Posted by nprgweb under Fishing, General Info Comments Off on BC Hydro’s Bizarre, Multi-Million Dollar Boondoggle to Save Fish from Site C Dam
In a scenario that sounds like something out of a Dr. Seuss book, bull trout and other fish will travel in trucks past the Site C dam for 100 years as part of BC Hydro’s strategy to save the threatened fish species from disappearing from the Peace River.
The public hydro provider, which is in the early stages of building the $8.8 billion dam, declined to discuss its fish-saving plans. However, a review of reports filed by the Crown corporation reveals an elaborate and expensive plan that may not work, according to a U.S. fish biologist with bull trout expertise.
It is now time to renew your North Peace Rod and Gun Club memberships for the April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017 period. Purchase your renewal or new membership at the club or at BackCountry. It’s also time to renew your hunting and fishing licence.
Peace-Liard Moose Management Pan (PLMMP) – Raychl Lukie is the Project Manager of the PLMMP for FLNRO, but Chris Addison, Director of Resource Operations was at the club to do the presentation.
The PLMMP process started because there was a need to rethink moose management, which had been mostly lacking in recent times in the Peace-Liard. This fact, a request from Treaty 8 to talk about moose management, and the existence of a Wildlife Collaborative Management Agreement with several first nations got the process started. The initial process deliberately involved only government and First Nations with the exclusion of other stakeholders.
Chris Addison estimates that the annual moose harvest in the region is about 4000 and is split about equally between licensed hunters and First Nations. There is an estimate of 50,000 moose across the region, so a harvest of 4,000 is not seen as an issue. Most of the First Nations harvest occurs outside of the season set by the hunting regulations for licensed hunters. The tracking and reporting of First Nations harvest was brought up in the discussions, but there is no agreement to do that. We indicated that is was time for First Nations, Government and other stakeholders to be at the table at the same time. Chris Addison committed to approaching First Nations about that and suggested that an event at the club might be a good way to start things off.
The population target ratios for moose are 30 bulls/100 cows and 30 calves/100 cows.
First nations generally support predator management (especially wolves).
Main Components of the PLMMP
Determine and population objective for moose by game management zones
Habitat Management – there has been some maintenance and protection recently, but no focus on increasing suitable habitat. The goal is to also do the later.
Moose Health Assessment – monitoring for winter ticks, other diseases, or conditions that might be association with industrial activity.
Tracking moose movement and habitat use.
Tracking interactions with caribou and predators
Inventory, including investigating links to cumulative effects
A question was asked if there was sufficient funding and staffing at this time to make all this happen and the answer was NO.
A Large Crowd Hears the BCWF’s Jesse Zeman Speak on Provincial Fish and Wildlife Issues
A crowd of around 300 gun club members and interested public attended our public meeting on local issues including threatened access related to potential transfer of land titles to First Nations as part of a compensation package for Site C. Other issues that were discussed were lack of transparency in government, land disturbances in the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area, and moose management. Jesse Zeman of the BC Wildlife Federation also provided a overview of fish and wildlife issues at the provincial level.
Pat Pimm, our local MLA from the North Peace was in attendance and fielded questions from the crowd and pledged that government was responding to the issues by guarantying access to the backcountry, being more transparent, and developing a provincial moose enhancement strategy. Pat indicated that he has had multiple meetings within government bringing forth our and his concerns. He also said that Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Rustad was working on a stakeholder consultation strategy that would be area based and everyone including ranchers would be involved.
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, from Dawson Creek, Katrine Conroy, NDP MLA from Kooetany-West, and Karen Goodings and Brad Sperling from the Peace River Regional District were also in attendance.
Update: There is now a mobile app available for submitting surveys — read on.
The BC Wildlife Health Program is looking for help from wildlife professionals and the public with observations of hair loss caused by “Winter Ticks” on moose throughout the province. The Moose Winter Tick Surveillance Program wants to collect observations to monitor the number of animals with hair loss and the amount of hair loss on each animal to estimate winter tick prevalence and distribution. This program will occur on an annual basis. Winter ticks are a significant parasite for moose populations and can contribute to moose declines in parts of their range, including BC. So, it is an important health factor to monitor, particularly with climate change and alterations to moose habitat. The findings of the surveillance program will contribute to the Provincial Moose Research Program, which was initiated in 2013 to investigate factors influencing moose populations in BC. This is the second year of the program; last year we received 361 reports of moose from across the province.