By now you have likely seen that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has launched the public consultation portion of the review of the Fisheries Act and the Fisheries Protection Program. The specific page for this process is at this address: http://www.letstalkfishhabitat.ca/
Why bother? The reality is that we are at the place with our Fisheries, particularly Alberta, that fishing regulations can only provide so much opportunity into the future. Human activity in and use of habitat has seen our waters’ ability to produce fish drop substantially – the carrying capacity of our lakes, streams, and rivers to produce fish is dropping each year.
We are now in a place where we need to focus on strong habitat protection with an eye to strictly at least maintaining what we have now through operational rules, regulations, and laws that look at projects and long-term impact though cumulative impact. We have to look at riparian destruction (livestock & agriculture, ATV use, logging, oil & gas road construction and crossings, etc), sediment, stream crossings, that destruct or alter fish habitat. And we need to be able to quantify these through common sense – quantified through what’s obvious and not data that gets caught up in red tape and political will while the habitat alterations continue. If we can encourage you to look at the workbooks and focus on habitat, our fish’s future and our enjoyment and ability to fish for them will be at least sustainable.
Cheers & Thank you!