Fly Fishermen can Cast (a vote!) for Wild Salmon Protection

By: Daniel Logtenberg

In two weeks, British Columbians will go to the polls to elect the next government. Fish canít vote, but fly fisherman can! And anglers and concerned citizens can lobby every political party for effective policies to protect wild salmon stocks from the diseases and lice infestations that come along with salmon farms on the BC coast.

People that spend their fly fishing vacations in hip waders quietly scanning the eddies and casting for elusive prey, care deeply about the waters and fish they love. This means they are effective advocates and conservationists in practical ways related to the landscape, but as a group they are also thoughtful citizens that are willing to cast their vote in favour of fish.

Fly fishing and research also seem to go hand in hand; learning about the species and characteristics of a river, tying flies and checking out the gear and the best guides is a big part of planning for a vacation. While a lot of thought can go into the pleasant aspects of fishing, some thought should also go into the less pleasant parts? including the political landscape that has such a profound effect on the environment.

Alexandra Morton is a well known biologist who began her career studying resident and transient orca populations on the northern BC coast. Her deep relationship with the peak predators made her intimate with their prey, and since the early 90s her focus has been on the biology of wild Pacific salmon, and the numerous effects that Atlantic salmon farming along the coast has had on the Pacific species.

Her blog analyses the tack each political party has taken with respect to the issue of wild salmon on the BC coast, and she is sharply critical of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for their approach to salmon management. Alexandra started a petition in October 2012 on to pressure the current Liberal government of BC to act to protect wild salmon.

She was half pleased with the effect the petition had, and now with the election looming wants to take the pressure one step further. Alexís new petition Restore wild salmon, Ban salmon feedlots in BC will be a way for fly fishermen and other conservationists to let the parties know how important wild stocks are to British Columbians.

No one cares more than fly fishing guides and passionate amateurs for the species they love. Big rivers like the Fraser, Pitt, Squamish and Harrison need protection so that wild stocks can thrive into the future. If the fishing community casts together, the salmon have a chance.

Check out for more information!!

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