Our friends at the Native Fish Society are helping us out. Please take a moment to fill the form out:
The following is an excerpt from the minutes from the recently held 2013 SSBC AGM. It is an overview of the
presentations of the two guest speakers; Mike Wallis of Wallis Environmental Aquatics Ltd and Dan McCubbing of Instream Fisheries Research Inc.
The Northern Branch of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia would like to invite the public to join us at our upcoming AGM. This will be an important open forum to discuss the welfare and future of Steelhead and all Salmonids in our treasured waters. In addition to a screening of the acclaimed movie “Rivers of the Lost Coast” we are excited to have guest speakers Mark Beere of the M.O.E. and Greg Knox from Skeena Wild. The meeting will begin at 10:30AM Saturday April 16th at the Terrace Sportsplex in the Rich McDaniel room. We hope to see you there...
On January 29 the Steelhead Society of BC held its Annual General Meeting at the Langley BCGEU office. The AGM was highlighted by a number of guest speakers and a full house of members. The first guest speaker, Dr. Craig Orr of Watershed Watch was also presented with the Society's highest honour - The Cal Woods Conservation Award - a richly deserved honour for his tireless work on behalf of wild salmonids - particularly as one of the leaders in the fight against open-pen salmon farms. We all owe Dr. Orr a sincere thank you.
Dr. Orr's presentation was titled Thompson Steelhead - Keep It Wild. Rather than present an "anti-hatchery diatribe" Dr. Orr chose to focus on the biological traits and advantages of wild Thompson steelhead. He demonstrated that not all salmon or steelhead are created equally and that Thompson steelhead are an example of a genetically superior stock. Rather than focus on hatcheries as solutions Dr. Orr suggested some things that we should consider for Thompson steelhead and steelhead in general. He stated that tackling what he termed the inshore bottleneck should be a priority. There has been very little research done in this area and due to DFO's conflict of interest with managing fish farms they are not willing to look at them as a source of the problem. Dr. Orr also stated that fish farms are vectors for disease transfer from farmed fish to wild fish. Other factors that Dr. Orr cited as important are; identifying problems that result in a return bottleneck through improving our confidence in catch monitoring in both commercial and aboriginal fisheries, as well as dealing with the Water Act and protecting groundwater.
Dr.Orr advocates "all hands on deck" for habitat and says the formula for success is not so secret - wild plus diverse equals resilience. He states that the key to sustainability is not to optimize part of the system for enhancement (like a hatchery), rather to enhance the overall resilience of the whole system. He believes there is a need to prompt the government to do its job and finally Dr. Orr said that the people need to be more vocal for the Thompson.
The next group of speakers were; Al Lill from The Living Rivers Trust Fund and Kevin Pellett and Dave Harper from the BC Conservation Foundation - Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, and Vancouver Island respectively. Before their presentation outgoing SSBC President Jason Tonelli presented Kevin Pellett with a $5000.00 cheque from the Society for their Nimpkish River fertilization project.
Al Lill spoke about the history and mission of The Living Rivers Trust Fund. Al outlined how they are an outgrowth of the Steelhead Recovery Plan and are involved in fund raising and partnering with many different contributors to undertake a whole range of projects. Harper and Pellett reported on their respective BCCF projects, both proposed and in progress. As well Dave Harper asked for volunteer help with some Lower Mainland fertilization and monitoring projects.
Retiring SSBC President Jason Tonelli outlined the Society's recent activities and our continued fight for steelhead and other salmonids. Jason reminded us in this the SSBC's 41st year in operation, that we have seen some encouraging signs, like the improved fish numbers in the Skeena and the Dean, as well as winter run returns on some Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island streams. However, he reminds us that the forces that threaten steelhead continue to grind away at our precious resource and we must redouble our efforts on behalf of the Thompson, Squamish and East Coast Vancouver Island rivers.
One of the most exciting developments over the past year has been the resurgence of the SSBC in the north. Our Northern Branch has been incredibly active both with habitat issues and fighting major threats like the proposed Enbridge pipeline and coal bed methane threats to the Sacred Headwaters of the Nass, Stikine and Skeena rivers. The full 8 page report is available elsewhere on the website. (insert link?) Director and Chair of the Comox Valley Branch, Larry Peterson gave his report in which he echoed the same concerns that steelhead face elsewhere. He urged us to demonstrate more political will in fighting for the Thompson and other systems. As well, Larry indicates a need for for industrial buy in - logging, farming, hydro, road building, house building, etc. - to protect streams. He also stated that it is ludicrous that there is no groundwater protection in the Provincial Groundwater Act. The Comox Valley Branch is looking to bring the major players together at the table to discuss the east coast Vancouver Island issues. So far they have Hydro willing to take part, but are still working on commitments from forestry interests and politicians.
After the speakers there was a short break before the business portion of the AGM began. The Treasurer's Report showed that our finances are in good shape. The business meeting was highlighted by the election of new Officers. Congratulations go to Brian Braidwood the Society's new President. As well; Vice presidents Tyler Kushnir, Ralf Kroning and Trevor Welton, Treasurer Scott Braidwood, Secretary Eric Carlisle and Past President Jason Tonelli were elected, along with Directors Roger Baker, Poul Bech, Dan Cahill, Aaron Goodis, Dana Protti, Andrew Redmont, Ian Stubbs and Paul Des Laurier (all to two year terms) other Directors elected in 2009 still have a year left on their term. A complete list of the Officers can be found here.
After this successful AGM came to a close a number of Society members met at a local watering hole and had a bite to eat and some friendly discussion. All in all - a good day.
The Board of Directors of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia hereby gives notice that the Annual General Meeting will be held: DATE: Saturday, January 29, 2011 TIME: 10:00 am to approximately 2:00 pm PLACE: BCGEU Fraser Valley Area Office 8555 - 198A Street, Langley Twp (“Twp” required for mapquest) AGENDA: 10:00am-12:00pm We are excited to have as guest speaker Craig Orr from Watershed Watch who will be giving a scientific look at what the effects of a hatchery on the Thompson River would be. We are also very excited to have Craig Wightman from the BC Conservation Foundation on Vancouver Island. He will be presenting on the activities of the BCCF on Vancouver Island and what they are doing to help improve steelhead populations. Dave Harper will also be presenting on behalf of the Lower Mainland BCCF. His presentation will also be on their yearly activities as well as some future plans. 12:30 to Adjournment: General Business a) President’s report b) Financial report c) Election of officers and directors d) Other business If you are unable to attend this meeting in person, you may appoint a Steelhead Society member to act on your behalf by submitting the attached proxy form by mail or facsimile. The Board of Directors January 5, 2011 www.steelheadsociety.org PROXY TO: The Steelhead Society of British Columbia I, ____________________________, the undersigned, being a member in good standing of the Steelhead Society of British Columbia (the “Society”) hereby appoint ____________________ or, failing him/her, ____________________, as the proxy of the undersigned to attend, vote and act at the Annual General Meeting of the Society to be held on January 30, 2010, and at any adjournment thereof in the same manner, to the same extent, with the same power as if the undersigned were present at the said meeting or any adjournment thereof. Dated the ______ day of __________, 2010 ___________________________________ Signature of member Proxies may also be returned by fax to (604) 931-5035, Attn Brian Braidwood
Highlights from the President's Report. SSBC Annual General Meeting - Nov 30th 2008
*As seen in presentations, Steelhead continue to face a overall decline across many popular watersheds. Habitat, water flow and high seas survival all continue to throw a curve ball to surviving stocks.
*The Steelhead doesn't enjoy the limelight of other salmon species in the political arenas, and they continue to fall into the grey area of management priorities. Available funding for projects continues to be harder and harder to come by, with more agencies seeking it.
*The SSBC has continued to follow its moto of Wild rivers/wild fish with funding donations and volunteer labour in a variety of Steelhead benefiting projects.
Projects to improve habitat, steam productivity (via fertilizer placement in Statlu creek) water use measuring (Nicola/coldwater water meter and annual upkeep), bank stabilization projects in Squamish and Chilliwack.
Donations to several other organizations, such as Watershed watch, for their continued work against fish farms.
*participating in the Classified waters review with MoE. & Cheakamus spill recovery plan
* Moving forward to continue this work, its encouraging to see a renewed interest in the SSBC. Recent declines and closures have sparked many to get involved, to see where we can best apply our time and resources.
*Its important to note that as a volunteer organization, the SSBC needs commitment from individuals to participate in what is not a short term process. Overnight successes are few and far between, and new blood is welcome, but be prepared to settle in the trenches for a steady drawn out battle to advocate for Steelhead.
*defined battle lines have been drawn for sometime on the Thompson river, where all of the standard enemies of Steelhead exist, but they are also being drawn in new threats such as the Garibaldi development on Brohm creek, an important tributary of the Cheakamus river.
* A renewal of the SSBC is the north country, where Steelhead abundance is far better than rivers in the south, but where commercial interception and mixed stock fisheries continue to have an impact of summer-run stocks.