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  #91  
Old 02-07-2018, 06:52 PM
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SamSteele SamSteele is offline
 
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Originally Posted by cranky View Post
I received the exact same letter this afternoon to. Yes and i also appreciate that Mike took the time to reply. No one else on my list that i sent to has replied so far.

I was wondering if it would be a unique letter or the same response for all. That helps answer that question. Thanks.
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  #92  
Old 02-07-2018, 08:17 PM
dbaayens dbaayens is offline
 
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Default That's better

For sure Sam, I also respect Mike for taking the time to respond in writing... it would have been a lot better if I'd received something in October. I guess this is what we've been asking for from the beginning and I definitely like to see more of an outline in writing. Not just trust us, we have a model, which upon examination was found to be very weak and why we are continuing to ask questions... is hooking mortality a significant problem, could be... but wait a minute we have no idea what the pressure is either. Umm, I've only ever seen one other group on the Ram from about a kilometer away. It looks like they have some quantitative data. It needs to be presented, not hidden in a model that essentially can say whatever the user feels is appropriate to push an agenda. I want to see the data.
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  #93  
Old 02-08-2018, 02:12 PM
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kcoderre kcoderre is offline
 
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Default Form Letter Response.

I too received this form letter response. In order to not let them off the hook, I responded to the form letter. Will see if I get a response.

This was my response.

Mr. Blackburn,

Thank-you for your timely and detailed response.

I appreciate the effort you have made to show the evidence for incidental catch and release mortality and its effect on the recovery of depressed populations. I realise that my experiences are only anecdotal but I still believe that the main angler related reason for a population's failure to recover is poaching and not incidental catch and release mortality. Several times per year I see people keeping fish either beyond their legal limit or in streams that are catch and release. Each time I see this happen I confront the person and remind them that this is not allowed. Most plead ignorance, but some become adversarial feeling that they do not need to follow the rules. The big problem is enforcement. In this situation it is not possible for me to contact Fish and Wildlife because I am often in an area with no cell service and I am possibly hours from anywhere where contact can be made. Short of following someone back to their vehicle and getting a plate (which I have done and does not usually end well) there is basically nothing that can be done.

In the last 5 years, I have spent more than 200 days on the water. In that time I have only been approached by Fish and Wildlife Officers twice (and only seen vehicles parked in the area 5 times). The officers are always great to deal with (because I am following the rules), the issue is that they are stretched pretty thin. They cannot possibly cover the area they are required to patrol effectively. The fact of the matter is, poaching is rampant, illegal stream crossings by OHVs are rampant, and there are not enough Fish and Wildlife officers to enforce it all.

I would suggest an increase to the cost of a fishing license to help pay for more officers. $30, for a license is a steal, I would happily pay $50 or $60 if it meant that the main problems facing the recovery of populations could be curtailed. The math seems simple, with 300,000 licenses purchased each year, an increase of $20 means an extra $6,000,000 to finance increased enforcement.

Just a thought...

Sorry but I still don't buy the idea that responsible catch and release fisherman are the main cause for a population's failure to recover.

Thanks again for your time.
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  #94  
Old 02-10-2018, 05:45 AM
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I received the exact same form letter response from Mike Blackburn based on a letter I sent. What made me feel more effective was meeting with my MLA and explaining my concerns with the program in person, which he agreed to pass along within his party. I think writing letters has its place but real impact comes from face to face meetings. They get you're serious about the issue then. Emails/letters are easy to ignore or can be responded to with 1/2 effort.
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  #95  
Old 02-10-2018, 08:51 AM
dbaayens dbaayens is offline
 
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Default Nice work

Myles,
I appreciate the extra effort you have made and encourage others who have concerns that are not being fully addressed to continue to ask questions and apply pressure. I think the angle Myles has taken is a good one. I support native species conservation, but I strongly feel disengaging the public through closures is a last step in fisheries management. If AEP wants to "experiment" with stream closures I believe widespread consultation needs to occur and the data needs to be presented in a manner that is understandable to the average Albertan and factual so that everybody is on board with the results and appropriate measures can then be taken.

Dean
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  #96  
Old 02-10-2018, 09:02 PM
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I've C&R fished these areas for as long as I can remember. 20 plus years. This closure is very disheartening to me. I've sent emails to anyone & everyone I could find info for, in any department that may be involved in the decisions behind this. Hopefully we can get the next government to relook at this, because I find it hard to believe a foot access angler is the main cause behind any habitat degradation and any fish numbers decline considering the number of years that logging has been going on in the Elk creek valley so close to the waters in the area. (Elk creek & the upper Clearwater)
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  #97  
Old 02-11-2018, 09:04 PM
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I got the same reply as well. I took the time to respond and made sure to cc everyone again but I doubt any of us will receive any further response and I doubt they even took the time to read most of our emails in the first place...

The fact that this program is "designed to answer why" these populations haven't recovered tells me these bios either haven't done the proper research on these waterbodies, haven't taken the proper steps to recover them or don't know what they are doing. After this many years of research, surveys etc these bios should have a pretty clear picture of what is going on in these waterbodies and they should have a pretty good idea of the main changes that need to be made to fix them. Making these water bodies C&R didn't fix them like they hoped and I highly doubt these closures will play any role in fixing them either.

It obviously is not possible to change these bios minds so it seems we need to get someone to tell them to change their minds. The people that are taking time to contact or meet their MLA's are probably on the right track but likely on too small a scale to have any effect. I am thinking it will take some sort of petition with 1000's of signatures to have any serious effect.

For example a petition against these closures until it can be proven that all significant habitat related issues have been dealt with on a water body and that there is evidence it is still not recovering.
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  #98  
Old 02-12-2018, 07:01 AM
Don Andersen Don Andersen is offline
 
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I would expect that the "proofs" are already done incorporating the proposed closures and they are off to printers. After all, it is mid-Feb. and regulations have to be distributed by mid-March.
Real changes are now at least another five years away. Kicking the can down the road has again been successful. Worked for 50 years.

I got a letter as well. Says much the same thing


Don
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  #99  
Old 02-12-2018, 09:42 AM
McLeod McLeod is offline
 
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Default Message to Mike Blackburn and the other Bio's

Your closures won't do **** if you don't have enforcement but more importantly you don't doing something about the habitat.
You may have a plan for that but you don't have the funding.
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  #100  
Old 02-12-2018, 06:21 PM
flyrodfisher flyrodfisher is offline
 
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@Don
I assume they would have had to gazette these changes....Can anyone confirm? But, I agree in that the cake has likely already been baked...they just need to get us to drink the KoolAid now.

Again...another blindside By SRD. Just like the Pembina closure dropped on everyone without proper consultation.

Where is the scientific data that identifies the cause????
Now does everyone understand why the Fisheries roundtable meetings have not been held in a couple of years????

Suggestion to SRD....Ban fishing in Alberta completely.
That way we could save our government a pile of money by eliminating the entire Fisheries division and eliminate the fisheries part of the ACA as well.
It is apparent by their own admission that whatever these two groups have been doing to "manage" our fisheries has not been working. Two simple words....You're Fired!

Additionally... I am more than disappointed with the TU's response. I suggest that others also reconsider their continued involvement.

Last edited by flyrodfisher; 02-12-2018 at 06:47 PM.
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  #101  
Old 02-12-2018, 06:56 PM
AlbertaCutthroat AlbertaCutthroat is offline
 
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That reply is a joke. Ask how much fishing pressure the creeks being used as examples have, oh yeah, none. They are next to unfishable due to impenetrable bush. They need to consider habitat, most fisherman know that not all creeks are created equal. By AEP logic closing Blackmud Creek by Edmonton to angling would mean it will have just as many trout as the crowsnest river in 5 years....insulting logic...
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  #102  
Old 02-14-2018, 05:24 PM
flyrodfisher flyrodfisher is offline
 
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@AlbertaCutthroat
My suggestion to ban fishing was made tongue planted firmly in cheek....
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  #103  
Old 02-14-2018, 07:01 PM
AlbertaCutthroat AlbertaCutthroat is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyrodfisher View Post
@AlbertaCutthroat
My suggestion to ban fishing was made tongue planted firmly in cheek....
I was referring to the AEP reply from Blackburn. I can't even believe someone could type that drivel... the anti angling attitude of that region continues...
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  #104  
Old 02-20-2018, 07:10 PM
alberta_bha alberta_bha is offline
 
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We released this today. In conjunction, we've also setup a website so people can email the AEP Minister and AEP Deputy Minister directly, as this has proven to be an effective way to apply pressure. Please share freely.

Thank you for all your help!

Survey: https://www.backcountryhunters.org/take_action#/34

Alberta closing popular trout rivers to anglers for five-year period without action on underlying threats

Feb. 20, 2018 - The Alberta provincial government is set to announce the closure of five of Alberta's trout fishing rivers despite lack a of stakeholder consultation, and no visible coordination among the government departments, in order to protect threatened native trout species.

“Native cutthroat and bull trout need action to ensure their survival – but instead of protecting rivers from the effects of poorly designed roads or logging practices, the government has decided to penalize anglers as a token of action,” says Jordan Pinkster of the Alberta Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA).

“It starts with the Ram, the Clearwater and North Saskatchewan rivers, but we fear that other rivers in Southern Alberta could be next.”

Presented as part of the overdue North Central Native Trout Recovery plan (NCNT) Alberta Environment and Parks models show minimal benefit to trout survival as a result of banning catch and release fishing, whereas the same models show the impacts of public roads, industrial disturbances and forestry as having a major effect on the survival of native trout species.

“While we support expanded protections – including restricting fishing methods and creating a classified waters system similar to British Columbia's – there is no indication the province is taking the real threats to native cutthroat and bull trout survival seriously,” says Pinkster.

“The problem has been left with Alberta Environment and Parks without any sign that Energy and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Forestry or Alberta Transportation are taking responsibility for their role in protecting the province's aquatic ecosystems.”

Consultations with the public took place in December but further planned meetings were never held. A survey only reached a small portion (0.4%) of Alberta anglers through Facebook, inexplicably ignoring the established email survey system used successfully every year to measure fishing and hunting success rates. If there was a real desire for angler feedback, the proven system would have been used.

“I disagree with the proposed closures as there is no publicly available baseline data to support them” says outdoor writer and photographer Duane Radford.

Carl Hunt, retired eastern slopes fisheries biologist, added “addressing hanging culverts, sedimentation causes, and restricting herbicide spraying are all easy fixes that would be far more meaningful towards an important environmental issue.”

The Alberta BHA urges the province to keep the Ram, Clearwater, Kakwa, Berland and North Saskatchewan rivers systems open to anglers, to re-open consultation with conservation groups and anglers, and lastly, to take real action on the underlying threats to Alberta's native trout species before it's too late, in the form of initiatives focused on long-term habitat quality and sustainability.
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  #105  
Old 02-20-2018, 08:15 PM
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kcoderre kcoderre is offline
 
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Default Thanks for putting that together

Signed and sent!
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  #106  
Old 02-20-2018, 11:18 PM
Sylvan2019 Sylvan2019 is offline
 
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Well worded letter. There are so many issues at hand but this summarizes the concerns of many, including myself. Signed and sent.
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  #107  
Old 02-21-2018, 07:00 AM
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Myles Myles is offline
 
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Sent.
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  #108  
Old 02-21-2018, 07:07 AM
yetiseeker yetiseeker is offline
 
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Also sent.

I commend the BHA for their response as it is both informative and progressive.
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  #109  
Old 02-22-2018, 01:28 PM
yetiseeker yetiseeker is offline
 
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Article on Global News.

https://globalnews.ca/news/4039287/a...ream-closures/
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  #110  
Old 02-22-2018, 03:18 PM
Shumphreys Shumphreys is offline
 
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Looks like the province might be backing down for now:

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgar...plan-1.4546810
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  #111  
Old 02-22-2018, 10:05 PM
Don Andersen Don Andersen is offline
 
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This is not a win. The Govt recognized that habitat protection must happen. Knocking fishermen yet again will not deal with the real issues.

Don
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  #112  
Old 02-23-2018, 06:46 AM
ecsuplander ecsuplander is offline
 
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Seems to be a step in the right direction. There were four pages dedicated to bashing the government about not listening and making a poorly supported management decision and then very quiet after the government backtracks on the proposal. Come on I thought there would be a bit more excitement expressed on the forum.
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  #113  
Old 02-23-2018, 06:50 AM
wind drift wind drift is offline
 
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Any acknowledgement of the priority need to address habitat and land use issues is a positive outcome. The problems have been facilitated, ignored or tolerated for decades. It took losses of fishing opportunity to rouse the angling community to action. It’s a start. We’ll see how it goes and how long it lasts. Need to keep the heat on. Maybe a series of angler rallys at high profile hanging culverts or sediment trouble spots with a little media coverage would be a good idea.
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  #114  
Old 02-23-2018, 06:53 AM
wind drift wind drift is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ecsuplander View Post
Seems to be a step in the right direction. There were four pages dedicated to bashing the government about not listening and making a poorly supported management decision and then very quiet after the government backtracks on the proposal. Come on I thought there would be a bit more excitement expressed on the forum.
Half-empty is like religion to some.
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  #115  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:03 AM
Bigbadblair Bigbadblair is offline
 
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I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I agree with part of Don’s last comment. If those articles are true, this is not a win for anyone, and especially native trout. (I’m curious why the minister isn’t quoted but everyone else is in those articles?)

But on the positive voices were heard, those that sent letters of opposition were not complicit in the decision, and now everyone is implicated in current management regime continuing..

Choosing fun over conservation is a little short sighted in my mind and believing recovery is done by fixing just habitat is a little simplistic/unrealistic, but time will tell.

At some point in time the community has to be for something, not just against everything…

I’m out- *moves back into the shadows*
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  #116  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:23 AM
Sylvan2019 Sylvan2019 is offline
 
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Our efforts haven't been ignored, and that's great to see. Most importantly though, this should be seen as a wake up call to us fisherman more than anyone, and now we have the opportunity to truly be the stewards of these waters that we claim to be in our letters. Like wind drift says, let this ordeal light a fire under our asses... We've got to be just as vocal about habitat and enforcement issues as we have been this past five months. None of us can deny that these waterways require further protection, and we're in a great position to help with that.
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  #117  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:26 AM
dbaayens dbaayens is offline
 
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I'm totally for native fish conservation. I couldn't sell NCNT to people in industry the way it was being laid out. A more rigorous design with widespread public support is a much, much easier sell. The more inclusive a project is, the better. Anglers are often the people within industry that can steer project design and leverage dollars towards habitat improvements. When they become disenchanted... that's a problem. However, the real question is am I ready to put my money where my mouth is... always have been. Blair, I expect that you and I would see eye to eye on 99% of issues. Stay out of the shadows and help out. There is a lot of opportunity to make some big positive changes when the angling community is on the same page.
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  #118  
Old 02-23-2018, 08:34 AM
Sylvan2019 Sylvan2019 is offline
 
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I personally think a great first step, now that the attention is on the fisheries and regulations, is for us fishermen to support catch and release in most of these rivers, and certainly a single hook barbless rule. We've got to show that we can be part of the solution now.
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  #119  
Old 02-23-2018, 11:34 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sylvan2019 View Post
I personally think a great first step, now that the attention is on the fisheries and regulations, is for us fishermen to support catch and release in most of these rivers, and certainly a single hook barbless rule. We've got to show that we can be part of the solution now.
Agreed. I'm fine with the changes you have just suggested. No doubt a lot on here already practice this.

I hope the various department to sit down to figure out what they can do better to support river and stream rehab. I would be happy to help / volunteer in those kind of projects.

One thing I'm left curious about, I wonder if they will roll back the closure on the Pembina? Which was the first river to see the recent 5-year ban.
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  #120  
Old 02-23-2018, 09:21 PM
Don Andersen Don Andersen is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigbadblair View Post
I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I agree with part of Don’s last comment. If those articles are true, this is not a win for anyone, and especially native trout. (I’m curious why the minister isn’t quoted but everyone else is in those articles?)

But on the positive voices were heard, those that sent letters of opposition were not complicit in the decision, and now everyone is implicated in current management regime continuing..

Choosing fun over conservation is a little short sighted in my mind and believing recovery is done by fixing just habitat is a little simplistic/unrealistic, but time will tell.

At some point in time the community has to be for something, not just against everything…

I’m out- *moves back into the shadows*

Big....

I tried to get the effects on habitat recognized in the Policy Fish Conservaton Stratergy for Alberta. Nope, the Policy was all about fishermen. AEP blinders solidly in place.

The Native Trout plan hopefully will realize real changes in how Alberta deals with the land abuse.

I see that Angler's revolt as a line in the sand. They have had enough of paying for others activities.

Don
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