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Go Fish for Free in BC this Father's Day Weekend

Go Fish for Free in BC this Father's Day Weekend
If you’ve ever considered giving fishing a try, mark June 19 th -21 st in your calendar. Father’s Day weekend is also the 16 th annual BC Family Fishing Weekend, when BC residents can fish licence-free in many of the Province’s fresh and tidal waters. Close to fifty community fishing events will take place over the weekend, including free learn-to-fish sessions for beginners and loner rods and tackle. “These events offer a great opportunity to learn about how to fish in a fun and supported environment,” Michele Dusterhoft, President of the Family Fishing Society of BC. “The hundreds of volunteers who organize and participate in these events are passionate about fishing and about sharing their love of the sport with kids and families. They are keen to share what makes fishing such a great pastime.” The Family Fishing Society estimates that 25,000 British Columbians participate in Family Fishing Weekend each year, with approximately 17,000 of them attending one of the community events. Funding for the events comes from a number of sources, including grants from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF), Pacific Salmon Foundation and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic says the Foundation supports Family...
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Got Bats?

Got Bats?
There’s still time to participate in the BC Bat Watch program this summer. Bat Watch is a citizen science program that annually monitors bat roost sites in BC. Abandoned houses, barns, church steeples –even occupied structures – can provide summer homes for female bats and their young. Monitoring these “maternity colonies” helps biologists figure out how regional bat populations are doing from year to year. With the recent emergence of White-nose Syndrome in North America, monitoring these colonies is more important than ever. HCTF is proud to support this program through a grant to the BC Conservation Foundation (project 0-476). The “Got Bats” initiative is encouraging anyone who knows of a local bat roost to participate as a bat counter. The counts themselves are pretty simple: you’ll need to arrive at the roost at sunset, and tally the bats on a data sheet as they fly out for their nightly insect-eating. Ideally, participants will be available to conduct four bat counts per summer ‐ two between June 1 and 21 (before pups can fly) and two more between July 21 and August 15 (when pups are flying and exiting the roost). Completing all four bat counts will best allow biologists...
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PCAF Project Leader Honoured with Trail Dedication Ceremony

PCAF Project Leader Honoured with Trail Dedication Ceremony
On May 8 th , Prince George officials and community members gathered together with family & friends of the late Bob Graham to celebrate the naming of a new trail in his honour. The Bob Graham Trail is situated within Prince George’s Forests of the World park. The trail provides access to the fishing dock on Shane Lake, installed in 2012 as part of a PCAF project led by Mr. Graham and the Polar Coachman Fly Fishers Club . Bob envisioned a “city fishing place” where local residents could experience and enjoy angling as much as he did. In addition to receiving a grant from HCTF, Bob also secured funding from the City of Prince George, Polar Coachmen Flyfishers, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Integris, Canfor, and Sinclar Group, and helped coordinate the many volunteer hours that made the dock a reality. HCTF Board members Dr. Winifred Kessler and Don Wilkins attended the dedication ceremony, and shared the following photos: If you’re interested in trying out fishing at the Shane Lake Dock, it’s circled on the map below ( map courtesy of the City of Prince George: click on image to enlarge ). The dock is about a 15 minute...
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Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery

Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery
Wood Lake kokanee may not be large fish, but in terms of economic and social impact, the fishery is huge: worth an estimated $1 million a year—all put at peril when the kokanee population crashed in the fall of 2011. Dubbed “one of the last remaining high-effort kokanee fisheries in Canada,” it’s a highly-accessible fishery that yields a large annual harvest and provides year-round angling opportunities for people of all skill levels, notes Hillary Ward, Fisheries Stock Assessment Specialist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. She says conservatively it supports more than 15,000 angler days a year and more than $1 million in direct expenditures related to angling. Because it’s vitally important to restore the kokanee numbers in this small Central Okanagan Lake, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a BC environmental granting organization, is funding a plan to figure out what caused the problems and how to resolve them. Since 2012, HCTF has put nearly a quarter million dollars into the problem, and that expenditure has nearly doubled with contributions from other sources, in a project that is a collaboration of the Ministry, the Oceola Fish and Game Club, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the District...
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Precious Waste: Using Woody Debris to Create Connectivity Across Clearcuts

Precious Waste: Using Woody Debris to Create Connectivity Across Clearcuts
Clearcutting continues to be the dominant harvesting system across much of North America. Its environmental impacts have long been the subject of debate, but there’s a general consensus that this forestry practice results in a shift in the species inhabiting an area. In the years following a clearcut, grasses and shrubs thrive, providing browse for moose and deer. However, this short-term boon comes at the expense of some of the site’s previous residents. Furbearers such as weasels and marten depend on mature forest, both for concealment from predators and for den and rest sites in the form of coarse woody debris. On most clearcut sites, this debris is burned after harvest. But what if there was a way to prevent the displacement of some forest-dependent species by building habitat out of waste wood instead of burning it? We spoke with Dr. Thomas Sullivan of the Applied Mammal Research Institute about his HCTF-funded project examining whether windrows constructed out of waste wood could reduce some of the negative impacts of clearcutting on small mammals. HCTF: I understand that many furbearers are reliant on mature forest habitat, and will inevitably be impacted by clearcutting. Would you say your project is about making...
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