A great Lantzville Days with lots of folk coming by our tent chatting about streams and fish. Over the past month we have been busy fry salvaging due to the continued summer weather making this year a very dry one for the later part. With over 15000 fry moved to various year round habitats we are moving along nicely with our goal of restoring the natural wild runs of Coho within the habitat available.
Over the years I have discussed many issues regarding the decline of salmon on the coast and yet all I learn just makes me realise that there is no definitive answer to the problem; we have collectively gone along with what the government of the day dictated as our environment became degraded to the point that we find ourselves at today. Declining fish returns to all our rivers and streams even the much touted hatchery program fisheries have had us believe was going to be the saviour of our Salmon is in decline. Blame the fishermen for catching too many fish though it was big business lobbying government to allow greater and greater harvest quotas turning all our collective resource in to mere commodities. [East Coast Cod comes to mind]. “Oh its okay the hatchery will put out more fish to compensate.” NOT as the kids say, the hatchery program is an industry all of its own more concerned with jobs and budgets than what is best for the fish.
I have mentioned many times the loss of functioning watersheds being a contributor to the decline through the logging industry returning our once mighty forests supporting all wildlife back to the early emerging forests of post ice age years. If the ecosystem could be left alone for a thousand years or more well out of the comprehension of most humans today, then we may see the natural balance return to our watersheds. In the meantime it seems that all the biologists and managers in the world who say they are helping the environment are only prolonging the eventual collapse of those same ecosystems they purport to so call manage. Giving them their due, they only can do what they do because no one will ask the awkward questions that need to be asked and usually reply to any question with the same old tired answers that see us in the predicament we find today. I am sure most are well intentioned though they still refuse to stray from the official line. The only solution I can think of is for citizens to as we as stream keepers have done and take control of the resources for the common good and think of what you can do for that good. If it is only picking up a plastic slushy cup left on the beach then that is one more step in the right direction of improving the environment for all. On a separate note I have been reading with great interest of how Britain and Holland are both in the process of returning several estuaries back into functioning habitat for fish and wildlife. Holland being driven by the collapse of the once mighty runs of Herring now only a memory in the older generations with the younger generations having no knowledge of how to cook or eat Herring. A recent call for a complete ban on all fishing in Europe tells the tale. This should be a big wake up call for the government of Canada as we continue our destructive roe fishery on our once abundant stocks of Herring. Who in Lantzville remembers the days when all you needed was a Herring rake to collect your food and bait for fishing from right out front of Lantzville. Removing such a key stone species at such alarming rates every year after year can only result of their total collapse along with what is termed a trophic cascade affect on all species. [Google it] On the bright side we all can help by doing our small part in protecting what is left and questioning so called experts who keep on prothletising the same old drivel of industry and government knows best. Keep a look out for new wild fish signs going up soon on Bloods Creek and upper Knarston. Take a walk along the trail into the woodlot at the power line on Normarel Rd and enjoy the beauty of the small pocket of forest still left along the creek before it is all logged and voice your concerns on its protection and exclusion from future logging activities to city council and the ministry of forests who dictate what is to be logged by the wood lot lessee.