We’ve reached the midway point of our fall field season here on the Central Coast. With a brief window of good weather we hiked the grueling 10 kilometers up to Koeye Lake to get a count of sockeye before the most recent round of storms battered the region. This summer we tagged 248 sockeye allowing us to estimate how many sockeye returned to the Koeye this year using a mark-recapture estimate. On Thursday Qqs field technician Robert Johnson, one man film maestro Ilja Herb, and I counted the mainstem of the Upper Koeye with Coastwatch’s William Housty and his crew. In two days of counting we managed to count more than 2000 spawning fish and resight 56 of our tagged sockeye, ensuring that we will be able to get a respectable estimate of abundance for this year.
After three nights at the lake we walked out in a torrential rainstorm and waited out the weather before heading back into Bella Bella today. With a short break in the weather forecasted for this week we will do our best to get our counting sockeye streams around town.
Earlier this week, an alliance of BC’s Coastal First Nations and the bear working group of the four Central Coast First Nations launched a campaign to put a stop to the wasteful and unethical practice of trophy hunting bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Last year, the 9 Coastal First Nations collectively banned trophy hunting within their traditional territories, however the province in all its wisdom refused to enforce the ban and has continued to issue tags for hunters who want to shoot Grizzlies and Black Bears. Now, with a beautifully orchestrated media campaign behind them and fresh polling data which indicates almost 90% support among British Columbians support banning trophy hunting.
**Also, a fun factoid, bear hunting generates less revenue each year than Christy Clark spends on her tax payer funded Visa card annually so the argument that this is an important part of BC’s economy rings hollow. Indeed trophy hunting runs counter to bear viewing and other ecotourism opportunities that are a rapidly growing part of the provincial economy.
Check out their website Bearsforever.ca to sign the petition, and this documentary about the trophy hunt and why it is so important not only for First Nations but for all British Columbians that we put a stop to the trophy hunt.