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Fisheries Stakeholder Advisory Committee

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#1 PeterSL


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Posted 03 August 2018 - 05:06 PM

Fisheries Stakeholder Advisory Committee - Input needed


In Spring 2018, as part of the Fisheries Action Plan, Alberta Environment and Parks formed a new fisheries stakeholder advisory committee. This committee, supported by a diverse group of fisheries stakeholders, including Northern Lights Fly Fishers, has been set up to obtain advice and foster collaboration in the conservation and management of Alberta’s recreational fisheries and fish habitats. The commitment of the committee is to respectfully work together, in an open and transparent way, for the collective good of recreational fisheries.

The committee met for the second time on July 30, 2018. The focus of this meeting was to receive advice on the terms of reference for the committee, initiate the process for undertaking an independent review of Alberta’s fisheries management approach and share information about activities being undertaken by the Ministry and other partners to protect and restore fish habitat. During this meeting the participants:


  • Provided advice to draft the terms of reference
  • Confirmed support for the plan for the Third Party Scientific Review, facilitated by the Office of the Chief Scientist, and recognized opportunities to connect into the process. Over the next three weeks, members of the committee will be providing questions on behalf of their organizations for consideration by Alberta Environment and Parks Chief Scientist for Phase 1 of the review. Phase One will focus on the management of river and stream fisheries in the East Slopes with specific focus on angling closures and habitat enhancement. The committee was introduced to, and supportive of, the review team as selected by Chief Scientist Dr. Fred Wrona. The review team for Phase 1 will be led by Dr. Stephen Cooke and his team at Carleton University and Dr. Eduardo G. Martins at the University of Northern British Columbia.

         (If there is a particular question you believe the Scientific Review team should address regarding the North Central Native Trout Recovery Program proposed by Fisheries Management and subsequently put on hold by the Minister pending the outcome of the Third Party review, please post it on the forum or email it to me at Newsletter@nlft.org  by Aug 20th. All questions will be submitted to the Chief Scientist. Your name will not be used unless you specifically request otherwise.)


  • Recognized that Alberta Environment and Parks is seeking to better understand the cumulative effects of catch and release angling and other factors on fish populations, and is open to consider more than just closure of areas to recreational fishing to restore fish populations to levels that meet legislated conservation requirements and the expectations of Albertans. 


The committee will meet next in late fall when an update on the progress of the independent Third-Party Scientific Review and other initiatives within the Fisheries Action Plan will be reviewed for the committee’s advice and comment.  


I can also confirm that a number of projects related to habitat improvement along the east slopes have been initiated in the past few months. I hope to be able to post a list of these soon.



#2 dipperdan


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Posted 15 August 2018 - 08:36 PM

Thanks for all your work on this Peter!

#3 PeterSL


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Posted 16 August 2018 - 04:57 PM

20th August is the deadline to submit questions from Northern Lights for the 3rd party review of the science underlying the North Central Native Trout Recovery Plan. If you have particular questions that you believe the review team should address please email them to me as soon as possible.
To date I have had two submitted:
Is significant trout recovery likely to happen if the streams aren't closed but angling is restricted to catch and release, barbless hooks?
Does research indicate that a 5year closure is sufficient for sustainable recovery?

#4 Don Andersen

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Posted 16 August 2018 - 05:48 PM


1) Who is a member of this diverse group of stakeholders?
2) How were they chosen?
3) From near 40 years of repairing habitat, I and others have found the repair only works when the reason for the repair is controlled. Most of these repairs are a result of poor land management by several user groups. How are the poor land management issue getting resolved? Who is paying and how is the control accomplished?
4) lots of questions.

Personally I think may just be a work around by fisheries rather than dealing with the real issues.

Damn but I'm i'm impressed.


#5 PeterSL


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Posted Yesterday, 03:26 PM


25 people were invited to the committee with no more than 2 from any one organization. I don't know the criteria for invitations but I believe they included an attempt to ensure a diversity of opinion and an interest in the science underlying the NCNT Recovery plan. I suspect I received an invitation primarily because my name was on the many letters written on behalf of Northern Lights to the Premier, the AEP Minister and others.   The committee is chaired by ADM John Conrad.  Committee membership, and I'm working from memory here, includes TUC, Cows and Fish, The BackCountry Hunters and Anglers, AFGA, Office of the Chief Scientist, AHEIA, Dickson Fish and Game, DFO, Association of Summer Villages, Outfitters and Guides Association, Retail Industry, a rep from the Stream Crossing Program, "Next Step' Group, Indigenous Relations, Fish and Wildlife Operations and F&W Policy, and Northern Lights. There's also someone who works on habitat issues, but I can't remember which department, and a facilitator. May have missed one or two.  They send us a whole pile of background reading so the meetings are well run.

I can't answer your #3 yet but I heard encouraging reports on involvement with Transportation, Energy and Forestry which was the key need that we identified to the Premier in order to accomplish significant habitat work.   AEP can't force the other Ministries to act and can only ask but apparently (perhaps with some encouragement from the Premier, though I don't know) there are some joint projects underway.  I hope to get a list of these soon and will pass it on. Angler education is another topic on the agenda that interests me.

The science review is being conducted by some very knowledgeable and respected profs from Carleton U and UBC with extensive backgrounds in species at risk, fish habitat, catch and release mortality, fisheries management etc.  Habit work is a key component of what's been discussed to date but as you know there is a cumulative effect on fish populations from many factors - climate change invasive species, angling, siltation, entrainment, clear cutting, hanging culverts - the list goes on - that are all being considered.  Not much we can do about climate change I guess except factor it into the equation!  I know you have a history with fisheries management that might lead to some cynicism but I've witnessed the ADM push to get all the issues on the table, to make sure there's an open and independent evaluation of how AEP's Fishery Management operates and the science they rely on, and to consider all users of the fisheries as well as the fish. That and a push to get this done and dusted in time for next year's regs.  I'm impressed too!    

After this there will be another 3rd party review of the walleye/pike/perch management that has received a lot of criticism especially from the north-east section of the province. Doubt I'll be on the committee for that one - there's someone else in Northern Lights with a Roundtable background, a jet boat and an interest in that!

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