarding the future of Evinrude and received the following replies regarding the iconic brand’s future.

Q: Will you keep the doors open to produce Evinrude engines again someday?

BRP: “We are re-orienting our marine strategy and concentrating our efforts on next generation engine technology, publicly known as Project Ghost, our boat business and other marine projects where we see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers. We have no plan to bring back the production of outboard engines E-TEC and E-TEC G2.”

Q: Will you sell the brand or the technology of your Evinrude engines?

BRP: “Evinrude has a long history and we will maintain the trademark. At this point, we have no intention of selling the brand or the technology of Evinrude.”

Fishing Tackle Retailer – May 27, 2020.

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Former Rapala Vice President joins Northland Tackle

Posted on May 21st, 2020

Greg Wollner, former Rapala Vice President, has joined Northland Tackle as CEO. Greg Wollner, long-serving Rapala Vice President and former American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Board Chairman, has been appointed CEO of Northland Tackle. His responsibilities will include introducing new products to the brand and a focus on customer service. Wollner has been in the industry for more than 25 years at Galyan’s Trading Company and at Rapala. His last position in 11 years at Rapala was as Corporate Vice President International and Special Projects.  In 2018 he joined the Allegis Corporation, an access hardware supplier, as Vice President of Product Management. He was also a board member of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and on the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “I’m excited to join a leadership team that is so passionate and enthusiastic about fishing and understands the sport and the customer,” said Wollner.  “Our experience, a dedication to continued innovation in product offerings and commitment to excellent customer service, are paramount to the Northland Fishing Tackle heritage and success going forward.” Northland, founded in 1975 by John Peterson, is one of the country’s leading producers of jigs, live bait rigs, spinner baits and spoons.

(Angling International – by Anthony)

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Italian tackle trade calls on Government to lift fishing ban.

Posted on April 29th, 2020

FIOPS, the body that represents the tackle trade in Italy, has written to ministers in the Government asking for the reinstatement of fishing across the country.

The organisation representing the tackle trade in Italy, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by Coronavirus, has urged the Government to reinstate fishing, give the go-ahead for tackle shops to reopen and allow the industry to get back to normal.

In a letter to ministers, The Federazione Italiana Operatori Pesca Sportive (FIOPS) President, Andrea Collini, and Director, Francesco Ruscelli, say that they believe it is now safe to lift the ban on angling and allow the sport to be carried out with necessary safety measures in place.

The letter states: “The Coronavirus emergency has deeply marked the very fabric of our social, economic and productive lives. We are slowly approaching an eagerly awaited stage two that will gradually restart the country, but it is important to take into account the very heart of the Italian economic framework is characterised in particular by the millions of small and medium-sized businesses.

“These include companies and stores that sell sports and recreational fishing items.”

The letter went on to emphasise the economic impact of the fishing tackle industry on the Italian economy, stating that in total it was worth around €2.8 billion.

“Phase two of the recovery should definitely include resumption of a series of sports and recreational activities that can be carried out which respects social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks.

“Fishing falls perfectly into this kind of activity because it can be carried out alone and can comply with a mandatory spacing between fishermen of about ten metres.

“Steps can also be taken to ensure that fishing tackle shops and manufacturing facilities are safe for everyone. Control of the number of people in the stores can be introduced so that anglers can safely buy bait and equipment.

“We believe that we cannot further penalise the recreational sector and – yes – the economic value its brings to the economy and millions of people.

“FIOPS, the representative body of a large number of Italian sports and recreational fishermen, manufacturers and vendors of fishing products, believes that the time is now right to restart the fishing industry. We remain at the disposal of the Government institutions for any technical support that may be useful in dealing with the current situation.”


(Angling International – by Anthony)

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Are you ready for electric high-powered outboards?

Posted on April 18th, 2020

Evoy launches the world’s most powerful electric outboard motor

The Evoy Pro will launch as the most powerful production electric outboard you can buy

It might be a 90-pound weakling next to the biggest and baddest of the combustion world, but Evoy’s new zero-emissions electric outboard motor and powertrain solution will put it at the pointy end of the all-electric market.

This Norwegian company popped up in 2018, creating electric drive system for new boat builds as well as retrofits for existing machines. Its 800-horsepower inboard powertrain is already the most powerful you can buy (in the small boat sector, anyway), and now the company has released its first outboard, plus a roadmap for the next few years.

The outboard in question, the Evoy Pro is specced at 90 kW nominal, 150 kW peak (120/200 hp), but Evoy says it’ll be the rough equivalent of a 150-horsepower combustion motor thanks to its meaty magnetic torque – 170 Nm nominal, 350 Nm peak (125/258 lb-ft). It’s currently in the prototype stage, and testing over this summer and fall will put the final performance figures on it. It should weigh around the 150 kg (330 lb) mark.

Likewise, the range can’t currently be promised. It’ll be highly dependent on the boat design and will be sussed out during testing, but Evoy will be selling modular battery bricks, probably in 25 kWh blocks, that can be installed in series or parallel to give you 50 or 100 kWh of storage. Charging will likely max out at 11 kW AC and 50 kW DC.

The Evoy Pro powertrain will be sold as a full kit-out with its own batteries, controls and electronic dash

The system will ship with its own controllers, battery management, and electronic dash, with 10- or 16-inch screens. Weather, radio, marine navigation, Bluetooth, WiFi, 4G, system monitoring, trip logging and charge management as standard. You’ll be able to option up with radar, echo-sounding and automatic identification systems (AIS), and Evoy is looking into an autopilot feature to take you from port to port if necessary.

This may be the most powerful electric outboard on the market right now, but Evoy’s roadmap out to 2023 features two motors that will roughly double and triple this thing’s output. The biggest, set to launch in about three years, will offer 450 horsepower continuous, peaking considerably higher when you need it to.

The biggest production outboard in the combustion world, as we understand, is currently the 627SV from Seven Marine, a giant, supercharged V8 peaking at 627 horsepower and weighing in at a monster 497 kg (1094 lb). So Evoy’s got a way to go before it knocks the outright horsepower champ off its perch.

As for price? Again, TBC. The Evoy Pro will be more expensive than a combustion power train, for sure. But Evoy is willing to project that commercial operators will break even at about 350 hours of run-time a year – at least in Norway – using current fuel, electricity and maintenance costs.

By Loz Blain – New Atlas

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