The idea for this blog came about from a lack of salmon in the Dean River. It became apparent to all those in the Dean that some light needed to be shed on an ongoing situation we have been dealing with. This summer, 2013, there had been 22 large scale commercial gill net openings (now 24) in Area 8 (which involved Dean Channel, Fisher Sound and Fitz Hugh Sound) when we became alarmed.
From the beginning, residents of Kimsquit (community at the mouth of Dean River), fishing guides and onlookers began to notice a serious of absence of chinook, pink, chum and coho salmon and of course steelhead for which the region is legendary. It was so dire that spawning flats usually filled to the brim with spawning salmon by mid-August were completely void of ANY fish.
It seems that all the work done by pioneering conservationists in Area 8 had been pushed to the weigh side by industry and government. The blame falls completely on the shoulders of those concerned with the well being of wild fish, far to complacent for far too many years and guilty of allowing the pendulum to swing drastically away from the center.
This blog is not meant to be rant, but a source for information where those interested in what is happening in Area 8 can find that information in one place. It will be updated as frequently as time allows.
Below is an an example of what we are up against and an example of where we can start…
Thanks for your continued dedication to all of our cause!
“Dear Mr. Wagner,
I just wanted to send this letter and some accompanying photographs to convey my displeasure with the commercial openings happening in Area 8 on August 19th. Despite the decreased geographic size of the openings and the dropped nets in 8-8 I have a difficult time understanding the justification for any fishery in Dean Channel (specifically 8-8). The chum salmon in the Kimsquit are non-existant, as are the beach spawners and the Dean is largely devoid of any evidence of chums.
As I’m aware DFO did chopper counts in our area and then opened 8-8 for Monday, I have to believe you saw results that surpassed your Kimsquit threshold- otherwise I’m sure there would be no justification for an opening. As I have trouble understanding what that could have been, I have enclosed 4 photographs below to give perspective of the major chum salmon spawning areas in the Dean. Although I have no pictures from previous years to offer perspective, I’m sure you could see a scenario where even a single fish would be an improvement to these pictures.
1) Upper Ross Island- Largest spawning flat on the lower river. 100’s of pairs each year in late August. This year 0.
2) Lower Ross Island- Back channel usually filled with milling chums digging redds. This year 0.
3) Archaeological- Back channel usually filled with milling chums digging redds. This year 0.
4) Upper Tidal Channel- Flat filled with pairs of chums. This year 0.