REPORTING · 10th December 2013
At the Sport Fishers Advisory Meeting on Wednesday, November 27, a report was given from the Conservation and Protection. Brian Gyorfi was at the meeting and gave a point form report.
He apologized for the lack of a presence in Kitimat during the season. There was an amalgamation between Smithers, Kitimat and Terrace and several other small communities. The Department lost a supervisor and they officers were diverted around the region with the Skeena Sockeye stock in dire shape.
When they did come down to Kitimat, they found the community was terrible as far as compliance goes. “There were a couple of days associated right around the Coho Derby where every boat was a violation. We just… ticket after ticket. You name it. Over the limit, barbed hooks, everything,” said Gyorfi.
There were 93 violations during the limited time which they spent in the Kitimat watershed. 33 resulted in tickets, 54 ended up with warnings and 6 charges are still under investigation because they were more serious than a ticket could deal with.
There is one big change to violations. The public will be more informed about violations. Once a person has been convicted and paid the fine or go to court and found guilty by the judge, the person who got the ticket will be posted on a national website, along with the place of residence, the violation, the date, the fine amount and anything confiscated will be posted on a website.
The website will be used to raise awareness and create a deterrence.
Gyorfi briefly reported on the status of their boat, the Sane Fleet video and lodge violations. He explained the latter is one of the things they do not like to see, professional guides working for lodges in violation.
With the increase in industry development, the Gyorfi has put together a presentation so they can ensure the workers are aware of the regulations relating to the region.
Finally, they are setting up a mid-shore vessel patrol program replacing three boats with one, the Captain Goddard. It is a fast vessel manned 24/7 on the North coast.