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Everything posted by Flywing

  1. Last year I bought a 6wt. 10$ rod from A&N at the suggestion of Lance. Wonderful tool. It now has a lot of class attached to my Islander reel. IMHO any rod will do; learn to use it, where as any reel will not do; buy the best you can, even take the money you would spend on an expensive rod and use it for the reel. When you learn to cast (don't be blaming your short comings on the tool) even a whip like stick will do. regards Wally
  2. Proceeds to the the Atlantic Salmon Federation in memory of Dunc. Interesting collection Bob Petti put up: "The auction is up. Please spread the word." http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=150117042702 Wally
  3. Again posting on behalf of Carl Hunt: “Modernization” of the Federal Fisheries Act -1st Reading 2006 Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat or Modernization of Process? Carl Hunt The promotional information was reviewed earlier and I just read Part 2 of the legal version of the proposed changes. I appreciate the need for modernization of this very old piece of legislation but it is difficult to interpret how some of the ‘good intentions’ might work in the real world. Interpreting the wording of the proposed act is difficult and I have decided to mainly comment on the habitat issues however I think the allocation issues might become very important in the future even with Alberta fisheries. I’m not sure how the Federal Fisheries Act (FFA) was used in other provinces or how familiar current DFO staff are with the history of its application in AB so I’ve decided to write a short & biased history from my perspective as a retired fishery biologist that spent 33 years managing fish in Alberta. My purpose is to discuss past successes and failures that might be used to enhance the new version. -------------------------------------------------------------- In 1964 AB fish biologists automatically received a Fishery Officer appointment so we could violate the Act & Regulations as they pertained to fish sampling. All I knew about the Act was that I could collect fish with nets, traps, electricity, rotenone or explosives and freely exploited these methods and a few more. In about 1970 we (Kraft & Hunt) received a report from Rocky Mountain House F&W Officers about an oil company pushing drilling mud into a creek. We investigated and found that an oil drilling sump had been reclaimed by pushing the oily mud over a bank and into a small ravine. The company never bothered to look but the ravine had a small tributary to Prairie Creek which was a popular trout stream. We couldn’t find any company reps to explain what had happened but the F&W officer slapped a seizure tag on a D9 Cat left at the site and the next day three company reps (oil company, drillers and construction firm) were banging on the F&W Office door and had already phoned our Edmonton Office. In those days once Fisheries Act charges were laid by a local officer, for good cause, it was difficult for supervisors or politicians to interfere. The seized equipment was returned to the contractor but we collected samples of water, substrates and invertebrates and spent about three weeks analysing and summarizing data and two days in court nervously presenting and defending the evidence. We didn’t have dead fish because the drilling mud filled the small channel and we found no fish upstream. The effluent slowly leaked into a fast flowing creek which diluted the seeping oil and grease. The magistrate hearing the case was a retired RCMP Officer and after the first day of trial we realized that our endless parade of samples and professional testimony had him somewhat confused. Finally we entered a series of photographs of the site and we could see that he understood the situation. We also had an excellent crown prosecutor (up against three company lawyers) that wasn’t familiar with the Fish Act but did a commendable job of wringing the truth out of a reluctant equipment operator. The company was found guilty and charged some paltry fine like $500 but the petroleum industry did not like the publicity. In about 1971 Chuck Lane in Edson prosecuted a strip mine for releasing coal fines and probably allocated most of his staff for the better part of a summer to get a guilty verdict and a fine of about $3000 plus considerable press coverage. In those days I think jack-lighting got about $500 so the penalty was modest but respectable. The DFO preamble for the “Modernized Act” mentioned the problem with “costly and slow court solutions”. Our experience with the courts would definitely agree with DFO’s concerns, but our prosecutions gained the ‘respect’ of industries throughout Alberta. Biologists and technicians took short courses from an environmental lawyer from Ontario and a DFO biologist from B.C. that specialized in difficult violations of the FFA. We learned about continuity of evidence, preservatives for various types of pollutant samples, recording evidence and statements etc. We all carried sampling kits with sterilized jars, the correct preservatives, labels, note books and a Polaroid camera. At sloppy construction sites when companies refused to listen to reason we just got out our sampling kits and companies usually decided to cooperate. We knew the courts were a slow and costly process but so did industries. A few prosecutions taken through a public court system earned us an awful lot of respect. Over the next ten years a number of prosecutions were won and a few were lost but many responsible companies got the message without the need for constant supervision. During the 1970’s fisheries developed a small referral system and we got to review many of the land use applications that impacted water before construction. We often developed a good rapport with companies by explaining what we wanted and why it was important. We didn’t tell companies how to construct but rather what not to destroy. Companies came up with innovative solutions that were cost effective and protected fish habitat. I was involved in investigations of dozens of pipeline breaks that were all deemed to be accidents and didn’t violate the Act. We never did get companies to take responsibility for maintenance and prevention of pipeline breaks beyond their economic risk standards. By the 1980’s, seismic exploration was becoming a big issue and wildlife managers got involved and demanded a halt to winter seismic because it caused stress to ungulates but fisheries wanted winter seismic to reduce erosion and damage to stream crossings. The habitat section was formed and F&W tried to sort out these differences before we negotiated with industries etc. Referral systems became more complicated and demanding but also more efficient and effective. Industries also learned they could ignore the rules to get the job done and then negotiate the clean-up, after their priorities were satisfied. Laying charges under the Act became more complicated and required head office approval. Several flagrant habitat violations were diligently investigated and samples collected only to be tossed back and forth between Federal & Provincial jurisdictions until the statute of limitations cancelled the charges or some bureaucrat with minimal fisheries expertise decided we didn’t have proper evidence. Prosecutions became very rare and usually only resulted from strong public complaints or large fish kills. In the early 1990’s the habitat section was dissolved and the responsibilities reverted to fisheries management. All the contacts and relationships with industry (often positive) were lost as habitat staff got shuffled around and transferred to other areas or duties. Fisheries struggled to retain parts of the referral system but with exponential industrial growth our efforts became ineffective and we spent most of the time putting standard conditions on applications and seldom had time to inspect anything in the field to see if the actions were being applied. The Deputy Minister in 1994 advised us via our Regional Directors that we must “de-regulate vigorously” and that “our image as regulators and an obstruction to business must change”. In one example a company was drilling a pipeline under a stream to avoid timing restrictions for trout spawning and got a drill bit stuck. They asked for permission to recover the bit and fisheries staff agreed they could install a pump bi-pass and dig through the stream channel, which normally wouldn’t be permitted. An impromptu inspection during construction found two backhoes digging the pipeline with no bi-pass and no pumps on site. The fisheries person told them to stop digging and was later advised that he had no authority to stop them which was technically correct because our fisheries officer appointments had been revoked. Eventually the company was assessed a penalty and we found out they had four previous transgressions. The assessed penalty of $500 (that’s five and two zeros) in 1995 dollars with no publicity was way cheaper than complying with standard clauses (or “operational guidelines”). In another situation numerous pipeline breaks were reported by F&W officers around the old oil field at Swan Hills. They reported over a dozen breaks in one year (mostly saline recovery water going into beaver dams and small non fish bearing waters) and asked for advice about laying charges. No fish had been killed and I knew that successful prosecutions were unlikely. I requested advice from senior levels and eventually found out that over 100 breaks had occurred. A management committee dealt with the situation and slightly reduced the number of breaks before I retired. The field was old, depleted and the industry just wanted to drag out a few more barrels at least expense and that didn’t include maintenance or repair costs. By 2000, DFO again took an active role in protection of provincial fisheries. Local fisheries staff quietly hoped to see the end of political meddling in protection of fish habitat but by 2005 DFO was reorganized and down sized. Now the Federal Fisheries Act is being “Modernized” and appears to be “watered down” for ‘streamlining the process’ rather than being improved to protect fish and fish habitat in this modern industrial world that includes so many cumulated impacts. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A FEW SUGGESTIONS Definitions The fisheries act needs to improve the definitions of fisheries habitat to reflect our current knowledge of impacts on the fisheries resource and the cumulated impacts of today’s industries and societal demands. “Canopy removal”. Logging of mature forests impacts flow regimes and flood events and causes channel degradation and accelerated stream bank erosion. Despite reforestation, these impacts only decline over 30 or 40 years while the forest canopy recovers. Impacts from roads, urban development, agriculture and other industry are often permanent. Canopy removal/retention standards need to be established for relatively small watersheds in the boreal forest and other ecoregions such as the Upper and Lower Foothills. “GROUND WATER”. Instream up-welling (springs) are critical for successful spawning of salmonids. Groundwater has a temp of 4-8 degrees C and in winter this warmer water keeps fall spawned eggs from freezing and allows slow incubation so fry hatch in the spring. In summer, groundwater up-welling cleans the eggs of silt and maintains cooler, constant temperatures for egg incubation of spring spawners. No ground water – no reproduction – no fishery. Protection of fish habitat requires protection of the watersheds that provide clean, cold oxygenated water that is required by native fish. Groundwater is critical for successful spawning and egg incubation of most salmonids. Ephemeral tributaries don’t contain fish but the water provided is essential for fish survival. Groundwater flows are poorly understood and seldom monitored but most hydrologists agree that riparian areas are an important source of water for base levels of winter and summer flows. “Riparian” must be defined to include all riparian areas in a watershed and the active floodplain of flowing water. Headwater reaches of western rivers are often unstable and the channel moves across the floodplain during flood events and major channel changes occur from blockage with logs, debris or ice jams. If a new channel is naturally carved through a logged or cultivated area there is no bank cover or root system to hold the soil. Vegetation removal within riparian areas must be restricted and monitored to ensure channel stability for the long term. Riparian tree buffers in Alberta only apply to fish bearing water on public land. Riparian areas on private lands and ephemeral streams should be protected to ensure bank stability and provide an important source of ground water to maintain winter flows. “Sediment” is natural occurring and common in productive trout streams. Sediment plugs the spaces in clean gravel and fish eggs are smothered but sediment is a natural feature in all our rivers. Rigorously peer reviewed scientific studies over the past 30 or 40 years have repeatedly identified silt as a major limiting factor to successful salmonid spawning. Small point sources of sediment are not considered deleterious but the cumulated impacts over many years destroy self reproducing populations. Defining allowable inputs of sediment is complex but if it is ignored we will lose our productive native fisheries and the benefits of natural reproduction. When construction results in a little bit of sediment it can’t be proven deleterious. When dozens of companies add a bit of silt, fish don’t reproduce – they just disappear - but a crime can’t be proven and no one is responsible. Sediment placement in a stream or where it is likely to enter a stream must be prohibited and input of sediments at any concentration must be defined as a harmful substance. Specific criteria must be established to easily measure and enforce these standards. Standards might be based on areas (or volumes and time periods of unstable or disturbed soil) and on measurable differences between suspended sediment measured upstream and downstream of any human activity or disturbance. Tolerances must be strict. “Minimum Flow”. Politicians and the public recognize that water is a precious resource for the Prairie Provinces. Water licensing and allocations have been stopped (over allocated?) on the Bow River and South Saskatchewan basins however I am not aware if the licences include timing constraints or have a method to maintain minimum flows for fish survival in dry summer periods or critical low winter conditions. The Fisheries Act should have the power to set minimum flow rates that ensure the survival of fish. An adequate year round supply of water is just as important to fish as having water that is free of a deleterious substance. Where are, the guarantees that fish will be provided with base flows, after all the water permits and licences are sold off? ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Co management Federal Fisheries Officers were responsible for the management and enforcement of commercial fisheries prior to the formation of the Provincial Fish & Wildlife Division in the 1950’s. Regulations were under the Federal Fisheries Act and responsibilities were shared between the two levels of government. During the 1970’s most resource staff carried Fisheries Officer appointments (F&W officers, biologists, technicians, forestry and parks officers). When the Charter of Rights was enacted it was used as an excuse by enforcement bureaucrats to claim that the powers of the FFA were too technical for ordinary biologists and fisheries staff so only officers held appointments. I am not aware of any examples of fisheries staff in Alberta abusing the powers under the Act. By the early 1990’s provincial politicians cut the F&W Habitat Section and senior fisheries staff were discussing (perhaps haggling?) with the Feds about who should take the lead role in supervising the FFA. Since the province had re-assigned habitat staff and mostly abdicated fish habitat protection, it made good sense for the Federal government to enforce the FF Act. Initially federal enforcement lacked experience but made the impression that at least one government level was going to seriously deal the problems with loss of fish habitat. Over a month ago I requested some enforcement statistics from DFO and to date (several days ago by phone) I was advised there are 2 Federal Fisheries Officers and a supervisor in Alberta plus 3 Habitat Monitors but “no downsizing or layoffs”. The monitors I remember were the brown-noser’s that got to clean the blackboards in grade school. Who describes these important positions? Fisheries protection requires access to all land-use applications that are issued by the provincial government. Without a record of these applications the enforcement agencies (or monitors) have no idea about the type, frequency or location of potential habitat alterations. “Standard Guidelines” beg for arbitrary standards that are decided by industry. When public complaints or a rare field inspection discloses fisheries violations, the process invites an argument of a ’misinterpretation’ of the standards and further negotiation and mitigation. This process might work if a very large number (100’s) of officers were inspecting all sites before, during and after construction. That was often the case when district Fish & Wildlife and Forest Officers kept a close eye on industrial activity in ‘their’ small areas. Today these positions have been centralized, downsized and specialized and construction sites are seldom visited at any stage of construction. Provincial Natural Resource managers are too busy answering emails and perhaps reviewing applications to actually do many field surveys. Federal fisheries staffs are in worse shape because they lack any kind of mandatory review prior to construction. They depend on industries to advise the Minister of F&O about the next industry project that ‘might’ damage fish habitat. No doubt they will claim to have followed operating guidelines but had bad weather or some other valid (?) reason for the destruction of habitat. Any threat of mitigation and reclamation –if they get caught – is a small deterrent for industries that are in a big hurry, trying to meet deadlines on 10 million dollar petroleum wells or tightly budgeted logging operations. With Habitat Monitors” the usual penalty will be a negotiated agreement to clean up the mess. The result will be a low standard of construction, reclamation and insidious damage to our fish resource. ----------------------------------------------------------- Suggestions Provincial cooperation is essential to handle all the land-use applications under provincial jurisdiction. These need to be referred to the appropriate Natural Resource agency (Forestry, F&W, Parks, Public Lands etc. that have been shuffled and renamed so many times I don’t know what they are called). Fisheries should be advised of all applications in the riparian zone or flood plain and be given the opportunity (funding and staff) to review the applications and on a priority basis, do field inspections and apply special conditions. Applications can be dealt with under “operational guidelines” but every site should have a high probability of an inspection. With the F&W Habitat Section, a few staff in each region handled applications with fish & wildlife concerns and became knowledgeable about the issues and poor industry performers. Staff developed effective communication with the other government agencies and the representatives of various industries operating in their areas. In addition by working in smaller defined regions (like N E/S) Habitat Staff made frequent public contacts, encouraged reporting of potential violations and encouraged community ‘ownership’ of renewable resources. Local fisheries management staff provided additional science and quick aquatic sampling capability that is essential during an investigation. With some industries or individuals, cooperation, trust and communication only go so far. An effective enforcement effort is needed to “educate” the industries that cut corners and fail to take guidelines and operating conditions seriously. Federal Fisheries Officers backed up by biological experts to sample and testify in court could provide an excellent standard of fisheries protection and apply a strict set of standards across the province and the nation. These officers should not be expected to act as “monitors” or deal with the everyday negotiations of land use activities and environmental protection. The public is advised of the benefits of industrial activity on public lands but there never seems to be the political will, leadership, funding or vision to provide even minimal supervision, monitoring and research of potentially destructive activities to fish habitat. A modernized Federal Fisheries Act needs a major overhaul to provide the tools and standards that will reverse current degradation of our fisheries and prevent future problems with issue such as maintaining base water flows for fish and aquatic organisms. The Federal Fisheries Act should protect and allocate fisheries for aboriginal, commercial and recreational users but the highest priority must be to protect fish, fish habitat and aquatic ecosystems. February 10, 2007 Carl Hunt
  4. Hi All, forwarding this on behalf of Carl Hunt: Fisheries Act Amendment – Dec 2006 Review of Promotional Material C. Hunt Preamble DFO should recognize the value of national standards for fisheries management so short sited provincial priorities don’t erode national standards or jeopardize important fisheries resources that are important to all Canadians. I.e. Wild trout & salmon vs. provincial politics and industry promoted aquaculture programs or the frantic search for remaining conventional petroleum reserves. Purpose Clause This sounds like a simple and straightforward goal statement but the application and need for national standards is glossed over. “Sustainable Development” is a catchy title that implies sustainable fisheries but really means unrestricted development of everything else. Thirty years ago ‘Multiple Use’ (or abuse) was the term used to allow power dams and open sewers and earlier this type of political/industrial public relations terminology was better described as “The tragedy of the Commons”. Application Principles “Seek to apply a precautionary approach” should read, ENSURE a cautionary approach to maintain fish populations at the carrying capacity of the habitat and maintain habitat that ensures healthy and productive fisheries. “Take into account scientific information etc.” should also include review and balance ‘scientific’ information about the social and economic factors that are an essential part of fisheries management. Provincial Agreements Federal/provincial cooperation and agreements are essential for the proper management of fisheries but I don’t see the need to enshrine these in the Fisheries Act unless politicians are trying to formalize the loss of federal priorities and leadership. “reduce overlap & harmonize programs” This usually leads to adoption of the lowest standards just to reach ‘agreement’ “Where a provincial agreement is ‘deemed’ equivalent to federal regulations in operating effect etc.” This leaves way too much room for political interpretation and manipulation. Who ‘deems’ equivalency and what happens if provincial regulations for habitat protection are not adequately enforced? The Fed Fish Act has always provided a baseline standard for the protection of a fishery. Why not apply a strong federal standard instead of fragmenting the Fed Fish Act? “delegation of ministerial powers to provinces” This already occurs with harvest regulations but habitat protection and environmental standards should be a federal responsibility because many water bodies and river drainages cross provincial and federal boundaries. Programs and Projects “Outdated statutes will be repealed” No examples are even provided or justification for defining statutes as outdated. Amendments “could be used to support business management” and “improving the economic viability in the fishery or aquaculture sector”. Does this mean that our tax dollars will go towards propping up failed fisheries or to subsidize the aquaculture industry to install isolation cages to protect wild stocks from parasites and disease? Advisory Panels Advisory panels are an excellent form of democracy but the Act should enshrine the right of the public to hear the unedited recommendations the panels provide to government. Any studies done on behalf of the Advisory panel or cost shared with industry should be published and available to the public for review and discussion. Why are Advisory panels limited to commercial fisheries? This concept would be most valuable for the protection and management of recreational fisheries. Perhaps it could also be used when recreational, commercial and aboriginal allocation of a finite resource becomes an issue of sustainability. Information Management No examples are provided of the current inability of the Minister to collect the data required for fish management. Do the new amendments allow the Minister to demand provincial records of industrial applications so DFO might track habitat alterations like culverts and other potentially damaging alterations to the stream bed or riparian areas? If not, what federal information is not already easily shared or collected with the other federal ministries? Considerations (Licensing & Allocation) Guiding principles must recognize that healthy fish populations are not stable. Stability of allocation could only be achieved by inefficiently limiting quotas to protect the lows in population fluctuations. Since fish quotas have not been managed or studied in sufficient detail to predict most population fluctuations, it seems unlikely that stable allocations can be predicted. The economic models for allocation must depend on the natural fish population cycles and must recognize that harvest quotas should also fluctuate. The allocation goal should not be stability but to protect abundant spawners for natural reproduction. The importance of maintaining public access to the fishery should include more detail and be expanded to apply priorities for access by aboriginals, commercial and recreational fishermen. The Supreme Court of Canada does not seem to recognize that our fishery resources can only be allocated within the carrying capacity of the habitat and like cod all fish populations are not an open ended source of mans needs or wants. The reality of biological limits to production should be a guiding principle enshrined in the Act. Even maintaining public access to recreational fisheries should be considered. What does it really mean or imply? B.C. is raising some salmon license fees to levels that are getting beyond the economic limits of many Canadians. Alberta is running a lottery to distribute a meagre surplus of walleye to a handful of ‘lucky’ anglers. Do these gimmicks provide public access to a fishery or just add a completely different value (like gambling) to the sport. Licensing Provisions This section seems to apply only to commercial fisheries but a discussion of problems in the recreational fishery needs to be addressed including the rights of Canadian anglers from other provinces. \ Fisheries Management Orders Prohibitions should include the phasing out of non-selective commercial gear that causes mortality of non-target sport fish i.e. phase out gill nets and use various live traps so undersize and trophy sport fish can be released or ban large ocean trawlers that destroy bottom fauna, fragile corrals and waste large quantities of unwanted species. Fisheries Management Agreements Guiding principles must recognize that fish population cycles and loss of habitat will limit the available harvest and when production fails the allocation agreements must be in place in advance to control the harvest. Effective and independent monitoring should be used to determine the harvestable surplus and the agreement should be in place to determine the timing, methods and allocation of the harvest of declining stocks. Protection of Fish and Habitat “Clarification that both an ‘alteration’ or ‘disruption’ must be harmful” seems to increase the difficulty of laying a charge and decreases the likelihood of successful prosecution. What’s the purpose of this amendment? The Fisheries Act is often touted as a powerful piece of legislation. Sec 36 makes it illegal to put a deleterious substance into waters frequented by fish. This works okay for point source pollutants and an abundant supply of dead fish makes a prosecution relatively simple. Various permits legalize the noxious effluents from cities, pulp mills and petroleum refineries and make it very difficult to prosecute under the Act. The Fisheries Act is not successful in dealing with critical habitat damage that results from cumulated impacts such as silt from numerous small sources or stream warming from riparian canopy removal or bedload movement caused by flooding etc. Most of the long term damage is difficult to attribute to one action or a particular duration. Most of these impacts are properly licensed by large industries and allocation of ‘harm’ is impossible to prove. On the other hand harvest regulations, usually involving individuals, are easily enforced. Keep one fish too many or too small or fish in closed waters or even with a barbless hook and you will be quickly processed by the legal system with no requirement to show the ‘harm’ or ‘alteration’ or ‘disruption’ to the fishery. Quite simply these actions are deemed harmful, so why must we prove the impact of each small habitat loss? It is critical that small actions leading to habitat damage must be ‘deemed’ harmful and prosecuted when they occur and not just when dead fish are evident. A recent edition of The Alberta Game Warden (summer 2006) reported the 2004 Fisheries Enforcement Stats that included 826 charges laid and a conviction rate of 92%. Despite all the construction activity in logging and the petroleum industry, not one charge was laid for depositing a deleterious substance or habitat destruction under the Fisheries Act. Maybe DFO handled the charges but have not responded to my request for this information made several weeks earlier. Aquatic Invasive Species We usually think of zebra mussels etc in bilge water or the pet trade and grass carp as being the main threat of AIS but nowhere do I see a reference to parasites and disease which are common and often accepted in the aquaculture industry. Unlike livestock, fish are not easily tested and even the water used during transport may carry diseases. The disease certification system is easily circumvented during transportation. Worse is the fact that overflow waters from holding facilities may distribute parasites and diseases quickly to the rest of the watershed. Administration and Enforcement Alternatives to costly court proceedings sound like a good idea. Usually this includes assessed penalties with the company agreeing to clean up the mess and the public being largely unaware of the process and often the agreement includes company anonymity. Habitat destruction and pollution are the unmeasured and unpaid costs of corporate Canada and large multi nationals. Court cases are open to the public and Canadians have the added opportunity to show their displeasure in the marketplace. Too often fisheries habitat violations are just the cost of doing business and no one is really responsible. If company CEO’s were deemed personally responsible the application of the Fisheries Act could be greatly improved. Carl Hunt
  5. Did I say that GPS technology is something not to be used? Far be it from me to hinder your love affair with GPS. Crap I’ll take you fishin’ we’ll go to a nice place I’ve seen on a map and I’ll trust you to do what ever you want with the spot. No need to take my opinions personally I don’t expect anyone to do as I say that’s for me to live up to. “Once bitten twice cautious.” As far as off topic goes may I bring to your undivided attention the topic you started: GPS Questions/ Comments/ Discussion
  6. There are a few here who rationalize the use of GPS as safety tools to necessitate its use and if it makes you feel secure that’s a “Good” thing. I pack a compass. I’ve owned a GPS for years; my first is an old Magellan don’t think it had maps. Used it once marked the truck and went fishing. Then after the day was done I though I’d try out my own senses against the machine (stayed in my pocket) to get back to the truck via a straight line through the bush and ya know I stepped out of the bush right beside my truck; never used it again on a fishin’ trip. The new (it has maps) one I have now is wonderful great way to crutch your way around big cities like Vancouver or where ever. Hook it to a computer with that little voice telling you over and over that you missed the turn is kind’a fun, well annoying after a while but still helpful. I use it hunting great way to mark downed game instead of tying those **cking plastic ribbons in the trees. Yes Vince, you could save your buddies life if he’s “fallen and can’t get up,” but what happens when there’s a falling out, something changes the relationship, or he can’t resist telling another “Good Friend,” the fellow with the coordinates passes them around and another fishing hole goes to poo! The place is immortalized with signposts naming the pools on every bend in the river where a beaten path resembling a highway that quads pound out is now the access instead of game trails. Rationalize all you want, ethically I’m still against its use when going to a friend’s “Johnny Creek.” Perhaps we need to define the word friend too. There are different levels or nuances of that idea maybe we’re misusing it here?
  7. Todays update: 28 November 2006 With so many teams booking in early, and so much interest being shown in the 5th NFFC, the Grande Prairie local organizing committee and FFC have agreed to raise the maximum number of competitors/teams from 60/12 to 80/16. I recently wrote to Jim Epp, president of the Peace Country Fly Fishers, and asked if he could offer any words of advice about lake fly patterns for the fall period. In his reply Jim wrote: “As this event is going to be held in the fall, most of the major hatches will be over and the fish should be feeding well on just about anything put before them. “Moonshine and Kakut are shallow, nutrient rich and quite hard, so they support good quantities of scuds, as well as the usual insects. If we don’t have much cool weather, visibility can be a factor. Generally, going small isn’t necessary, though we could have a good hatch of small chironomids as they hatch from ice-out to ice-up. “Spring is a little different. It is a smallish but deep bowl-shaped lake with a very narrow littoral zone, so insect life isn’t prolific. What bug zone there is, though, is very good. It has tremendous hatches along the shoreline in the warmer months, as well as some deep-water chironomids. This lake has a good population of five-spine sticklebacks and the trout feed heavily on them, particularly the bigger fish. If we have an early and cool fall we might see the weird "backward" water boatman hatch. I know all of the books say this is a spring thing, but I have run into this hatch too often in the late fall. This lake is the clearest of them all and sometimes you have to fish pretty fine. A real pain when they’re on the sticklebacks. “I wouldn’t leave my attractor patterns at home, either. On all of these lakes the craziest flies are sometimes the real deal. Woolly Buggers, Doc Spratley, etc. all have their day. We have a long winter here and the fly tier’s imagination sometimes goes over the edge.” So there you go -- get tying.... Cheers! Bob Jones PR Geezer
  8. Flywing


    Jeff Foxworthy on Alberta: If you consider it a sport to gather your food by drilling through 36 inches of ice and sitting there all day hoping that the food will swim by, you may live in Alberta. If your local Dairy Queen is closed from September through May, you may live in Alberta. If you instinctively walk like a penguin for six months out of the year, you may live in Alberta. If your dad's suntan stops at a line curving around the middle of his forehead, you may live in Alberta. If you have worn shorts and a parka at the same time, you may live in Alberta. If you have had a lengthy telephone conversation with someone who dialed a wrong number, you may live in Alberta. You Know You Are A TRUE Albertan When: 1. "Vacation" means going south past Calgary for the weekend. 2. You measure distance in hours. 3. You know several people who have hit a deer more than once. 4. You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day and then back again. 5. You can drive 110 kph through 2 feet of snow during a raging blizzard, without flinching. 6. You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit. 7. Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow. 8. You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and road construction. 9. Your idea of creative landscaping is a statue of a deer next to your blue spruce. 10. "Down south" to you means Calgary... 11. Your 1st of July picnic was moved indoors due to frost. 12. You have more miles on your snow blower than your car. 13. You find 0 degrees "a little chilly." 14. You actually understand these jokes, and you forward them to all your Alberta friends
  9. Ok, its clear plastic with flies in it. How about dry flies in it?
  10. May be things are different now than when I started fishing. My mentor/s promised a cursed death; knackering with some jagged, dull road side debris if the fishin’ hole were to become common knowledge. If he didn’t do it hands on then the “curse” would turn “it” black or blacker, (which ever the case may be), to slough off slowly in dripping shreds. That meant I only went with him and I didn’t “ever” take anyone even close to this Godly place. This so frightened me that to this day I can’t recall the name of where I’ve been fishing in a conversation; seriously my mind goes blank/blanker. It’s more than sharing; you share a meal, share a drink of water, or an all night good time in a pub with a friend. A fishing hole, the ultimate offer of fishing blood brotherhood, it’s... near sharing the love of a woman. No, closer to a holy sacrament, bestowed to honor the “Fish Gods.” Ethically, for me, the right thing to do would be to leave the Garmin 76CS at home. As a tool used only to find new spots, OK, I’d go along with that but if you’re going to someone else’s fishin’ hole ethically there is no need. A fishing spot, mystical and beautiful, I believe it should never be recorded in a crutch gizmo such as a GPS. Guess I’m “Old School” if you can’t find your way home, or fear the elements; this should deter your going with me. Be safe play golf.
  11. ethically then i'm not impressed looks like only hunting for new places never before seen is how to go fishing with GPS???? i guess this must be why so very few people take others anywhere near their personal fishing holes???
  12. Is it ethical to use GPS on trips where your fishing buddy is taking you to his fishing hole? Or should you rely on his knowledge of the area to get you back safe?
  13. Congrats!! on #1 and a well done to the Mrs.
  14. We think he came in on the balcony; the sliding screen door was off it's runner and Joy left the door open to air the up stairs. He must have used the opportunity but still don't know how long he was a resident. Don't believe he was here more than part of a day and the night.
  15. No dubbing from this guy I opened the patio door and Rocky left to find Bullwinkle. Neat surprise at 6:00AM; still amazed that Rajah (Joy's dog) didn't make a peep just snuck up stairs to sleep undisturbed. Stryder the Lion Dog... well he was lying in his kennel sleeping... undisturbed. Good to know we're protected. :lol:
  16. Hi All, ever had your home invaded by the unwanted? We had it happen last night. I know who it was do you?
  17. Hi, cleaning the garage for some much needed brownie points and rediscovered an old Minn Kota Model 35D I'd kept for parts. Well it's still just parts but if anyone has another that needs parts they're welcome to have this one. I think the head is good and the transom mount is fine but the bottom end sprung a leak and drowned.
  18. Seems to me if ya can reach and cut the hook with side cutters wouldn't it be just as easy to back out a barbless hook???
  19. I have a look to see where it's hooked if near or in the gills I bite it and cut the line if he's bleeding already 99 out of 100 chances he's toast so take the hook out; with barbless hooks it should be easy its the holding them steady that's tricky. If they're big enough for a lip lock grip I go for that and if they're tiddlers then sometimes turning them upside down helps but never squeeze hard or they will die too. Some fools hold fish by squeezing the gill covers hard but if you look at fish anatomy you'll see that the fish's heart is very near to the head and if you're careless the heart can be damaged never mind possible damage to the gills too. As far as ranking I don't see how that's possible; either I'm fishing for meat or it's C&R. I treat them all equally with respect.
  20. Hope all goes well with Grace! I'll be ready and waitin' for the word.
  21. End of August or first of Sept. should be good. Have to get in the last fishing before Elk season opens.
  22. I was going to say... instead; So who among you would go fishing with me in "Wally World?" When?
  23. Nice to see maturity come to the fore; now we need to work on credibility.
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