Lawrence and Moby’s 2017 Year-End Highlights

While the late and stormy spring may have delayed the start of our open water fishing, it freed up time to do even more to plan, promote and celebrate outdoor traditions.

Lawrence’s Insights on the Environmental Commissioner of Ontario 2017 Report “Good Choices Bad Choices”

Did you know Ontario has an environmental bill of rights, and an environmental commissioner?

Marine-Management Plan for Canada’s Eastern Arctic

The Inuit of Labrador and the federal government have signed a deal that will see the Inuit participate in the development of a marine-management plan covering more than 380,000 square kilometres of coastal waters on the far eastern end of Canada’s Northwest Passage.

Rivers as Life-Giving Arteries

Together with Canada’s Department of Fisheries, Oceana Canada’s Dr. Rangeley and government scientists operated a 3,000 kilo remotely operated vehicle at depths of 400 meters, where they explored the bountiful thriving sea life.

What’s Causing BC’s Disappointingly Low Salmon Returns?

Greg Taylor, Senior Fisheries Advisor with Watershed Watch’s Salmon Society, provides a regional breakdown of the 2017 wild salmon returns along Canada’s Pacific coast, and shares his findings and conclusions

Lunker Walleyes from Fast Flowing Rivers

Fishing for Walleye in lakes is equivalent to downhill skiing on blue diamond slopes; doable, but not nearly as challenging and potentially rewarding as pursuing huge Walleye in fast flowing double-diamond rivers.

A True Canadian Grand Slam

Mathew and Kyla Owl were selected by the new First Nations owners to lead the transformation process and operate Ritchie Falls.

Christopher Pollon on the Proposed Site C Dam

The Peace River that still flows wild in north-east British Columbia is as unusual as it is beautiful, but that won’t stop its being dammed once and for all. Journalist Christopher Pollon has dug into the story including a canoe trip along the Peace itself, and still hasn’t figured out why is the mega Site C dam being built after all these years when demand for hydro in BC has been falling steadily for ten years.

The 93 km stretch of the Peace River is the last stretch still to be dammed according to a 1960’s plan that has already seen two dams go up 40 years back. The project itself was exempted from further environmental review, and a pre-historic treaty with the native groups that will be affected has given government the green light. But why?

Mega dams are expensive short-term infrastructure projects that may offer solid evidence of a political politician’s delivered promise, but in so many other ways they are as harmful to the environment and the people that live there in as they are big in size. Mercury contamination, habitat destruction, and in this case, the submerging of super productive farm land that’s unique to North America.

Yes, the Peace River flows north, joins the McKenzie River, and ultimately splashes down in the Arctic Ocean. It’s not a waste of perfectly good water though. The Arctic needs every drop of water it can get, given that technically, it’s a desert. Without water coming into the region, the Arctic could become as arid as the Sahara.

Nine billion can get you a lot of alternative energy without having to string up massive hydro lines. Think small local energy production. It may not be as sexy as a monster dam, but it sure can make life a lot better for people living in areas of the country not presently being serviced with green friendly electricity.

Just because we can, doesn’t mean we should; especially when we know all too well what the down-sides are, such as fish contaminated with mercury for decades to come.

Sport/recreational angling and native groups should all be at the table when taking fishery management decisions

My input on the department of fisheries and oceans ideas on-line forum was submitted Saturday, November 25, the last day of consultations with the public through this on-line tool. My input was that:

“All fishers, commercial, native, sport and recreational now have and use innovations that allow them to fish efficiently. All stakeholder fishing groups now need equal say on how fish stocks will be managed and shared. All have an invested social and economic interest in the health of fish stocks”.

When local people work together to manage a resource and do so using science along with their own local observations, the result can be far greater than when each works in isolation. A lack of communication leads to mistrust and a race to secure their own share of what everyone now knows is a limited resource. Its pure competition and survival of the fittest. It’s why all stakeholders need to sit down together and decide together how the harvest of a resource will be managed fairly, equitably, and with a view to the future.

Canada’s Fisheries Act is under review. The House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans is in the midst of a study that will offer recommendations to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard on ways to improve and modernize the legislation. Anastasia Lintner was commissioned by the Forum for Leadership on Water (FLOW) to prepare a formal submission to Standing Committee recommending changes to the Act to better protect fish and fish habitat in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River.

On a recent episode of Blue Fish Radio, I spoke with Anastasia about the importance of using protection zones prudently, the need to include both indigenous and local voices and knowledge at decision making tables, why ministerial discretion needs to be transparent, and the importance of putting back safeguards that were removed from the Fisheries Act in 2012. Link here to hear the interview live, or visit www.BlueFishRadio.com.

Trials of New Pre-Release Evinrude 150 HP G2 E-TEC Outboard

One of the perks of pro staffing for Orleans Boat World, Evinrude and Ranger Boats is getting the opportunity to test pre-release innovations like this new E-TEC G2 150 hp outboard. Hung on the back of a 2017 Ranger Z118 bassboat, it was a match made in heaven.

Jason Cox at the helm

Jason Cox at the helm

Fellow anglers rest easy, insurance adjusters back down. As tempting as it was to take a turn operating the boat, it was my buddy Jason Cox who did all the driving. The last thing anyone wants to hear about is a blind guy piloting a bassboat on the Ottawa River at 60 mph (LOL).

However, I can report that the throaty growl of this motor between 2000 and 4000 rpm is truly impressive. High performance all the way. Engine volume does taper off quite nicely making it easy to talk at rpm’s over 4500.

Having owned 250 hp E-TEC’s for the past four years, I was also more than surprised just how much seat-pinning power this new 150 E-TEC puts out. No sleeping dog for sure.

This is my second year running a 250 high output G2 E-TEC. Prior to the G2, I ran Evinrude’s E-TEC for seven years. Everything from a 115 hp on up. What amazes me is the fuel efficiency of the new G2 motors. There have been plenty of occasions when we put in under $10 in gas to top up the tank following a day of fishing.

Not only are the new Evinrude G2 outboards easy on the wallet, but the environment too. It may be a 2-stroke motor, but through continuously regulated oil injection, it’s the cleanest burning outboard on the market, and that includes the 4-stroke competition.

So, while my boat and motor may be big and fast, it can do it all with little negative impact. It’s nice to know I’m safe on the water, and that I’m not leaving behind a mess for the fish to put up with.