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Ronan's report

Friday 04 May, 2012

I am not normally a Political Hippy unless something that is at the core of my Hippyness is being threatened, and I am pretty sure you all know what core I am talking about, well if you are guessing then here it is FLYFISHING. This time is it not climate change or any natural attack, this is pure man made Bullshit. So here it is.

The Harper government in Canada is changing the legislation to eliminate the protection of fish habitat and really all the fisheries in Canada. Instead, the government is planning to offer token protection only for commercial, recreational, and aboriginal fisheries, while cutting federal environmental reviews and fisheries reviews of the impacts of projects. This draconian change will set environmental laws back by decades.

Right now the government does not know where the recreational fisheries are, nor do they know that sportfish eat other fish, so other "lesser" fish have to be protected also. They also don't understand that to remain productive a fishery needs clean good quality water, fish need access to quality habitat, and they need to be able to migrate to overwintering and spawning areas. To protect a fishery, the habitat must be protected - each puzzle piece is as important as the next, and if you remove one, you seriously limit the capacity of the system, or cause a catastrophic collapse.

There is are many articles about the proposed changes: Edmonton Jounal article
Winnipeg Article
Globe and Mail Article
DFO Info Release

So in that regard, I have a task for you all.

If you fish in Canada, or ever plan on fishing in Canada, and care about fishing, fish, or the environment - you should let the Harper Government know. We, as anglers, need to start asking questions of the government and the regulators and we should expect real answers in response. Canadians pay taxes so that they will protect our resources for us and our children and those not from Canada spend millions to come and enjoy the productive fisheries.

To start, I would recommend sending a short letter to the fisheries minister with a list of creeks or areas that you fish or want to fish. You should ask the minister what baitfish support those sportfish populations in those areas and where do those baitfish spawn. Be specific about the places you fish, and ask that they send you a response. If you are a Canadian, you deserve it as you are paying their salary. If you are foreign, you represent the economic influence of tourism dollars and diversification that they stand to loose.

In addition you can ask about threatened species protection in Canada, invasive species, and protection of other components of the aquatic resource such as aquatic invertebrates and protection of riparian vegetation.

Your message could go something like this but change it to make it more personal, and make sure to ask about rivers or areas that you care about and ask for a response - the gov't only cares about recreational fish now. If you want to fly fish for Northern Pike at a Fly-In Lodge, ask about the protection of northern Lakes in Saskatchewan, and what the government is doing to protect baitfish streams. If you want to fish trout streams with a decades old Yellowstone quality, ask about protection of rivers in the foothills of Alberta. If you think that suckers should be protected to feed the incredible walleye of Manitoba, mention that!

The meat:

The Honourable Keith Ashfield
House of Commons
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans
Parliament Buildings, Wellington Street
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-996-9955

To The Honourable Keith Ashfield,

I am an avid angler from I'M SURE YOU KNOW YOUR COUNTRY/STATE/CITY, I spend much of my money and free time pursuing a recreation that I find enjoyable and worthwhile.

I regularly fish the RIVERS AROUND CALGARY or have been planning to spend MILLIONS ON A ARCTIC GRAYLING TRIP TO GRANDE PRAIRIE, ALBERTA. Can you please tell me where the bait fish such as longnose suckers, longnose dace, and mountain whitefish are spawning and what important tributaries are being protected to ensure that these baitfish are available for the sportfish to consume.

I have been dismayed to hear of the proposed devastating changes to the Fisheries Act, and would be disappointed to see new construction works on the banks of these river and creeks, and to see culverts constructed that don't appear to pass fish. I believe that culverts create habitat fragmentation and are rarely supervised to be installed properly. Can you explain DFO's commitment to the supervision and monitoring, as well as the review of these crucial components that may have a very large negative impact on the fisheries that I/MY FAMILY/MY ANGLING BUDDIES cherish?

I also fish many smaller less known waters that provide a great sense of seclusion and wilderness which is difficult to find with the rapidly growing population of Canada. Can you please provide me with an example of measure that you have undertaken to protect some of the smaller streams around SOUTHERN ALBERTA/ONTARIO/NORTHERN MANITOBA/THE FLY-IN LAKES OF NORTHERN SASKATCHEWAN, AND ATLANTIC SALMON RIVERS IN PEI. These waters have provided days of enjoyment for me and I look forward to sharing them with my family in the future. In Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba I understand that it is only DFO that properly regulates activities around watercourses that can impact the fisheries.

My final questions are around monitoring and specifically about species at risk and invasive species. What is DFO doing to monitor threatened species in Canada? I am aware of a minnow and a sculpin that are listed under the Species at Risk Act and I think it would be wonderful to see some DFO engagement of the public about these interesting fish. I am also worried about the threat of Rock Snot on the rivers that I fish, especially the Oldman. There are signs at some of the fishing locations, but I have not seen anything from the federal government, whom I though was in charge of fish habitat.

To that end, I sincerely hope to receive a reply to this letter that answers these basic questions and alleviates my fears that the fishery in Canada will be irreparably harmed.

Yours truly,


Fin Donnelly
New Democratic Party of Canada
1130 La Promenade
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Fax: 604-664-9231

Elizabeth May
Green Party of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-996-0850

Lawrence MacAulay
Liberal Party of Canada
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0A6
Fax: 613-995-2754

Sorry to air all of Canada's dirty laundry - It just smell worse than Paul's socks right now!

And of course because I make it a habit of not holding a grudge, I must thank Charlie the Tune for sending me these at this opportune time

What's green, blue, red, purple, lavender, chartreuse and lilac?
A well dressed hippie.

Why couldn't the coast guard save the hippy?
Because he was too far out man...

Why do they call it a roach clip?
Because pot holder was already taken.

What's dumber than a pile of rocks?
The hippy that carries them across the country.

Why do so many hippies move to Oregon?
Because they heard there was no work there.

How many hippies does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Hippies never change anything.

Why are there no hippies on starship enterprise?
Because hippies do not have jobs in the future either.

What do you call a hippy with a haircut?
The defendant.

A hippie walks into a barber shop, walks up to the barber and says, “Are you the guy who cut my hair last time?” and the barber says, “I doubt it. I’ve only been working here ten years!”

I saw a hippie wearing only one sandal so I said, "what happened man did you loose your sandal?"
He said, "No man I found one!"

I saw a hippie kicking a can down the street and I asked him, "What are you doing?"
He said, "Moving."

Pic Of Day



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