Blog posts tagged in Silver Award
Posted on in Fisheries Projects
Quesnel Lake Tagging Program Receives Top Honours HCTF Silver Award winner Lee Wiliston's project was recently featured in the 2016 Cariboo-Chilcotin Fishing Guide. Angie Mindus, editor of the Williams Lake Tribune, wrote the following article about the Quesnel Lake tagging program, and has kindly agreed to let us republish the story here.   High-Tech Tagging Program Unravels Mysteries of Quesnel Lake   A five-year study examining the effects of angling pressures on resident rainbow, bull and lake trout in Quesnel Lake has netted a prestigious provincial award, accolades from professionals in the field and critical information to ensure the long-term survival of the species. The Quesnel Lake fish tagging program, which was launched in 2013 in response to public reports of improved fish numbers in the lake and requests to review the restricted fishing regulations, is entering its fourth year and relies on a winning combination of a high tech fish-tracking system and good oldfashioned reporting from anglers. Lee Williston, study leader and senior fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, said he couldn't be happier with the results. "The knowledge we have gained over the last three years has really exceeded all our expectations:' Williston said. "The number one priority is to ensure the long term sustainability of Quesnel Lake trout populations. But we also don't want to be unnecessarily restrictive. We want people out there fishing and enjoying the resource and the better information we have, the less restrictive we have to be." The study has shed some light on critical questions surrounding the different species, such as the species' mortality rates, use of habitat and sensitivity to angling pressures. To date, about 600 rainbow, bull and lake trout have been equipped with high-reward floy tags and released back into the lake where Williston's team have placed 30 acoustic receivers at various locations in the 100 kilometre-long, 525-metre deep lake. Of those fish, 250 have also been implanted with acoustic tags. When an acoustic tagged fish travels within approximately 700 metres of a receiver, the unique identification number, date, time, location and depth of the fish is recorded. "The technology available is incredible," he said. The method has revealed some fascinating preliminary data about the genetically unique rainbows, which are the main focus of the study, confirming that the fish will travel from the tip of the west arm at Likely to the end of the east arm in as fast as a week searching for food. "What we're finding is they are using the entire lake, which is amazing. You have a 50 centimetre fish covering a 100 kilometres -- that's impressive:' It has also confirmed what area residents were reporting - that the large, genetically unique Quesnel Lake rainbows were making a comeback. "For the most part, things look really positive. The size and condition of the rainbows has been very good. Their numbers have also improved in recent years, largely due to the increase of Kokanee, their main food source. But more study is needed to fully understand the exploitation rate of rainbows," Williston said. With help from members of the fishing community, who have returned 50 $110 tags on rainbows so far, Williston said they suspect the large rainbows are sensitive to overfishing, due to their aggressive nature. "They are a large-bodied predator cruising around looking for prey. They need a high-energy food source and they're very aggressive. This aggressiveness makes them highly catchable which can make it appear as though there are far more fish than there really are." Early study results from lake trout, on the other hand, led to the ministry increasing the daily quota of Quesnel Lake lake trout from one to three per day, after it revealed the species has a low exploitation rate. The study is also providing some information on the lesser known, more illusive bull trout. "Bull trout are a tough one to put in a box," he said. "We are learning that there are multiple distinct populations of bull trout that use the Quesnel Lake system." Williston said the bull trout, which are strictly a catch and release fishery on Quesnel Lake, are a sensitive, cold water fish that require steep, cool streams to live in for the first...

Posted on in News
Clearcut Connectivity Project Receives Silver Award It was with great pride that HCTF presented its 2014 Silver Award to Dr. Tom Sullivan at the recent BC Trappers Association (BCTA) AGM & Convention in 100 Mile House. Dr. Sullivan received the award in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by his HCTF-funded project, Enhancing Marten and Weasel Habitat on Clearcuts. The project examined whether debris from clearcuts shaped into windrows could provide important habitat for small mammals, thereby mitigating some of the impacts of this forestry practice: you can read more about the project here . Congratulations, Tom, on this well-deserved accolade! The Silver Award was presented at the convention by HCTF Board member Don Wilkins. Don was recently appointed as the BCTA representative on the HCTF Board, replacing Mike Green, who regrettably had to resign for health reasons. Our sincere thanks to the BCTA event organizers for providing us with time on the agenda to present the award, and for allowing us to share some of the great work being funded with their members’ licence surcharges. The next HCTF Silver Award winner will be decided following this year’s Fisheries Evaluation Workshop.  ...

Posted on in News
Good Neighbours Project Wins HCTF Silver Award The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation was pleased to present the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) with a Silver Award for the Good Neighbours Project at their AGM last Wednesday. HAT is a land trust operating in Greater Victoria that aims to help citizens better understand and care for habitats within the region. Their Good Neighbours program assists property owners in meeting their land use needs while simultaneously protecting some of Canada’s rarest habitats. Each year, HAT focuses its outreach services on a different region of Capital Regional District. Their engagement of neighbours and students in science-based demonstration projects benefits local ecosystems and creates lasting networks within communities. The HCTF Silver Award is just the latest accolade for Good Neighbours Program - it has also won a CRD Ecostar Award. For more information on this program and how you can become involved, visit HAT’s website      ...
HCTF Presents Silver Award at Stewardship Evaluation Workshop The 2013 HCTF Stewardship Evaluation Workshop brought together an inspiring group of some of BC's leaders in stewardship and environmental engagement. Participants presented the results of their HCTF-funded projects, providing great examples of how licence surcharge money is being used to change behaviors and truly make a difference for conservation in BC. In additiona to providing an excellent forum for exchanging ideas about stewardship, the workshop was also a golden opportunity for HCTF to present a Silver Award to one of the participants. Board Chair Harvey Andrusak presented a Silver Award to Barb Beasley for her work in protecting native frog populations. Barb's project initiated the construction of a highway underpass system to prevent frogs and other animals from being crushed by vehicles while migrating across roads. The project may not have moved mountains, but it certainly moved highways and close to forty tons of concrete to create safe passage for frogs and salamanders. You can read more about the "Conserving Amphibian Populations & Connecting Habitats Across Roads" project in our project profiles section, and visit Barb's blog for a full account of tunnel installation, along with some recent project updates. HCTF Evaluation Workshops are held annually, alternating between fisheries, wildlife and stewardship projects. A full report on the 2013 workshop will be posted in our "Publications" page in the coming months, along with some highlights of project presentations. Thanks again to everyone who participated in the workshop, and congratulations to Barb on your award! ...
Urban Lakes Development Program Presented With HCTF Silver Award An HCTF Silver Award was presented to the Vancouver Island Urban Lakes Fisheries Development Program this week in recognition of its efforts to increase angler participation by improving fishing infrastructure at lakes near urban centres. Scott Silvestri of MFLRNO leads the project, which has already received over $75,000 in grants from HCTF, with another $54,000 committed for 2013-14. By bringing together local governments, granting organizations and fish & game clubs, Scott and his team have made great strides in improving access to a number of fishing locations around the island while keeping costs to a minimum. The Urban Lakes project is currently in its third and final year of funding. Infrastructure projects already complete include: • Newly-constructed fishing floats, ramps and trails at Durrance Lake, Diver Lake and Westwood Lake.• New fishing floats at Fuller Lake and Mayo Lake.• Repairs to the walkway of the fishing float at Chemainus Lake.• Development of a car-top boat launch for Quennell Lake.• Improvements to the boat launch at Spider Lake. Click here to view the locations of these projects on a map. A number of potential infrastructure projects have been identified for 2013-14 . These include: • Construction of wheelchair-accessible fishing dock at Blinkhorn Lake.• Construction of fishing floats at Colwood Lake and Thetis Lake.• Creation of boat launchs and fishing docks at Prospect Lake and Echo Lake. Observations of increased angler use at sites where infrastructure work is complete suggest that the upgrades and additions are working: by making fishing more accessible, this project not only has the potential to inspire new groups of conservationists through participation in angling, but also increase funding for fish enhancement and restoration projects through additional licence sales. In addition to this award from HCTF, the Vancouver Island Urban Lakes Fisheries Development Program has also been named a regional finalist in the BC Premier’s Innovation and Excellence Awards. The awards, which will be handed out in September, recognize exceptional work by B.C. public service employees and teams whose contributions have made a positive difference in the province. Congratulations, Scott, on your nomination: hopefully you’ll have another plaque to accompany your Silver Award in the fall.  ...