The History of Fisheries and Oceans, Conservation and Protection Directorate
1867 - 2003

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Fraser River - Chilliwack

CCGS Arrow Post - Haida Gwaii

High Bar ATV Patrol

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Serving Canadian's in the Atlantic, Pacific and the Arctic since 1867
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The Department of Marine & Fisheries was created in 1867 in response to the increased fishing activities off the Canadian shores by foreign powers (primarily the United States of America).

Started on the East Coast (United Province of Canada, Nova Scotia & New Brunswick)
1871 saw the Department starting work in BC

The Heraldic Crest

Originally, a codfish against a net on a blue-green background, bordered by ten maple leaves and surmounted by the Royal Crown · It is now a silver salmon, displayed on a fish net of gold mesh over a sea green background. The net is framed by a circle of gold rope which is flanked by four gold maple leaves on either side representing the Department’s eight management regions (1981). Underlying this a gold-edged green banner with the word Canada emblazoned on it in gold. The entire design is surmounted by the Royal Crown.

Organization of Fisheries Service in British Coulumbia, Canada

1876 Act extended to B.C., P.E.I. & Manitoba, principle clauses included:

Fishery Officers having magisterial powers
Minister issuing leases and licences
Salmon fishery coming under regulation
Sale of fish in closed time prohibited
Allow building of fish-ways
Navigation or fish passage
Throwing of fish offal, dead or decaying fish, deleterious substances and sawdust
into fish bearing waters prohibited
Setting aside waters for artificial breeding purposes
Illegal gear seized
Fishery Officers may convict on view, grant search warrants, pass over lands, settle
disputes as to the limits of fishing stations
Power to make regulations (Gov. in Council)
Finally named Mr. Alex C. Anderson of Victoria as Inspector of Fisheries for British Columbia

 Fisheries in British Columbia, Canada

1872 BC first officially reported as the fisheries are probably the richest in the world
Two large fishing establishments – one for salmon & other whaling in the Gulf of Georgia
1875  discussion about the destruction of spawning beds by gold miners
1878  Indian rights questioned – recommendation that Indians in BC be formally exempted
from general fishery law
1885  Fishing Licences initiated in BC as a result of the demise of the Columbia &
Sacramento Rivers
1887  Vessel Sir James Douglas patrols BC as a lighthouse and buoy tender
1890 Salmon fishery declines
1894  Fisheries Protection & Marine gets recognised & authorized uniform
1930  The Province is divided into three districts:
New Westminster (all of the Fraser River)
Prince Rupert (all of the North Coast)
Nanaimo (all of the South Coast)
1936  all hatcheries closed. Air patrols cease by departmental aircraft (started in 1927)
1944  Hells Gate fish ways recommended to be built
1952  radios put in Regional Headquarters patrol vessels to improve communications
1965-66 Divided Region into Ten Districts
1968 Whaling & Reduction Herring Fishery closes
1971  Area Manager concept instituted in Region – First time in History that Fishery Officers are reporting to non-enforcement management 1972 Roe Herring fishery starts
1976  Salmon Enhancement Program starts taking over from Research & Development Branch
1993 Department restructures – Fishery Officers’ duties in Fisheries and Habitat Management are much reduced. Officers become enforcement specialists.
1995  Area Manager concept amended to a liaison role
1998  Area Management concept reinstated in region

Lower Fraser

1876  three salmon firms in British Columbia, two in New Westminster
1878  Capt. George Pittendreigh first Fishery Officer of the lower Fraser River & neighbourhood
1890  first steam launch patrolled lower Fraser (row boat before)
1884 six canneries built, first fish hatchery built on Fraser River
1896 patrol boat “Claymore” year round on Fraser River. “Quadra” covers the British Columbia coast
1915 Assistant Supervisor (C&P) created
1975 Fishery Officers on lower Fraser are armed
1977 All Fishery Officers in the Region are armed

Salmon Management “BC 16”

1868-1930 No attempt to determine escapement numbers
1930-1934 Original report had categories of light, medium and heavy
1934  added letters: A =1-50     N = +100,000
1946-1950 added reporting physical & biological information
1967  duration of run changed from start, peak and end to: arrival in stream & duration of spawning S, P and End
1986 BC 16’s totally reworked to improve the collecting & recording of salmon data
1988  computerized data on spawning systems

Habitat / Hatcheries

1973 first regulation to regulate “accumulation of sawdust in rivers” in North West Territories (Saskatchewan)
1875 Discussion of destruction of spawning beds by gold miners
1884 first hatchery built on Fraser – T. Mowat in charge
1917 nine hatcheries in BC
1936  all hatcheries in Region closed
1944 Hells Gate fish ways are recommended to be built
1976  Salmon Enhancement Program formally commences – rebuilding of hatcheries



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