DFO Re-Alignment of South Island SFACs

by Wayne Zaccarelli

The Victoria Sport Fishing Advisory Committee (SFAC) first met at their inaugural meeting held on September 18, 1996. They, along with the Renfrew-Cowichan SFAC,  represented recreational fishing issues within Fishery Management Areas (FMA) 18, 19, 20 and 121. The area covered included Saanich Inlet, Cowichan Bay, the Southern Gulf Islands, Sidney and Juan de Fuca Strait to Pachena Point.

DFO has split these two committees into three, as follows:

  1. Renfrew-Nitinat SFAC / covers FMA 121, 21, 22 and 20-1 to 20-3 (the area between Pachena Point and Sombrio Point)
  2. Victoria SFAC / covers FMA 19-1 to 19-6 and 20-4 to 20-7 (the area between Sombrio Point and Sidney)
  3. Cowichan-Gulf Islands SFAC / covers FMA 18 and 19-7 to 19-12 (Cowichan Bay, Saanich Inlet and Southern Gulf Islands)

The chairs of the SFAC’s each have a voting seat on the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB).  The exception was Victoria which had two seats – a second seat in recognition of the historical significance of the Amalgamated Conservation Society. The ACS was the initial and primary organization responsible for the formation of the SFAB in 1964.

Under the re-alignment of the SFAC’s, the Victoria second seat is being eliminated and transferred to the new added SFAC. This is occurring under protest by the Victoria SFAC.  These changes will take place in the fall of 2023.

The Amalgamated Conservation Society has operated continuously on southern Vancouver Island since 1954. The ACS has eleven member clubs representing about 6000 individuals as follows:

  • Clover Point Anglers’ Association
  • Esquimalt Anglers’ Association
  • Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association
  • Haig-Brown Flyfishing Association
  • James Bay Anglers’ Association
  • Royal Canadian Navy Anglers’ Association
  • Sidney Anglers’ Association
  • South Vancouver Island Anglers’ Coalition
  • Victoria Fish & Game Protective Association
  • Victoria Golden Rods & Reels
  • Westcoast Flyfishers’ Association