No need to go on attack

The B.C. Wildlife Federation responds to Rob Brown's "Abundance" column

Dear Sir:

Rob Brown’s Aug. 8, 2012 column entitled “Abundance” concerning the abundance or lack of abundance of Skeena system steelhead is of interest to the B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF) whose primary objective is conservation.

Mr. Brown makes some very good points about the historic numbers of Skeena steelhead and a notable lack of abundance compared to other systems to the south as well as run sizes of Skeena salmon (pink, sockeye and coho).

It is questionable to include pinks and chums in the comparisons since they have completely different life history strategies but regardless, there is no question that steelhead are less productive compared to their salmon cousins.

We certainly agree with Mr. Brown on the impacts of decades of indiscriminate net fisheries.

Where there is disagreement is over the privilege to harvest a steelhead when there is a harvestable surplus over and above conservation requirements and the needs of First Nations have been met.

The BCWF believes when conservation objectives are being met, steelhead populations return to abundance (classified as being in the routine management zone) and there should be opportunities for resident anglers to participate in a harvest of steelhead.

The lack of these opportunities is driven by the lack of investment to identify the locations, times and opportunities for retention fisheries by the province.

Mr. Brown’s point is that BCWF members such as Kitimat resident Mike Langegger, Regional Director of the BCWF, should not be allowed to harvest steelhead because of their low numbers.

But what is at the heart of this issue is the divisive argument between users: catch and release or catch and harvest.

This is a choice issue not a conservation issue as the data suggest a harvestable surplus is available for some of the stronger Skeena steelhead stocks.

The conservation community interested in fish and fish habitat is small but often very passionate bunch and clearly Mr. Brown is in this group.

However, it is a sad and unfortunate reality that some conservationists also seem to enjoy pitting one interest group against another.

Bill Bosch,


B.C. Wildlife Federation,

Vancouver, B.C.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

What is the future of transportation in Terrace?

Active transportation, transit, road networks to play a big part in the coming years

Single-engine aircraft crashes near Telkwa

Two occupants of the plane sustained minor injuries and were transported to hospital

Terrace firefighters heading south to help battle wildfires in Oregon

Over 200 B.C. firefighting personnel will assist in the U.S.

Cullen announces bid for provincial NDP nomination for Stikine riding

Current MLA Donaldson not seeking re-election

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Most Read