Wayne Sheridan reports. A cold wet spring has kept river levels high and cold. This has been a challenge for many fishermen. We finally got out on the river Thursday evening and caught and released this nice brown trout. Insect hatches are just started to occur as we start to get some warmer weather. Let’s hope we don’t get too much more rain and that the rivers will get close to normal levels and temperatures.
US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross yesterday underlined his department’s support of the fishing and boating industries – and took a swipe at China over tariffs.
Addressing the American Boating Congress in Washington D.C., he told delegates that he understood the importance of their business to the economy.
He said that his department has been working with recreational fishing and boating groups on initiatives from fisheries management to boating access.
Ross also said his department had recently appointed four representatives from the recreational fishing sector to sit on marine fisheries and advisory committees.
“We have signed a memorandum of understanding with four groups, including the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), to promote sustainable boating and fishing activities,” he added. “We’re also working on collaborative programmes with anglers to restore fishing habitat.”
He also cited the economic impact of outdoor recreation, which represents 2.2% of the total GDP of the US economy. “Boating and fishing are bigger than mining, agriculture and utilities,” he pointed out.
Ross said that ten million saltwater anglers contribute about $39 billion annually in sales and support 472,000 American jobs. The boating industry contributed $27 billion, of which $15.4 billion was spent on boats.
The secretary also made reference to the tariffs issue, concerns over which escalated on Monday when the American Sportfishing Association (ASA) revealed a list of imported Chinese products potentially subject to a 25% tariff. The list includes, but is not limited to, rods, reels, line, hooks, nets and artificial baits.
“China must stop flooding the global markets with government subsidised goods and working with state-sponsored industrial espionage,” said Ross. “We want China to discontinue its policies of forced technology transfer, with the reverse engineering of products, production and proliferation of counterfeits and dangerous things.”
(as reported in Angling International)
Southern Ontario anglers know that we have been served a very mixed bag of rain, wind, and sub-normal spring temperatures. Even though Lake Ontario waters are cold, Chinook Salmon fishing has been good. It would appear that the smelt are just starting to move in, but the Alewife are already near-shore and many of the Chinooks that have been caught have been full of them.
Capt. Aldo Nava of www.niagarafishingadventures.com has been doing well trolling off downriggers, Dipseys and even planer boards and fishing a mix of spoons, cut-plugs and flasher-fly combinations. Fish are scattered but hungry. As the weather starts to stabalize look for the salmon to move out a little deeper following the Alewife and Smelt back to deeper water.
This weeks feature image is of Amber Serbin with a nice Skeena River tributary summer-run Steelhead. Noel Gyger reports. Cloudy with showers with highs to +8 degrees C. I am sorry but have to say WE really need some rain. Skeena River is in fair shape. Spring-run Steelhead are being caught 🙂 Please be careful running your jet boat as water is very shallow. Kalum River is in fair shape and fishing well for Steelhead. Both fly and spin fishing are working well. Kitimat River is closed to Salmon fishing. Lots of open water now and the Steelhead will be coming soon. Zymoetz (Copper) River is like chocolate milk and really not fishable. If it was see this: Note the regulation: No Fishing upstream of the sign at the transmission line crossing (downstream of Zymoetz Canyon) Jan 1 – June 15. Steelhead fishing below this closure is still permitted. Ocean fishing for Salmon, Halibut, Prawn, Dungness and Alaska King Crab is good out of Kitimat.
If you would like to book a river fishing guide or ocean charter for 2018-19 contact Noel at www.noelgyger.ca .
For those that are unfamiliar with the resource, it states by waterbody how many meals you are able to eat of fish from Ontario waters without endangering yourself from the long term consequences of heavy metal poisoning and other toxins.
Due to previous consumption guidelines Chinook (king) salmon and other migratory fish species were most often categorized as NON-consumable due to their size and toxicity. As these fish were deemed non-consumable the practice of “gut’n’chuck” was fully legal as an angler is not permitted to allow consumable flesh go to waste. The only penalty someone who did ‘gut’n’chuck’ could face was littering if they left the carcass on the river bank, and did not dispose of the carcass in a receptacle.
If you are not familiar with what “gut’n’chuck” is, it is the practice of gutting a fish for the purpose of collecting its eggs (usually for bait or consumption). It is also known as ‘zippering’, and has some other colourful names.
With the updating of the consumption tables Chinook salmon are now listed as consumable for the majority of the size of fish you will see during the spawning run. This means that it is now ILLEGAL to “gut’n’chuck” where these tables have been updated.
So, why should anyone care about this update?
MNRF Officers would not show up to calls solely of fish being slit for their eggs because it was, most often, legal as the fish were most likely non-consumable and a waste of the officers time and their resources. With the fish now being listed as consumable for almost all sizes of salmon during the spawning run, MNRF officers can issues fines and penalties to those who offend, and will have to investigate into the calls and reports.
Will this solve the problem of folks gutting fish for eggs?
No. But now the MNRF is able to act instead of shrug their shoulders as there was not an illegal activity.
The issue still persists that there are not enough MNRF officers to provide adequate coverage. Until we have a provincial government that truly cares about our natural resources (except for greed and exploitation) that won’t change.
Here is a link to the Guide to Eating Ontario Fish:
Please note that the guidelines and tables are not the same for every waterbody.