Letters: Illegal fishing practice

Snagging fish in Sooke Harbour is an illegal way to fish

Being an avid fisherman I have noticed a very disturbing trend taking place each year at and around Billings Spit during the salmon spawning run.

A certain group of individuals are “fishing” in such a manner as to promote snagging or foul hooking fish on their way to the river. The method is quite simple, as soon as a fish is spotted either finning or jumping they cast to it using a buzz bomb lure that has very little water resistance. As it is cranked through the water at high speed with the hopes of snagging or flossing the fish. When approached these people simply say that everything they are doing is legal. They have a single barbless hook and say they are reeling fast because the water is shallow and they don’t want to hang up on the bottom.

While the argument would seem to be legal the intent is anything but. On my last trip to the spit I personally saw six foul hooked fish caught and killed. This spectacle takes place usually on a daily basis throughout the three month period beginning in September. Initially there was only two or three people doing this, however because of their success the ranks are swelling and with no enforcement from DOF. They are becoming emboldened and now laugh at anything anyone says to them, teaching their kids to fish the same.

My questions are; Why no enforcement? Why is an illegal activity becoming the norm? How long can the fishery withstand this abuse?

We all know that the answer is very simple. Regulations should be passed to make it illegal to retain foul hooked fish in the river or estuary of the Sooke River.

Recently the locals in Port Renfrew, who are sickened by this practice, erected a sign on their bridge saying “Snaggers Go Home.” The sign was removed by a resident of the Sooke area who said it was “offensive.” With the millions of dollars garnered from the sale of fishing licenses, environmental fees, boat safety programs, etc., you would think at least a bit of it would go back into enforcing the laws to protect this precious resource.

Don Crowe

Sooke

Just Posted

Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith issues apology over removal of Queen portrait

Sidney Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith has apologized for changes in the decor of… Continue reading

VIDEO: Saanich resident shocked when trespasser licks security camera, rummages through mail

‘I found the situation really bizarre,’ said the Gordon Head resident

Five Halloween activities for adults to celebrate the spooky season

Halloween isn’t just for little ghouls in Greater Victoria

Central Saanich changes incentives for housing developments

Changes shift incentives for some developments from development cost charges to building permit fees

B.C. VIEWS: How to get the best deal on your ICBC car insurance

ICBC slowly being dragged into the 21st century

Pot legalization has gone ‘well’, but ‘yellow flags’ on vaping: task force chair

Canada legalized cannabis for non-medical use on Oct. 17, 2018,

ELECTION 2019: Federal leaders hit final 24 hours of campaign

Many leaders remain in B.C. for the final hours of the campaign

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Most Read