Ratified Minutes

Atrium Inn Vancouver


February 24 to 26, 2017


Attending:        Tracy Bond, Brian Smith, Jack Minard, Zo Ann Morten, Cindy Verbeek, Leandre Vigneault, Lee Hesketh, Elizabeth Hardy, Dianne Sanford,

Regrets:           Ian Bruce, Wayne Salewski, Jan Lemon, Jim Shinkewski, Paul Cipywnyk         

Guests:            Adam Silverstein Regional Manager, Community Involvement and Resource Restoration Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Government of Canada

Tina Chestnut, Stewardship Coordinator

Saturday February 25th, 2017

Atrium Inn Conference Room

0900     Chair called meeting to order

Agenda adopted.

The future of SEHAB

Discussion around value of SEHAB. General frustration around the feeling that we are spinning our wheels.

What’s good about Sehab

  • everyday people have access to higher levels of DFO
  • We are the voice of volunteers.
  • Advocate for SEP to higher ups.
  • SEHAB is a network - SEHAB could be an aggregator of the local issues.
  • Ministerial connections are being made.

Success stories

  • Round the table as to successes of SEHAB and our membership

Consensus – SEHAB is a good process and worth continuing.

Discussion around how to solve issues

  • Review terms of reference and contract to ensure they are the same.
  • Ideas for restructuring meetings to make more efficient use of time.
    • Meet 2 times of year re SEP issues and try to dedicate the third meeting to issues beyond the scope of SEP. Request to meet with minister’s office.
    • Saturday meeting we discuss SEP issues with Adam and guests, Sunday we tackle how to move forward on larger issues (not necessarily within RHQ’s circle of influence).
    • Have a standing agenda. Suggestion: Information exchange time (Stories); Program consultation (DFO gets feedback from SEHAB); Top 5 issues (SEHAB gets feedback from Adam/Tina or guest speaker) | Other business or strategic items.

Action item: Chair will suggest a format for next meeting.

  • Suggestion on how to provide more time in advance to be able to answer questions on both sides
    • Six weeks in advance of the meeting all SEHAB members submit roundtables to allow time to compile a list of questions and concerns from volunteers.
    • One month in advance of meeting provide Adam with a manageable list of questions/concerns with specific examples that we want feedback on at the actual meeting. Chair and secretary will work on this.
    • Three weeks prior to the meeting SEHAB and Adam will discuss and agree on speakers to be invited to the meeting who could inform conversations or answer questions about the specific issues. DFO will then work to have those people at the table.
  • In addition to the SEHAB meeting opportunities, DFO will help us get to the right people to exchange info and give us the chance to provide feedback on policies not directly related to SEP.
    • Everyone make sure you copy Adam in requests to other organizations so he can follow up and make sure we are invited.
  • Wild salmon policy people have committed to coming for next SEHAB meeting.
  • Being heard past RHQ
    • When there are site specific issues Regional office can be more effective and facilitate changes but we can’t expect to see progress at every meeting when it comes to the huge issues that involve larger parts of the organization.
    • SEHAB will take advantage of opportunities to meet with the minister, our MP’s and other officials.

 Discussion of round table issues

  1. Dike clearing and expansion and flood water management;
    • This is a habitat issue and involves Provincial Government as well.
    • Rationale that it is climate change adaptation is counterproductive. Taking away the rivers ability to deal with flooding by diking and higher water temps by clearing does not help us adapt to climate change it makes things worse.
    • Success story – Jack formed a committee with the city of Courtney who are looking at natural flood relief.
    • Success story – Lee is removing dikes and working with landowners to allow fields to flood.
    • DFO needs to ensure there’s net habitat gain from this work. Issue identified as a possible RHQ meeting topic.
  2. Salt and other road contamination
    • Issue both for streams and for wildlife (moose attracted to roads).
    • There needs to be management plans/designs where snow accumulated from plow off doesn’t go into creeks. Issue identified as a possible RHQ meeting topic
  3. Where/when does the authority of DFO/ Fisheries Act supersede development of streams?
    • Answer: If human life and property are at stake then these concerns generally supersede the Fisheries Act.
  4. Summer Low flows;
    • Issues – climate change (warming of streams), human consumption (for limited number of streams), related to flooding (lots of water at some times and none at others).
    • “The amount of water in creeks shouldn’t depend on the discretion of the farmers and their ethics.”
    • Cold water river – example –Biggest frustration for farmers – need water storage.
    • Resource suggestion from the Okanagan – Farm water toolkit – Best practices for water use on farms.
  5. SEP funding;
    • SEP is valued by Ottawa and funding will stay the same
      • CA’s remain in control of their local budgets and balance all the needs in their area within that budget.
      • Back end administration for DFO will be changing with regard to contracts with community groups but there will not be much noticeable change for the groups.
      • Two lesson plans in Stream to Sea programming are on oceans – this is new.
    • Success story – using fine money to restore habitat and enhancement facility upgrades.
  6. Prevention of habitat destruction/loss
    • Examples: Dike issues, lack of staff, lack of enforcement, creeks being buried by development.
    • Habitat is a federal process and SEP is regional. Will SEHAB’s voice be heard on habitat issues?
    • Consensus – we should not eliminate the habitat side of this board’s activities.
    • Habitat website: Fisheries Protection Program
  7. Non-ecosystem/stock by stock fisheries management, neglecting weak stocks;
    • Long term monitoring and impact to weak stocks from mixed fisheries need to be assessed.
  8. Succession planning for both volunteers and DFO staff,
    • Issues: Volunteers are older, short term volunteers are good but long term is best.
    • Unification of isolated groups might help (Ex. Hatcheries/PAR)
      • SEP community workshop and SEHAB do this to a point.
      • Supporting the group doing what they are doing is just as important.
      • Not everyone wants to get together. Some just want to get their feet wet. Others want to be involved in bigger picture.
    • Questions:
      • Could Streamkeepers modules be updated for a younger audience? Issue identified as a possible RHQ meeting topic
        • App – BC Wildlife Federation – Can report infractions and they will be linked to DFO & other organizations.
        • Sport fish institute and DFO creating an app.
        • Suggested looking at iNaturalist or eBird as example.
      • Could Eel grass activities be included in SEP programming?
      • How do we make sure there is transference of information to new CA’s/staff. Issue identified as a possible RHQ meeting topic.
  1. Lack of enforcement
    • Ongoing issue in some areas.
    • SEHAB will request a representative from enforcement be invited to the next SEHAB meeting.
  2. Marine transportation issues including pollution and invasive species
    • Context: Study on Haida Gwaii – 2 invasive “neochordates” – introduced with ballast water and natural movement of individuals.
    • Is there a possibility of banning boats coming into BC (context – zebra mussels). Other countries more strict about bringing things in. Would that work here?
    • SEHAB will bring to RHQ
  3. Volunteer Requirements for Funding Agencies
    • Context: Volunteer requirements for funding agencies are hard to meet in North because of lack of population for volunteer funding and matching funding. Comment – Community Salmon funding is for volunteers – there are other pockets within PSF that do not require as many volunteer hours.
    • There is a rating for the number of volunteers but there are lots of other ratings that might counter the lower rating for volunteers so smaller communities are not necessarily at a disadvantage. They always look at all applications.
  4. Lack of CA
    • Smithers has a CA Sunshine Coast is awaiting a CA they may be positioned in Powel River as there is already an office there.
    • Are CA’s budgets robust enough to cover large distances?
      • Answer: They have a budget and resources (equipment) that they can decide how they will use it – they have to balance what they give to groups and what to use for travel.           

DFO Reporting and discussion. 

CIP contribution agreement program briefing

DFO presented new contribution agreement process.

  • SEHAB gave feedback on how to make transition as smooth as possible.
  • Main message is that the back end administration is changing but changes to how things are done will be minimal and the amount of money available and the eligible activities will not change.
  • DFO RHQ will get SEHAB a list of eligible activities for comment.

SEHAB contract:

  • Status quo for 2017-2018. Contribution agreement once that rolls out in April 2018.
  • Secretary will make sure DFO has meeting dates and locations,
  • Chair will make sure DFO has agendas for each meeting.
  • SEHAB will make sure DFO gets details of travel plans.
  • SEHAB will make sure DFO gets updated membership list.

Oceans protection plan

  • DFO gave some preliminary details today but heads up that this is coming and it is really big.
  • PM announced 1.5 billion towards OPP – oceans are a huge priority for new gov.
  • Coastal restoration fund focused on shorelines and estuaries may be of interest to our groups.
  • More info:

Community Workshop - May long weekend.

  • Draft agenda was passed around. Lots of fun activities and great workshops planned.
  • Send donations to silent auction to Tracy Bond ASAP.

Fisheries Act Review Update on the Fisheries Act Renewal progress (ie: reporting back timelines)

  • Not discussed.

Update on efforts to increase low sockeye runs  with enhancement (ie: mid-upper Fraser River stocks)

  • Right now enhancement of sockeye is not supported until risks and trade-offs are better understood.
  • Sockeye Workshop videos online are a great resource to understand how difficult it is to raise sockeye.

Update on work to support DFO’s Stream to Sea Program materials with PSF funding

  • Ideas on how to support this but no decisions yet.
  • Schools can apply for under $1500 PSF funding stream for S2S tanks/program.

Presentation highlighting the successes of SEP from the volunteer community perspective.

  • A powerpoint is in process to share at the SEP conference by DFO. SEHAB members expressed willingness to contribute if needed.
  • Could have a request in registration package for pictures of SEP program activities past/present.

Groups holding own Aquaculture (PAR) licenses

  • RHQ will ask about this…as far as they know CA’s hold all aquaculture licenses. CA’s will continue to hold PAR licenses.

Are there studies done in BC that show that hatchery fish have a negative impact on wild fish?

  • Ryan Galbraith has been pushing back against idea that hatcheries are negative. There are benefits and draw backs and we have guidelines to ensure that risks are mitigated.
  • Seymour is an example of a positive influence of hatcheries – without enhancement the steelhead population would be extirpated.

Next meeting – Location: Courtney Comox. June 9-11.   

Sunday February 26th, 2017

Atrium Inn Conference Room

Call to order by Leandre – 0900


  • Does new contracting for SEHAB allow for the payment to be at the beginning of the year? SEHAB will bring question to RHQ
  • Our budget remains the same as always.
  • Discussion around out-of-lower-mainland meetings. Understand that there is a volunteer time cost to having out of town meetings for people coming from elsewhere. Discussion - Do we want to have out of town meetings two times a year or just once?
  • Next year schedule: June 9-11 in Courtney Comox. November 3-5 on Sunshine Coast. Feb 16-18 in Vancouver
  • In order to get ready for next round of funding we need membership list, and minutes from Monday meeting, meeting dates and locations, idea of cost for meetings. The executive will put this together for DFO.


  • Discussion around two candidates to take Jack’s place. Past Chair will contact them and invite them both to the June meeting as a trial for them and for us.
  • Jim Armstrong has stepped down with no rep at this point. Membership committee will follow up Chair will send contact for CA.
  • Elizabeth Hardy agreed to be the new membership chair Past Chair and secretary will send her updated membership list.


  • TOR and Navaids were reviewed and they seem accurate and up to date.
  • Alignment between contract and TOR should be discussed on Monday with RHQ. Chair will put this on the agenda.


  • Discussion around process for ratifying minutes.
  • Chair will add approval of minutes to next agenda. Minutes stay draft until this time.
  • Communications committee will work with Pat to refresh website and give comment.
  • Secretary will ask everyone to update/finalize their round table and upload or replace copy on basecamp by Friday. After that they will be put on the SEHAB website.

Southern Chinook – Ian


Working Groups


  • Conversation was held with Provincial government. Provincial said there won’t be action until after the election.
  • No action from DFO that we know of.
  • CA’s are still holding licenses now. This needs to stay.
  • Suggestion – make this a part of the CA roles and responsibilities.

Requests for meetings with Ministers (Leandre)

  • No requests since November.
  • Minister invited to SEP community workshop. Chair will send letter to minister referencing his attendance at the workshop and that we would like to meet. Chair will add request at RHQ to support a meeting to RHQ agenda.

Review current letters and discuss follow up

  • On basecamp for review.

Stock Assessment, WSP, Science, Data Collection (Leandre)

  • Sense that this is not a priority for DFO and science branch is going in other directions.
  • Possibly WSP meetings could be venue for furthering the discussion. Chair will explore this on Monday at WSP meeting.

Develop agenda for RHQ meeting.

  • Done by going through compilation document. Is there an easier way? Chair and Secretary will brainstorm ways to do this more effectively

1200     Fill out expense claims and provide to Finance Committee


A.   Minutes from this meeting to be ratified at next meeting.

B.   Date next meeting:  June 9-11

C.   Invitation to build agenda by:

D.   Draft agenda due on: