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THE RUNNER

Sq’eptset Syoyes Sth’o’th’eqwi

April 2021 • Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

Fishers working together


The Runner • April 2021

staff & contributors

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Murray LFENed Inc. and LFE-LP Executive Director Rosalie Hope Program Manager Vanessa Serroul Program Assistant Alli Di Giovanni Program Coordinator Dionne Bunsha Aboriginal Knowledge Coordinator Aidan Fisher Staff Biologist Ian Hamilton Staff Biologist Ashlee Prevost Staff Biologist Janice Kwo Staff Biologist Eden Toth Media Relations Gillian Fuss Emergency Planning Secretariat Coordinator Maggie Mazurkewich Emergency Planning Secretariat Outreach Assistant Leah Ballantyne RELAW Coordinator Donald B. Simpson LFE Inc. and LFE-LP, Economic Development Manager

EDITORIAL POLICY The Runner newsletter is produced quarterly by the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance. Our purpose is to inform readers about LFFA organization processes, developments and news. We will gladly accept signed comments, questions and opinions about our newsletter and will consider withholding contributor’s name if desired.

Individual articles from The Runner may be reprinted, photocopied or redistributed with permission from The Runner provided the date of publication and source of the material is indicated. Please notify The Runner if you would like to reprint an article. All community members are welcome to contribute thoughts, articles and letters to The Runner.

Submissions and letters should be send to: The Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance 3092 Sumas Mountain Road Abbotsford, BC V3G 2J2 Phone: 778.847.3323 Email: communications@lffa.ca Publication is not guaranteed.


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

in this issue 04 06 07 08 09 10 12 14

Message from the Executive Director LFE Inc. and LFE-LP Update Staff updates Relaw Matsqui Bank Stabilization Project Emergency Planning Secretariat Eulachon Assessment Survey Pacific Salmon Commission Employment Opportunities

In the old days there was a house on the top of Chilliwack Mountain facing down-river. The man who lived there had only one job; to watch for two silver bands on both sides of the river; millions of oolichan arriving. His job then was to run down the mountain to spread the word to other runners. People would come from near and far each year. The Runner endeavors to do this job once again, albeit electronically. -Ken Malloway, LFFA Chair

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The Runner • April 2021

Message from the Executive Director Reflection on the close of another year in the life of LFFA is cause for celebration. The organization is eleven years young and has matured to a place where we have two distinct regimes: Operational and Science. The latter includes Resource Management, Stock Assessment, Habitat and Restoration, Conservation and these are now the core of our primary priorities. The state of our salmon and the current crisis are the key drivers behind this focus and is supported by our complement of biologist experts who is supported by the operational team. The organization is now in a place to be responsive to most science and technical challenges that we encounter and transform these into opportunities and projects. Our aspiration to eventually construct and deploy a Centre of Excellence is next in line, perhaps with in the next decade of LFFA. Western Science is challenged to provide sufficient technical rationale to fully support recovery, rebuilding, and conservation measures to sustain our salmon stocks. This is challenged further with decision-making that is often driven by socioeconomics instead of conservation. Government programs such as the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) are calling for the inclusion of Indigenous Knowledge, but it is uncertain how it will be incorporated into Western Science methodologies moving forward. Lower Fraser First Nations remain hopeful that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People, Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People Act and respective Reconciliation commitments can bridge the gap between our Indigenous world view, the laws of Canada and the Province of BC. Our LFFA Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water (RELAW) project is close to producing their final report and will play a significant role in how the Nations can utilize this to implement our inherent laws in the context of current-day governance and management of fish, water, watersheds, and resources.


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

The sad reality is that we must recognize the salmon crisis is one that can not be addressed by any one government or Nation and that it will take full cooperation and collaboration of Canada, the Province of B.C. and First Nations to save what is left of our salmon resource for current and future generations. As we start a new fiscal year, efforts will continue to act as the convenor of Government, Stakeholders and Environmental NGOs in the Lower Fraser region. We must act immediately, unite, and implement as Letsemot – one heart and one mind.

“The sad reality is that we must recognize the salmon crisis is one that can not be addressed by any one government or Nation and that it will take full cooperation and collaboration of Canada, the Province of B.C. and First Nations to save what is left of our salmon resource for current and future generations. ”

I have had the good fortune of working with some amazing leaders and Nations during my eleven-year tenure with the LFFA organization. They have provided me with flexibility and autonomy to lead the operations based on the foundation of annual and strategic plans, and of course, sound constructive guidance and wisdom when needed. I remain inspired and motivated to work on of them, and the salmon. With Respect and In Unity,

Murray Ned | Kwilostintun Executive Director Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

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The Runner • April 2021

LFE Inc. and LFE-LP Update Donald B. Simpson, MBA, BSc-BM. Economic Development Manager (EDM) March marked an important milestone for the Lower Fraser Enterprise LP (LFE-LP), as we received work from staff at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) that the LFE-LP Expression of Interest submitted earlier in the year has been approved. LFE-LP will receive funding for developing a commercial fisheries enterprise business plan as well as a training plan. This has been the result of efforts that started in 2014 and will be operationalized in short order. LFE-LP and its Commercial Fishing Enterprise will be a separate independent entity from the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance, which is a not-for-profit society. Many thanks to the LFE-LP board members for pushing to make own-source revenue a reality.


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

Staff Updates Vanessa Serroul promoted to Program Assistant position LFFA is pleased to announce that Vanessa Serroul has taken on the role as Program Assistant. She has been serving as the Acting Program Assistant at LFFA since April 2020, and previously worked with the Emergency Planning Secretariat.

Vanessa grew up in the Xwísten Community (pronounced hoist–in, meaning ‘Smiling

People’) of Lillooet and comes from a long line of fishermen and women. In 1999, she moved to the Fraser Valley to attend UFV and since called the community of Matsqui

First Nation her home. Vanessa has a vast set of experiences in the administrative field that make her the perfect choice for this position. Congratulations, Vanessa!

LFFA welcomes Alli Di Giovanni in Program Coordinator position Alli is a lover of the natural world and those who live

within it, and is thrilled to have the opportunity to join

the LFFA as Program Coordinator and support the

wellbeing of Lower Fraser fisheries. Alli holds a Bachelor of

Environment in Resource and Environmental Management, and has a diverse skill-set that will be of great benefit to the team.

She understands that when working towards shared

environmental sustainability goals, collaboration must be at

the forefront of all decision-making. While completing her degree, Alli held the Referrals Coordinator role with her

local First Nation where she supported their work to

uphold Aboriginal Rights and Title through meaningful consultation and engagement

with various (and numerous) proponents. In her free time, you can find Alli up a mountain, doing

some backroading looking for a new adventure, and even attempting to set up a tent (it never goes well…).

She looks forward to growing into her new role. Welcome, Alli!

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The Runner • April 2021

Artwork by Ocean Hyland

Monday April 26, 2021 5:00PM - 7:00PM Hosted by the Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance WWW.LFFA.CA

All lower Fraser First Nation community members are invited to this virtual celebration to recognize the knowledge holders, leaders, artists and lawyers who have been a part of this project. For more information, please contact Leah Ballantyne at Leah.Ballantyne@lffa.ca and 604.378.1443

Register online at: lffa.ca/initiatives/relaw

CLICK TO REGISTER


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

Bank Stabilization at Matsqui Dyke Ashlee Prevost, Staff Biologist Considering the impending bank stabilization initiatives in the form of spurs along the Matsqui Dike (see previous issue), the LFFA has been commissioned to conduct an ARIS hydro-acoustic survey to assess fish presence and habitat use along the proposed construction area. This entails deploying our ARIS Explorer 1800, at five equidistant sites for 6-8 hours a day (1-2 days a week) along the proposed construction reach. So far, the LFFA has conducted 25 surveys since starting on October 16th and is planning to increase the duration of surveys from 8 to 24-hour sessions. We have also acquired additional funding through the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund to retain a biologist and hire two field technicians for this project. This funding will allow us to perform the 24-hour surveys and conduct the analysis in house. So far preliminary data, has shown the presence of migrating salmonid species and white sturgeon. By implementing longer survey times, we hope to capture more information of presence and use over different diel periods.

This work is extremely important as it is a long-term project to understand how construction of the spurs will affect fish presence and habitat use before, during and after construction. Furthermore, we would like to conduct a fishing portion of the program to determine how fisheries are affected by the construction of spurs within this area. It is our goal to assure that the conservation of these habitats and traditional fisheries are considered a top priority throughout the entirety of the project.

Pictured below: LFFA equipment at work near Matsqui Dyke

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TheRunner Runner••April January 2021 The 2021

Emergency Planning Secretariat Gillian Fuss, Project Coordinator and Maggie Mazurkewich, Outreach Assistant We are very thankful to communities for continuing to engage with us on the review and response to the Lower Mainland Flood Management Strategy (LMFMS). Since January, we’ve hosted two Tier 1 Workshops and two Technical Working Groups meetings to develop a response framework to Draft 1 of the LMFMS. We have sent a letter to Fraser Basin Council and the Province requesting time for further engagement and will be connecting with communities individually and regionally to assist in either a collaborative or individual community response. In any case, we hope to assist in developing a coordinated voice of 31 Mainland Coast Salish that advocates for community concerns, values and priorities in regional work that incorporates DRIPA, FPIC and OCAP. Meanwhile, the Province is undertaking a Provincial-wide Flood Strategy and will soon be releasing a Discussion Paper. Their work is being developed through an Indigenous Framework in collaboration with Alderhill Consultants and through consultation with EPS Chair Tyrone McNeil and First Nation communities across BC. We’re pleased to see this! The Province has indicated they will be delaying the modernization of Emergency Program Legislation until spring 2022, under the new leadership of Deputy Minister Tara Richards, in order to incorporate more learnings of COVID-19.

EPS has been working with 6+ communities on flood mapping work in partnership with Sto:lo Research and Resource Management Centre GIS consultants. We hope to annotate the maps with flood risks other than Fraser freshet and Coastal storm surge and sea level rise, to indicate gaps in regional risk assessment for further work and funding. Connect with us if your community is interested! EPS will be hosting a freshet workshop in April with FLNRORD flood safety engineering branch to develop Community Binders of flood risk so that appropriate response protocols and funding mechanisms can be put into place more efficiently during a flood event. In addition, there will be information on future training for staff or community members for the role of flood observers and assessors. Please attend or connect with us to learn more. As spring freshet approaches alongside with COVID-19, we all will be monitoring snowpack (currently at 115% of average) and weather conditions for a La Nina year, which call for a cool, extended spring. Communities are encouraged to be on flood watch! We have been organizing Collaboration Meetings with FNESS, the Federal and Provincial government to understand how best to direct funding and services to Mainland Coast Salish communities, especially


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

during another potential freshet and pandemic year. We’re further connecting with Indigenous Services Canada to progress funding for 2-3 full-time Emergency Program Coordinator positions to support communities within the region and to assist in the development of 911 mapping programs. We hope to assist ISC to engage with communities to identify how this program can roll out most effectively. EPS hosted a Leadership Forum, which indicated the need for increased leadership direction in the development of the EPS mission and vision, including getting a baseline understanding of community emergency management programs in order to collectively plan and develop an emergency management regional action plan. EPS hopes to begin this process through the MCSFRA project and we hope to establish a Leadership Table of 12-15 communities in order to guide our strategic direction. Lastly, we are grateful to you for the many letters of community support that we’ve received. Please contact us anytime with questions, feedback or requests, we would love to hear from you! Contact either one of us: Gillian Fuss at gillian.fuss@emplans.ca or Maggie Mazurkewich at maggie@emplans.ca.

These photos – and the cover photo for this issue – brought to you by last year’s freshet!

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The Runner • April 2021


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

Eulachon Assessment Survey Ashlee Prevost, Staff Biologist

The Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance annually conducts the only in-season Eulachon Assessment Survey (EAS) to estimate the abundance of the returning Fraser Eulachon population. This year we also developed a new program by implementing our ARIS Explorer 1800 (ARIS) in addition to our basal EAS. The ARIS is a hydroacoustic sonar device that collects real time footage of fish in the river. The LFFA acquired the ARIS Explorer 1800 last year and will be using it to conduct our new ARIS EAS surveys as well as develop a new method to assess the abundance of returning fish. In terms of the basal EAS, to date (April 11th, 2021) we have set the net 17 times and caught over 500 fish. These surveys will continue until the end of April. The ARIS EAS will start on April 15th, 2021, before the peak of the run and be conducted in conjunction with our EAS sets. This pilot ARIS program will be extremely informative as we will be able to view and count other species of fish present at the index site (Sturgeon and Salmonid Species) as well as produce a comparable estimate between both the basal EAS and new ARIS EAS methods. The LFFA also conducts Eulachon Exploratory Surveys during the month of February. These early surveys were initiated in 2020 as a pilot and continued this year. Overall, in 2021, we surveyed four index sites from New Westminster to the George Massey Tunnel and set the net 6 times at each site on a given survey day. Throughout the four survey days, we have collected a total of 72 fish, a portion of which will be sent to DFO for genetic analysis. Other fish caught will be retained by the LFFA for histological analysis. The information and findings collected throughout this program will be prepared in a manuscript for publication. We look forward to continuing with our basal EAS and commencing our ARIS EAS surveys. Stay tuned for the results of all Eulachon related work. Pictured left: 2021 Eulachon survey work conducted by LFFA biologists

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The Runner • April 2021

ESTABLISHED BY TREATY BETWEEN CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA MARCH 18, 1985

600 – 1155 ROBSON STREET VANCOUVER, B.C. V6E 1B5 TELEPHONE: (604) 684-8081 FAX: (604) 666-8707 www.psc.org

2021 Test Fishing Observers The Pacific Salmon Commission (PSC) is hiring for two seasonal Test Fishing Observer positions to assist in providing fisheries management advice to the Fraser River Panel. The test fisheries are located in the lower Fraser River and will operate daily to monitor the Fraser sockeye and pink salmon migrations from (1) mid-July to mid-September near Ladner, BC (Cottonwood) and (2) mid-July to late-August near New Westminster, BC (Brownsville Bar). Applicants must indicate which location they are applying for on their application but may apply for both positions. Please read the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications for these positions, the details are as follows: Duties and Responsibilities:

x x x x x x

Report to the test fishing vessel at a pre-designated departure time Ability to work flexible hours and 7 days per week Observe and record onboard catch and effort information Report catch and effort data to the Pacific Salmon Commission Collect biological data, including scale, DNA tissue, length, weight, and sex Facilitate the transport of biological samples as required

Qualifications:

x x x x x x x x x x x

Effective communication and ability to adapt to changing environments Well organized with a great attention to detail Must have neat handwriting Ability to communicate and clearly document technical data Ability to work independently Ability to identify Pacific salmon species Familiarity with Pacific salmon fisheries an asset Experience identifying and sampling fish (preferably salmon) an asset Valid driver’s license Access to own vehicle for transportation to and from worksite Boat experience is an asset

The PSC adheres to government guidelines and regulations regarding Covid-19 to ensure workplace safety. Wages will begin at $ 22.50 CAD per hour plus 4% in lieu of vacation. Interested applicants should email a cover letter and résumé with two references to Ms. Ehrmantraut at resumes@psc.org by 11:59 p.m. PST on Sunday May 16, 2021. Please reference the name of the position in the email subject line.


Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance



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The Runner • April 2021



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Profile for Lower Fraser Fisheries Alliance

The Runner – April 2021  

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