February 2006
Stock assessment on Haida Gwaii has taken a back seat to trans boundary rivers and the need for data concerning accurate run timing and size is off the DFO radar.  The consistent and accurate collection of stock assessment data has been reduced to a dangerously low level by DFO over the last 20 years.  Over the last 3 years fence counts, AUC counts, and the patrolman counts have reduced to an unacceptable level.   Please read Patrolman Pettigrew’s letter to the Minister and replies on the web site sehab.org.
However, on the bright side, the Tllel Watershed Society has forged successful partnerships to continue operating the only adult counting fence on Haida Gwaii. Supported by the North Coast and QCI Sports Fish Advisory Boards they successfully lobbied DFO North Coast Stock Assessment to financially support this vital project. Other important funders were:  QCI Salmon Unlimited, DFO PIP, and PSF.  Plans for the coming season include purchasing, installing and piloting a video counting system along side the traditional count with people. 
The planning team concept has not improved on the QCI/Haida Gwaii.  Before the advent of “New Direction”, restructure and Resource Restoration Teams, a yearly planning meeting with the Community Advisor, technician, engineer and biologist (the “planning team”) was held.  This included site visits to volunteers, CEDP facilities, hatcheries, fences and new projects for on the ground trouble shooting.  This planning has rarely happened since restructure. While the Resource Restoration Team may be doing good work on the North Coast, it has rarely benefited community groups on Haida Gwaii.  I believe that a return to a separate Community Involvement Division with dedicated planning teams for each Community Advisor’s area is a number 1 priority.  At the very least a region wide standard of planning should be established for all areas.  Perhaps SEHAB could offer this advice to OHEB.
Good relations between Hecate Strait Streamkeepers, Parks Canada, Haida Fisheries and DFO Community Involvement continue.  The Lyell Island Stream Restoration Steering Committee met February 13 to discuss last years program and plan for next years program.    Stream assessment, juvenile and adult enumeration, strategic, low tech stream restoration, and monitoring protocols leading to possible strategic reintroduction of coho is on the agenda. 
The Outdoor Ed program in Queen Charlotte Secondary will be in place again after a 1 year absence.  CIP will be supporting 1/3 of the program in cooperation with Hecate Strait Streamkeepers (HSS) with watershed assessment and stream restoration activities. A sister group to HSS the Island Hikers Association may also become involved with trail mapping and restoration.
The classroom incubation program has completed delivery of eggs.  Macro invertebrates studies have begun in Port Clements Elementary and will continue in other schools in
March. Other activities in all schools will include Oceans curriculum provided by Josina Davies.
Partnerships between Salmon Unlimited and the Port Clements Salmon Enhancement Club have been progressing.  Salmon Unlimited is investigating helping in the hatchery upgrade and possible funding for locating a coho counting fence in Masset Inlet (Kumdis River).
Community Advisor, Christina Engel, has forged a partnership between the Pallant Creek Hatchery (Haida Fisheries), Northern Trollers, and Hecate Strait Streamkeepers to continue the chum enhancement program in Selwyn Inlet.  The hatchery and camp at Sewell Inlet have been closed so chum eggs are being incubated and fry fed reared at Pallant Creek Hatchery.  NTA and HSS volunteers plan on transporting by boat to Dass Creek and releasing fry in April of this year.
The Ministry of Highways has partnered with Salmon Unlimited, DFO, and Hecate Strait Streamkeepers to improve culvert and fish passage problems along Highway 16.  This positive involvement of a provincial government Ministry has been very encouraging for volunteers.