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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
we have a lake that some of you have come here to fish and one that is kinda special. this lake is being ruined by the fish farming industry as we speek. lois lake a damed lake that is the bottom to one of the 3 main drainages here.it is a big body of water that has lots of standing timber.it is also the last lake in the chain that feeds lower eagle river witch had a return of salmon earlier this year.
(eagle rivers back) .the lake has several species of fish that are important to the fly fishing community . sticklebacks and sculpin are smaller bait fish in the lake and kokanee are the next size up. these are the species of concern here. they are the food source for what may be some of the worlds largest coastal cutthroat trout !
X is a unknown number .ok ....fallow me on this one.
there is only X amount of spawning grounds .
X amount of food fish, eg. (kokanee) come from those spawning grounds .
so only X amount of cutthroat will be able to eat and grow from these kokanee.
this is the natural cycle of the lake...now...add Atlantic and pacific salmon to the lake and thousands of rainbows to the lake that come from a steelhead background. the lois lake farm due to pure negligents has "lost '' 1000s of these fish into the lake . the people that they get to work there are uneducated in the aquaculture industry...infact most have never had anything to do with fish at all and have no right to be working at a farm...but they like them that way.
we are not talking about going up and catching some nice rainbows that got out of the farm .were talking 5-25 lb rainbows that are every were. all ends of the lake, you cant go any were with out catching a farm fish..
you may think ''cool that sounds fun on the fly''? but what are they eating....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
lois lake fish farm part 2

kokanee,stickleback,sculpin,cronies,dragons,scuds,drys, leaches and on and on..basically all the food for the cutthroat is being eaten..im not joking or pumping this issue up more than need be.this lake is full of farm rainbows and you can't kill them and they limited the amount of salmon you can kill in a day!
CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS ! they limited the amount of an invasive species that we can get out of our world class cutthroat lake! so what can i do as a fisherman?
well i called jim roberts the bio holding the cutthroat file at the time. he comes up and i explain to him the situation and show him the lay of the land and take him fishing. i broke his cutthroat recored 3 times in one day. he listened to my concerns of lois lake.they were as fallows ;
1- will salmon and rainbows spawn and create wild populations in the lake?
2- will they eat kokanee and other food sources of the natural fish species?
3-will they move throughout the system and take habitat from the natural species?
4-will they migrate to salt water given the opportunity?
he was interested in these questions as well and the next time he came he brought aaron stodered the large lake bio with him and a bunch of minnow traps .we put traps in the feeder creeks and tried to catch a variety of baby fry to see if any salmon or rainbows showed up..we found baby salmon in a feeder creek after sampling only a small portion of the creeks feeding the lake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
lois lake fish farm part-3

so what did this do for the situation? well i was right they were populating they creeks and this gave them more money to do more investigation.we did a full large lake assessment ..all kinds of stuff water temps and depth ,set gill nets and dissected fish . i learned lots from the 3 days we spent on the lake. we also caught farm fish in the nets , and right now this the data that we collected is being processed . more will come from this but the government is very slow as we all know. so who is responsible to watch out that this does not happen?
mr Brian Barker is the "inspector" so i called him and told him about what was going on. he told me first that;
''no fish have escaped sense 1997 ''.
''if a escapement happens its between him and the farm and its not my concern''
''that he came here and there were no escaped fish and if i was going to push the issue that i should send him proof''
it goes on and on he is as crooked as the industry so i talked with the boss..same thing...so i wrote this letter it goes as follows

Nathan Demeester <[email protected]> wrote:

Hello bill this is Nathan Demeester or as you know me patches . Im very involved in the fishery in Powell river. ,i am private fishery consultant , I do brood stock for the Chapman creek steelhead program ,as well as collect D.N.A samples for several biologists from bull trout and dollies/rainbows and cutthroat . I give my time all over our fishery to make sure my 2 boys have these trophy cutthroat that live here in OUR back country for years to come . i say this so that you know that what i speak of, does not come from a place of ignorance. My message today is to inform you that if we as a community do not get some kind of responsible agency to look out for the wild fish of Lois lake soon, then we will take it to a new level of media and action to protect the world class cutthroat fishing of this area. After mr barkers rude and unprofessional comments on the phone..and then a few conversations with you i now understand that your office does not have any interest in OUR back country , or these spacial fishery's or protecting them as we hired you to do..Many more fish have escaped sense we talked last, there was a huge escape in the last wind storm of 5 lb fish that are all over once again . The fish have now left the lake and entered the river below. witch was all resident trout water till now . They were caught in the salt water along the shore between Lois river mouth and Lang creek and have been caught in the first few pools of Lang. this is your offices job !If you can do your job then we will find some agency that will. Mr barker took an oath . thats on the net as public record .stop defending the farm and farmer and do your job. I had aaron stodered the large lake biologist hear last year and we did a full large lake assessment of Lois and found farm fish . The local takle shop is covered in pictures of these farm fish. My 5 and 9 year old catch them, so why does your office pretend that they are not there? THEY POSE A THREAT TO THE FISHERY . And now we have video , pictures ,data and a very pist off community . We have the 'friends of eagle river' and the Georgia striate alliance .Im going to put this story on every fishing site on the inter net and u tube. Im going to call up every favor ,debt ,and persons that can make a difference in this situation . I told you guys whats going on and its not my job to prove the incompetents of the farm or farmer. ITS YOUR OFFICES AND ITS TIME YOU DO! Im sending a copy of this letter to every one that has an interest . If you care to help this situation then i am hear to help you....if your interest is only that of the farm and farmer . then we will find an agency that will live up to there responsibility and we will protect whats ours. I have 2 boys mr harrower...and they WILL guide Lois lake when they grow up and they will be catching the largest coastal cutthroat in world .thats what
i am leaving my boys....what would you have them fish [email protected] 604 487 0445
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
lois lake fish farm part -4

so all by myself i have caused a shit storm in all agencies of our government . that's 1 stake holder in our fisheries. there are thousands of us and if we all call the right number and right the letter that needs to be written , we can make a difference in our fisheries ....OURS AND OUR CHILDREN'S FISHERIES ! thats my stand here in my community and i need help ! these fish have made it to the sea now and we have no idea what could happen ..they have been caught on the beach and in other streams and have moved into other lakes .if you would like more info please ask and if you have been here fishing, then put up pics and tell your stories of fishing on Lois .if you are coming to target these fish call me or p.m me first and ill help where i can ...if you would like to express your concerns then call the agency thats not doing its job...
brian barker -fish farm inspector- 250-897-7550
bill hower- bio' for the office250-897 7547

patches.....keepen it real... and in there face.:beerchug:
 

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Comox Fishers

It seems that many fishers are heading that way to not only catch these fish but to see first hand whats up...we have been dealing with this crap over here on the East Coast of the Island for 15 years now and have to be expertly diligent to maneuver about all the BS sent our way by the various agencies.Please keep me posted as to what is about to happen...we havae much experience to draw from
C
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
my dad

my dad and his buddy went for a drive in the back country yesterday and stopped along the lake and dad took some casts looking for a cutthroat ,and they caught a farm rainbow in 10 sec......and cast and fish and cast and fish they caught 7 fish in less than a hr and left...i herd yesterday that they lost 2 whole pens in the big storm....i can t believe this is happening to my lake..........i need help documenting this problem ... remember that salt water farms have the 53'' recommendations'', not rules ,to follow ..(like they work) this is one of the few fresh water farms that supply all the other farms with baby's...there are no 53 recommmendations for this farm....its fresh water....with Brian barker on there side they can do as they please..
 

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please read

FYI read patches posts on this subject. You may believe that MOE is committed to protecting our aquatic ecosystems and ensuring preservation of our sport fishing opportunities in this incredible province. Read page 14 in the 2007/08 freshwater synopsis. This is good stuff pertaining to the control of invasive species. Why then are they allowing a commercial fish farm to pollute and release alien invasive species into a pristine wilderness lake system? There is a slimy algae substance and oil from undigested food and fish excrement floating around this lake and large numbers of farm fish escaping. The lake supports limited insects and invertebrates due to poor nutrients as is the case with most of our west coast lakes and rivers. Resident species have evolved to survive in these conditions. This lake chain supports resident kokanee and some of the largest cutthroat trout in the world. These alien rainbow/steelhead are throughout Lois lake and can easily spread throughout the whole chain. The farm also grows atlantics and coho. Native species cant compete with large numbers of introduced predators.
These lakes are part of the world renowned Powell Lakes Canoe Route situated in a unique wilderness area close to the urban centers of B.C. This area deserves more than exploitation by these type of Commercial ventures. This is an aspect of the fish farm industry that no one hears about. If you have fished lois Lake and caught any of these fish please report by phoning 1 877 952-7277
 

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Hi Patches, would like to buy you a coffee and talk more about this K.

Over the last three years of Lois lake fishing, when out with my son he's spotted (as only a young boy exploring the shore line can) fish twice aimlessly bumping along in 3 feet of water. The last was just off shore from that big junk pile that includes that bus/trailer, and it was big, at least 5-8 lbs. Both fish definitely appeared to be cutthroat, dark and well spotted, with white/grey fungus patches (no pun intended) covering 20-40% of their body. It sadden us watching these native fish suffering like that.

Kev
 

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hmmm, quite disturbing indeed.
Keep us posted. If I can remember, I'll pass on these concerns to faculty at VIU's Fish & Aqua faculty as well.

Oh, and if you want to make a splash in the spring, there is a big conference for the AFS (American Fisheris Society) coming up. Perhaps a good place to as questions, get support etc. Their North Western groups is mostly BC, so don't be scared off by it's "American-ness".

Here's the basics on the conference:

The American Fisheries Society (AFS) is the world's oldest (started in 1870) and largest organization dedicated to strengthening the fisheries profession, advancing fisheries science, and conserving fisheries resources. Many people are familiar with the AFS journals such as Transactions of the American Fisheries Society and the North American Journal of Fisheries Management as a venue for publishing their high quality fisheries research work. However, the AFS is also involved in supporting numerous activities in North America and around the world. The upcoming Annual General meeting is to be held at the Vancouver Island Conference Center, Nanaimo, March 2-4 2010, and an introduction to the Parent Society meeting in Seattle 2011.
 
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Some facts

I have been very interested in reading this thread, and decided to give some facts about Lois Lake ( Eagle River ) system. First, FYI, there have been good #s of Coho coming into lower Eagle River for about 6 years now. My brother and I , who is a fishing guide in the area, have been catching them on the fly with good success for some time now. I should say that I have fished this area since I was 3 years with my Dad and family. I have also scuba dived this Man made lake ( Lois Lake ) many many times doing log salvage research for more than a few companies, from one end to the other, literally. This is where we should start. This is a MAN MADE LAKE. It is in fact invasive to what nature gave us to begin with. When you go down under, you will find literally thousands of snags clinging to the bottom and in fact are still there. ( I did a dive there very recently). Of course one will argue that that would not happen today, but that is a topic for another time. Onto fish. To say that Lois Lake is a world class Cutthroat fishery is simply not accurate. As I mentioned, I have fished this whole area, including upper eagle river, right up to the base of MT.Diadem, the lake itself, Freda Creek and so on successfully for many years. It is at best, OK. There are 3 lakes in the general area that are truly world class Cutthroat lakes. One of them, the best in fact, is so, because it is virtually untouched and difficult to get at. There you can fill your limit if you so desire on 6 to 8 lb fish every time you go. As I mentioned, I have dove Lois Lake numerous times since I was 16 years old. I have dove around the pens numerous times in my own interest as to what is going on in this system. I can say from top side and down below, not a great fishery, until now. At this point, I want to mention that I am not a fish farm fan. They cause a lot of problems which can be very difficult to put back in order and I am not in favor of them. This case however is somewhat different. Again, it is Man Made. I am surprised that you did not mention the accidental release of thousands of Coho some years ago. It was hard on this lake, but over time the lake took care of itself. Fish that do not belong in a fresh water system do eventually go. Interestingly, the Coho at the time did not have a significant impact on the food fish you have mentioned in your write up. I know this because I spent alot of time looking and watching where the feed actually live. Under the water. Now onto what is going on today. Yes there is a huge amount of rainbow in the lake. However, I catch as many Cutthroat now as I ever did, and just as big. What has me excited is the apparent development of a new Cutbow fishery. My brother a few years ago noticed something interesting happening in the Freda Creek spawn of Rainbow and Cutthroat. The male Cutthroat were pushing aside male Rainbows to get to the female Rainbows and of course Cutthroat. We now have both been catching many good sized Cutbows in the last couple of years and my guess is that many others have as well, perhaps without even knowing it. We brought a friend who happens to be a very good Biologist, and we are working on an article, with imperical evidence as to this new fishery. I can only imagine what the Govt. will have to say about all of this, but we all live in the real world, they live in whatever world they want to create. In any event, imagine, a man made lake that should not naturally be there, with a new species that should not naturally be there, to a body of water that has never been world class. I for one can't wait to bring my Grandson for his first fish in Lois Lake. Now I can teach him to catch Rainbow, Cutbow, and Cutthroat out of one system. Then within one hour, he can fish a truly world class Cutthroat lake. The future on this little speck of the planet looks bright.
 

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The current Lois Lake system was formed when the three Gordan Pasha lakes and the rivers in between them were dammed which left the two larger lakes we have now. It's not a totally "man made" lake, its been modified. The cutthroat have always been there and have survived the damming and early last centuries logging practices which were not any where near what is considered acceptable now. The rainbows from the farm have been introduced they are not native. If I got caught releasing a fish into the system I would be fined. I'm not gonna argue that there may be some other lakes around here that are a little harder to get to that may be better fisheries. But the average person can easily access the Lois lake system and with a little effort can catch some of the world's largest cutthroat. They don't grow that big in many places, as many of the guys on this site can attest to. There is a limited amount of feed for the fish in this lake, and if another species is competing for the same food there is less to go around. The cutthroat have grown to the sizes they get to because of what they eat. The rainbows are gonna have to eat the same things cause there isn't alot of insects in the system so they will eat the kokanee, stickleback, and sculpins the cutthroat have been eating. Justifying it by saying its creating a new fishery is just wrong in my books. I enjoy the fact that we can catch large wild fish that has surivived and would rather do so than catch some fish that was put there by man. Nothing beats catching wild fish period.
 
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We would all like to catch fish that are natural, from natural systems. The ocean is a good example. We all want to catch wild Coho like we did 30 years ago. We all want to catch Sockeye on the fly like we used to in Wolfson Creek. The fact is things change. We may not like it, but they do. You mention the Gordon pasha lake system, and that it has been modified. I am sorry but modified is not the right term. It is no longer there. What we see today, is, simply put, man made, no matter how you look at it. Should the Coho have been in that lake, no. Should the Rainbow be in there, no. Should there be Cutbow in there, no. But they are. The funny part of all of this is that all of you including myself go there and fish it. Patches, whom I happen to know, goes and fishes it regularly. This is not to put anyone down, but if people are so against it, don't fish it. This is the reality of it. Loon Lake offers better Cutthroat fishing. I go there often, and we do just as well there as Lois lake. They are just as big, there are lots of them, and it is easy to get to. Of course as I mentioned, if you want an even better lake, they are there. You just have to search a bit. Like everything else, when things do change, as with Lois lake aka. Gordon Pasha system itself, which again is not even close to its former self ( actually go under the water like I have to see the difference ), we need to enjoy what is there and make the best of it. Should it have happened, no, but it is now a fact. As mentioned, we have an apparently new and budding fishery happening as we speak. Some may hate it, some may not think it right, some may love it. But I can tell you this, every one is fishing it, including the one who started this thread. Everyone of course has a right to opinion and to express that opinion, but I say this respectfully once again, if one does not like it, don't fish it. For those who accept that this has happened and that it is not going to change , enjoy it, fish it. Yes we should be aware and do our best to make sure that we limit how often these things happen. But no matter what, in this day and age, as in the past as we can clearly see with Lois lake itself over the last 100 years or so, things are going to happen which will lead to change. In this case, I can only hope that in 30 years my grandson will be fishing this lake, with several options as to variety, and all of this chat will be hardly a memory, just like the Gordon Pasha system. Hmmm,, ironic, isn't it.
 

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This is an interesting thread.

While I understand that you're making the point that this lake was created from the damming of the Pasha lakes, and that change does happen, I have to disagree with your synopsis and approach to how we should handle the situation.

Just because the lake was created from human interaction doesn't mean that the ecological components of the lake should be neglected or tampered with. Rainbow were not an endemic species to the Pasha lake system, and they are an introduced species as a result. Subsequently, we should be concerned with the species that were endemic to the lake primarily - Cutthroat, Kokanee and the smaller bait fishes.

If the Rainbow and Coho don't appear to be having an impact on those species, then by all means we should incorporate them into the acceptable ecology of the lake; however, if the ecology demonstrates that the cutty and kokanee fisheries are declining, efforts should be made to hold the farms and government responsible for yet another loss for sportfishing.

And why the heck aren't they farming triploid?
 
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Interesting comments, but you need see from top to bottom several times, as I have,first hand to make a proper assessment of what is happening in what is now called Lois Lake. Again, as mentioned more than once, is it right that this has happened right from the start including the dam itself,, no. I totally agree with that. However, this is not the case. Now we have to take care of what is there and make the best of it. I think it is a little funny that some are now speaking out about it, even though this happened long enough ago that there is an apparent new species that has grow to maturation from all of this. Also if you read the top part of the thread stated; some facts, you would see that it has not impacted the amount of cutthroat in the lake, by many of our opinions, at least thus far. I know because I go and fish them there often when I want an easy day. I scuba dive this lake on a regular basis, now just to see what is going on in regards to bait fish and so on. Just the fact that I often see cutthroat down under is something. I will mention at this point that some years back I was diving in Powell Lake, another Man Made lake in the area. I was doing log salvage research for a company and low and behold found a gill net under the water with several cutthroat rotted, dead or dying. Unbelievably this net was set by an environmental group to study the effects of the pulp mill on these fish. I called fisheries and the local wildlife officer right away. Sadly we never did hear the outcome. I can only guess a behind closed doors deal. The fact is though, I truly do care about all of this. The harsh reality right now for Lois lake is that it happened and will not be able to be changed. Back to Lois Lake. This system,as has not been mentioned, now includes several large slews that were not previously there, and although not a great dive ( that's an understatement ), will give even the casual onlooker a good idea as to #s of bait fish, leeches and so on, that were not there before. The very fact that the system was changed, and dramatically, tells one right away that the ecology of the system has been tampered with. Yes I understand you mean the original life that was there,but the fact of the matter is that they were tampered with. What has happened now cannot be changed. Sadly perhaps, but fact. This is my point. So were do we go. We take care of what we now have, we watch, we speak, we fish and we enjoy.Should it happen again, no. Lets hope it does not. By the way Steve, or any of you from out of the area, get a hold of me and I will take you to this lake. Then if time, we can go to a few other great cutthroat lakes in the area. Just to fish, just to enjoy. It would be nice to throw a line in with some of you.
 

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And why the heck aren't they farming triploid?
I'd be very surprised if there werent farming triploid - it's more efficient since triploid fish tend to grow to market size much quicker and with much better feed conversion. Does anyone know for sure if there are or are not triploid fish? They seem to be standard in the aquaculture industry.

What is the company that farms these fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
It takes the natrual enviroment around a watershed to choose the bugs,bait fish,the fish and on and on. To inroduce any speices to a watershed will cause change. I have seen the rise and fall of the introduction salmon speices to the grate lakes and the steelhead and browns that in most cases have risen and fell back into a natural number of fish that can co exsist in these lakes.
But as the rainbows(steelhead genetics) are exspanding even now ,into the upper grand river of ontairo ,populations of this new area are in the 10 thousand rainge in a few short rounds of spawning. I was back in ontario for my sisters wedding just a few weeks ago. the creek i cought my first steelhead in ,was near by and i stoped in to look . I saw over 200 steelhead in 100 yard of the river! Its smaller than the creek by my home which on a good year gets 100-150 fish. and i live in B.C ?
But if you look at the grate lakes, there are not any smelt left compared to when i was a kid . and to say that the native fish were not afected is to put your head in the sand ...the whole fishing fleet of lake erie is dead. it happens on all scales. big and small. all these fisheries lost something when man introduced a new species.a natural solection that man can reproduce.
I fish Lois because i love the whole watershed.yes i taget the rainbows,they are in all the spots i used to catch cutthroat at ,and i will make it my life long project to study the effects of the farm on lois lake....bad and good. 20 lb rainbows are pritty nice fish to catch! As for the cutts ,the big fish are still at there spots that they always are evey year....but i have seen the numbers drop in bigger cutthroat ,and kokanee . The rainbows are digging redds in there spawning grounds. The rainbows have migrated throughout the whole system. they are going farther up creeks in the spring and crossing with cutthroat. to say its not a trophy cutthroat lake ? . well thats a matter of the fish we all catch.It may be man made, but to intoduce differant stains of rainbow,steelhead,coho,atlantics,chinook. should be a concern to all fishers and forms of government that are affected.
I would get fines out the yinyang if i lost some bass or carp into the lake . they loose fish daily . There are thousands of new fish in the lake what do they eat? well, kokanee, food of the kokanee.leaches,stickle backs ,there are wild coho in the lake now.thats a fact .We (the ministry of the enviroment and myself)traped some in minnow traps in smaller streams . what do you think they eat? they eat bugs that are for kokanee and cutthroat fry . The farm does not want to loose fish , this i understand ,its not in there intrest.so they need to clean up there act. but if you look around the world ,show me a fish farm that is co-exsisting with wild stock ,without any negitive impacts? you cant.so its going to change as you said, this much we know . If your fine with the farm loosing fish into lois,than you should join me and also push to have the farm clip all fish so people may retain the rainbows and lesson the impact that the farm is haveing . why do you need a freash water salmon tag to keep a atlantic or coho from the lake?why a limet on farm fish at all?
This whole thing is totaly not in acordance with the wild fish policy, where wild fish would be given to priority.
the fact is ....they are still looseing fish. and intill it stops . we as stakholders in the fishery should always be watch dogs on big industry that can have huge impact on our enviroment. I want a goverment body that has the resposibility of watching close the actions of a freash water fish farm. that is not much to ask of my government considering the impacts of fish farms around the world.
it may take years befor we see the impacts of looseing all these fish into lois, we are still seeing the impacts of the dam almost a centry later .All we can do is try to lesson the impacts we have by conversing and discussing what we know,and making change in the way we do things,rather than excepting the change we as humans have on our enviroment.
midnightsooner i like all you points, and i love catching the big cuttbows to, they are a new wonder. i would love to fish and converse more, maby while fishing lois.or over drinks at the still water house.
There is they way thing are, and the way we all see it, but if we dont debate to the far left and right of these issues we will never find how to live in the balance.
 
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