Municipal elections

Here in Greater Victoria, sewage treatment has long been a topic of conflict, and to this day we do not have comprehensive sewage treatment for the 350,000 or so residents that live here. There are 2 pipes that run over a kilometer out into the ocean pumping many million litres of screened, raw untreated sewage into the Pacific Ocean daily at Clover Point and McLoughlin Point. Untreated means pharmacueticals, solvents, chemicals (liquid plummer, paint, nail polish remover etc.), heavy metals, and whatever other good stuff the general public can’t be bothered with disposing of properly. All of these are present and unfiltered. In the last few years there has been a push to finally fix this, involving the federal, provincial, and municipal governments. It is a complex issue and there are good arguments on each side to consider; however, my point is not about sewage as much as it is about the ability of small groups that don’t represent the larger populace being able to dictate policy, with real world effects on us all.

Below are the approximate overall 2011 (and some 2008) voter turnouts in percentages for mayoral, council, and schoolboard positions in various communities across the greater Victoria region.

*Saanich 2008- 20.61% and in 2011-25.4%

Central Saanich 2001- 32.4%

North Saanich 2011- 41.5%

Esquimalt 2011- 18.0%

Victoria 2008-27% 2011-26.29%

Sidney 2011-31.0%

Colwood 2011-26.8%

Metchosin 2011-48.8%

Langford 2011-14.0%

Sooke 2011-41.9%

Oak Bay 2011-42.0%

View Royal 2011-27.9%

None of these numbers reflect a real majority, just like with our provincial (fuck off Christie!) or federal (Harper’s continuing hatefuck of Canada) elections

So, to those of you who think that voting does nothing, explain to me how one individual municipality’s (Esquimalt) mayor, that didn’t receive a single vote out of the paltry 18% (2300 votes) of voters that bothered to turnout, was able to kaibosh a 750 million dollar regional plan to provide sewage treatment to hundreds of thousands of people. It’s an easier answer than you think. Vote and stop allowing people to control your life with almost none of the actual voters in their region’s support. The people you (don’t) vote in actually have a significant amount of power over decisions that are made on rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries, watersheds that affect entire ecosystems.

The Cowichan River weir/low flows crisis this past few years is entirely about who the rich landowners around Lake Cowichan vote for in the provincial, federal and municipal elections. They have a great deal of power because they vote for people who enforce their wishes for beachfront over the health of an entire famous aquatic ecosystem. If you want to change this kind of moral bankruptcy, start by voting against people who are running their own personal fiefdoms in your community with a meagre amount of real support.

BC municipal elections are held across BC on Nov.15/2014, whether you live here or not, if you care about salmonids or their larger environment please vote in your local municipal election.

*I used a variety of sources for comparison of these numbers including the municipalities own websites, various local newspapers, and vision victoria’s regional summary.

As such any inaccuracies listed are my own bleary eyed mistakes.*

Fuck political apathy, fuck Esquimalt’s mayor, fuck millions of litres of sewage, fuck harper and his imaginary terrorism, and fuck all of you turds who don’t vote, I hope you all have a nice sewer backup come Nov.16




Do something instead of bitching about Thompson River Steelhead

As I’ve often wrote the world of wild anadromous salmonids is in a state of flux. People I’ve talked to feel weary and disconnected from decision making with regards to the current management and the direction of future management of these wild creatures. Hopelessness and apathy reign.

Thompson river steelhead are at historic lows (in spite of the shifting baseline), and despite a significant amount of data documenting everything from their DNA to ocean migration routes (a whole lot more than many other “races” of steelhead), as well as drawing anglers from around the world, these fish suffer a rather immense level of neglect and mismanagement at multiple levels. Currently the DFO is allowing commercial interception of these stocks in the lower fraser river as bycatch for apparently lucrative (ikura) chum gillnet and seine fisheries, at a time when a significant amount of this run is passing through the lower Fraser river. This is in complete and total contradiction of the management principles that these regulatory bodies are beholden to. There was just an commercial chum gillnet opening on October 23/14 and there is to be another on October 28/14.

Oct 23/14 opening info

Oct 28/14 opening info

As before with the Kokish river hydroelectric project, you will read a bunch of statements that try to make it sound like there is a great effort being put in place to reduce bycatch of vulnerable interior steelhead and other species. The best way to reduce this bycatch is to have a later commercial opening or better yet no opening at all. The Fraser is scoured with nets enough of the year as it is, and there are always alternatives as to how fish are harvested. Gillnets don’t typically allow a high percentage of survivability for bycatch species.

So please write(scream, yell, cry, pound the keyboard etc.) to these representatives and state that this interception is unacceptable, especially in the face of long standing prohibitive data and an ongoing responsibility to protect these fish. Not just so you can fish them, but so they can exist.

Write to these representatives of the relevant organizations in charge and make it known that money is not the only conservation objective of worth in BC. This is something you can do.

By mail and email (can be sent without stamps to the MP’s listed)

The Honorable Gail Shea

Canadian Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Room 556, Confederation Building
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Mr. Matthew King

Canadian Deputy Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Centennial Towers
200 Kent St., 15th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6

The Honorable Randy Kamp

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

The Honorable Robert Chisholm

Canadian Opposition Critic to the Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans

774 Confederation Building
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A6

Matthew King
Deputy Fisheries Minister of Canada
Centennial Towers
200 Kent Street, 15th Floor
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6

Regional Director General of DFO Pacific Susan Farlinger:,

Regional Director DFO Pacific Rebecca Reid:,

Director of Resource Management Program Delivery DFO Pacific Paul Ryall:,

Area Director South Coast DFO Pacific Andrew Thomson:

Area Director Lower Fraser DFO Pacific Jennifer Nener:

Area Director Interior DFO Pacific Stu Cartwright:

Barbara Mueller, Resource Manager Lower Fraser Area DFO Pacific:

Another thing you can do is join the steelhead society of BC, they are very passionate about this river and it’s unique race of steelhead.

Recreational fishing is not the issue here, no matter what side you sit on that debate, get involved

So, don’t let apathy reign and get writing already.

October FOTM: White rolled muddler

October here on the coast is both the time of both warm days, low clear rivers and of downpours and turbid, swollen streams. It is also the time of big aggressive fall trout (not limited to sea run cutthroat, but also including browns, bulls, rainbows, steelhead and occasionally an aggressive coho or chum). The rolled muddler is a sea run staple, and this is just a simple variation that is tooled to the time of year when many thankfully don’t fish sea run cutthroat. It works very well in coloured water and dark bottomed or tannin streams with lots of woody debris. This fly is intended and often does trigger an aggressive response from large trout who are usually intent on fattening up before spawning in the winter.


Hook: a streamer hook of your choice, the tiemco 300 series (6xL down eye hook) size 8 is what I usually use, smaller sizes a tiemco 5262 size 8-10

Bead: gold or silver or none

Thread: orange or red 6/0

Tail: distinctly barred mallard,  a small pinch rolled

Body: silver or gold flat tinsel, overwrapped in the opposite direction with same coloured oval tinsel or wire for durability

Wing: sparse distinctly barred mallard flank or other duck feather over top a couple strands of UV pearl krystal flash (or whatever you like) over top of 4-5 strands of yellow bucktail,polar bear, or mallard flank

Head: white deer or elk hair, trimmed fairly tight and sparse




I’ve caught a lot of cutthroat in October and November on this pattern, especially after a good rain, when the water holds some colour. Unless these recent death droughts continue to intervene, the big rains often hit the coast in October and most rivers transform from low, warm and clear brooks to rushing tea stained or even muddy torrents. These storms flush fresh water, silt, grass, dead racoons, cigarette butts, coolant, pesticides, beer cans et al en masse into estuaries where staging coho, chum, and of course sea run cutthroat lie waiting for that natal freshwater trigger to spark the exodus into their home river. Many fly fishers at this time wrap up their sea run cutthroat season to chase other lesser salmonids but this time is precisely when this pattern becomes most effective. Sea run cutthroat are very aware of what is going on around them in river and will hit stripped flies even with a couple inches of visibility, you just need to find them, which is no different than ever with this species. This is truly one of my fall/winter confidence patterns.

Strip this fly fast through that snaggy frog water my friends, and maybe you’ll find yourself with 20″ of angry anadromous awesomeness this fall.