The YFGA is working hard to engage and advocate for hunters and anglers. In this regard we recently put together this summary of the various outcomes of the 2020 Regulation Change Process which are now becoming public.
The 2020 process has been long, winding, and procedurally unprecedented. Mainly because the proposals for regulation changes were unpopular and contentious. It is important that our members now understand the impacts of decisions made: key documents regarding the decisions made – have just finally had ‘confidentiality waived’ by Pauline Frost, Minister of Environment and are available for our review.
These decisions need to come to light for Yukoners in much more clarity. In that regard, I will briefly (as possible) share some of the important details with you here.
The outcome and correspondence for all 14 proposals is too much information and will take us some weeks to review – but I will summarize the critical pieces for you:
Adaptive Moose Management in the Yukon
The Yukon Fish & Wildlife Mgmt Board (YFWMB) recommended the following: The Minister set aside this proposal; and the Minister establish a comprehensive moose management plan.
The Minister accepted the YFWMB recommendation which sets the proposal aside for the time being, “leaving the door open for the development of future regulation proposals that use tools such as threshold hunts, registration hunts, and other instruments where management needs cannot be adequately addressed using our existing tools.
”The YFGA is pleased to hear the Minister accepted the YFWMB recommendation. The public overwhelmingly did not support this proposal.
Sustainable Harvest Management of Moose in the South Canol Moose Management Unit
The YFWMB recommended the following: The Minister set aside this proposal, deferring it to the next regulation cycle -; the Department conduct a new survey in the area; and, the Department reconfigure the Moose Management Unit.
The Minister response was to vary the YFWMB’s recommendations. Essentially the Minister will place the area on permit hunt with Ministerial discretion on permit numbers, along with a written refusal to allocate department resources to survey the area, and a decision to keep the Moose Management Unit configuration the same. The Minister has effectively disregarded the YFWMB’s three recommendations to not accept this proposal.
Proposal 2 was not supported by the YFWMB even after it was given the YFWMB’s utmost consideration – the YFWMB cite a fundamental lack of public support for this approach and considerable objection and concern by the public, RRC’s, Associations, and First Nations. There was very little support for this change. Only 21.1% of survey respondents found Proposal 2 to be amenable. As for harvest pressure, the licensed harvest has remained steady for the past ten years. This continuity demonstrates that the area is likely not being over-harvested.
The YFGA is concerned that this minister chose to go against the YFWMB’s recommendation – and although she worded it as “varying” the YFWMB’s recommendation – but in fact she actually ‘set aside’ the YFWMB recommendation. This is a problem, moving forward.
Sustainable Harvest Management of Moose in the Sifton-Miners Mountain Moose Management Unit
The YFWMB recommended the following: The Minister accept this proposal which mean putting the Sifton-Miners Mountain Moose Management Unit on permit hunt authorizations only.
The Minister accepted the YFWMB recommendation. The areas will become a PHA. Notably in this case the Minster of Environment committed department resources to conduct additional moose population studies for the Sifton-Miner’s Mountain Moose Management Unit. However, we are perplexed as to why the Department refused to allocate similar resources to address the same concerns on the South Canol (Proposal 2)?
Mayo MMU Moose Harvest
This change proposed to limit licensed harvest of moose in the Mayo Moose Management Unit (MMU) to a maximum number, per season, through a threshold hunt regulation. This proposal would also see a change in the season start date from August 1st to September 1st, in order to curb the early-season influx of hunters coming to the Mayo area from other communities. This proposal would also result in the requirement of harvest reporting within 72 hours, to avoid exceeding the threshold before the season closes.
The YWFMB recommends the Minister accept the proposal.The Minister accepted the recommendation.
Enable Sustainable Harvest Management of Hart River Caribou Herd
This provision would allow the Minister to modify harvest regulations for specific areas during the hunting season, based on current information instead of definitive non-discretionary regulations that provide no flexibility or adjustment abilities. This measure would utilize either a threshold or a permit hunt.
The YFWMB recommends the Minister accept the proposal as it is written. The YFWMB recommended the Minister utilize a threshold hunt for Hart River caribou, to ensure all licensed hunters still have an opportunity to harvest a bull from this herd, rather than making this a Permit Hunt Authorization, “which generally favours higher population centers like Whitehorse.
The Minister accepted the recommendation.
Change the burbot limits in Yukon Lakes to 3 per day and 6 in possession
This proposal, submitted by Environment Yukon, would change the current regulations surrounding burbot fishing in Yukon from 10 burbot per day and 20 in possession, to 3 burbot per day and 6 in possession. It would also amend the set-line license conditions from the current allowance of 10 hooks at any one time, to 3 hooks at any one time. The YFWMB recommended the Minister Accept this change, albeit with some modification so that it would only apply to ‘small lakes’ – the Minister seems to accept the recommendation but it is very unclear what lakes this will apply to and it is drastic reduction.We know that the department does not have the data to support this change for all Yukon lakes, and we feel this modification should apply to pressured stocks only.
There is a lot to unpack here, and it’s not all good news. There is much more information contained in the decisions and discussions between the YFWMB and the Minister on the remaining proposals that will impacts licensed anglers and hunters!
I urge you to support the YFGA by encouraging the Yukon Environment and the YFWMB to articulate clearly to all Yukoners on the 14 separate outcomes of the regulations change process, and why the Minister did not accept the Board Recommendation on Proposal 2.
The public now needs a single summarized document that outlines the proposal, deliberations, recommendations made, and decisions from the Minister, and it needs to come before any change is implemented.
We will continue to press on why the Minister went against the YFWMB and the vast Majority of Yukoners including RRCs, & FN’s on Proposal 2 South Canol.
Thanks for your ongoing support!
YFGA Board of Directors
This information is courtesy of the YFWMB:https://mcusercontent.com/…/YFWMB_2019_2020_Proposal_1…