Protecting our outdoor heritage and conserving our precious natural resources since 1919
“I give my pledge as a Canadian to faithfully save from waste the natural resources of my country, its soils and minerals, its forests, water and wildlife.”
Deeds Speak. A genuine conservationist is one who actively participates in our great outdoors and has a moral mission to conserve its fish and wildlife and their habitats. We, at the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association are committed to ensuring the healthy survival and abundance of our fish and wildlife for generations to come. Through voluntary participation in stewardship programs, providing statistical wildlife data, educating others to respect our natural resources, and donating to conservation, we are giving back to the very thing that we hold so dear.
Our philosophy is to share our projects through partnership with government, non-government organizations and other groups in our community. This provides key strengths in project selection, acquiring technical expertise, securing capital funding and confirming volunteer support. Furthermore large projects can be undertaken without expectation of massive commitment of our organization, both physically and financially.
This strategy has clearly improved our project scope and success. It also helps garner great publicity for small but highly worthy conservation projects and puts our organization clearly in the limelight. Descriptive signage and education are key aspects to our project selection criteria. By involving the landowners, the local communities and area schools the awareness of each project and its benefits are well distributed. The public likes to be involved in fish habitat and wildlife enhancement projects; often feeling a sense of stewardship participation as they merely watch the project materialize in the neighborhood. Simple awareness of a project and its worthy outcome often entices active public involvement. Successful partnerships require the close cooperation of all parties.
A sad new reality is that government has no longer got the available resources to fund and staff all the worthy conservation initiatives. Therefore, through partnership with industry, the private sector and non-government organizations conservation can still be achieved. By championing the Colquitz Creek Enumeration Fence project and partnering in several other Colquitz Creek watershed programs the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association is truly keeping to its pledge.
- Are you interested in becoming actively involved?
- Would your organization entertain partnering with us on worthy local conservation projects?
- Would you like to financially support our projects?
British Columbia Wildlife Federation
The Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association (VFGPA) have been proudly affiliated with the British Columbia Wildlife Federation (BCWF) since inception 47 years ago. The BCWF has a current membership base 40,000 strong and consists of 135 active affiliated clubs and organizations. This provides a strong united voice for all our members involved with conservation, fishing, hunting and the shooting sports. Protecting our outdoor heritage activities as well as our constitutional rights to partake in and have access to our wondrous province and all its bounty.
The BCWF supports and funds many conservation and habitat enhancement projects directly. The lobbying power of 40,000 members speaking with one voice provides credibility to issue resolution with federal, provincial and municipal politicians and their policy makers. Hundreds of thousands of donated dollars help maintain our heritage sports and our right to enjoy the great outdoors.
Membership to the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association has its privileges. You automatically become a member of the BCWF when you join the VFGPA. You also receive a subscription the Outdoor Edge Magazine. Our insurance package is “BCWF Approved” as well. This is $2,000,000 third party, outdoor liability insurance coverage that is vetted by the BCWF. Off-road use of an ATV is NOT included, but, and should you require ATV coverage, your affiliation with the BCWF will allow you to be eligible for premium discounts with Capri Insurance
Colquitz Counting Fence
After a government funding shortfall and vandalism concerns the early version of the Colquitz Fish Counting fence was abandoned in 1983. Originally built in 1973 the Colquitz counting fence was paid for with government funding. The manning of the fence was done under contract for some 10 years. Bob Langford, a municipality of Saanich employee, was the lead person on the original counting fence team. The original “temporary” structure was made from wood, however it lasted in tact throughout the first ten years of service and much of the frame of the structure was still present until 2001.
In 2001, the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association (VFGPA) – Conservation Committee, working in partnership with the Saanich Parks and the Coastal Enterprise Resource Centre (CERCA), sought and received funding to rebuild the fish counting structure.
We received a BC Government capital cost grant of $ 22,850 from the Urban Salmon Habitat Program (USHP). With our volunteer involvement, we rebuilt the fence and access footbridge. Adhering to the original fence design, Gary Taylor, the Project Coordinator from the CERCA, assisted by Victoria Fish and Game volunteers, reconstructed the counting fence with durable aluminum tubing. Also, a sturdy metal footbridge was built with donated materials and equipment from Victoria Shipyards Inc.
An in-stream work permit was duly issued in order that work could be carried out in the creek during early September 2001.
The counting fence was unveiled to the general public at the official project opening on 24th November 2001. The Mayor of Saanich, Frank Leonard graciously attended our event and cut the ceremonial ribbon to declare our project officially open.
Stewardship is an important factor in maintaining our urban lifestyle without the footprint of our presence crushing the wildlife and aquatic resource that are naturally present. Salmon bearing streams, that flow through built up areas, are very delicate and can be permanently affected by many problems related to urbanization. As part of our hands on initiative to help preserve our beautiful local urban waterways, the
Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association participated through partnership in the Colquitz Creek Quick’s Pond and surrounding marsh enhancement project. The VFGPA has provided volunteers to assist with the Colquitz Creek Quick’s Pond Project.
Quick’s Pond has seen a reduction in its wildlife and fish carrying capacity due to several factors. Some traditional species of birds are no longer frequenting the area and the water conditions in the pond are no longer optimum for rearing Coho Salmon. A species of Canary Reed Grass has invaded the marsh, is choking out other native species and reducing the ponds size.
The work that has been done to rehabilitate the Quick’s Pond will return this delicate ecosystem to its former state. The Victoria Fish and Game Volunteers participated in a partnered project to install 3 channels between the traditional creek and the pond itself allowing water to once again flow between the pond and the creek. Also, extensive riparian planting (trees and shrubs) has been undertaken around the channeled area to re-instate the native species and thus create shaded areas that should steadily reduce the Canary Reed Grass.
The efforts of our volunteers and other groups who partnered in this two phase project will bring long beneficial results to the Quick’s Pond, and as the Coho Salmon wintering habitat improves we should see increased numbers of Coho return to the Colquitz Creek system. Our Colquitz Counting Fence should assist greatly in monitoring the Coho Salmon numbers both adult and juveniles.
The Goldstream Hatchery, today a leading provider of salmonid brood stock for local watersheds, was originally founded and run by the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association. As a result of the vision and tireless efforts of Howard English, a prominent member of the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association, the hatchery and fish counting facilities were born. Many years ago the Victoria Fish and Game Clubhouse was situated at the mouth of the Goldstream River (the actual building is now the information centre and gift shop at Goldstream Park).
Now run by the Federal Government under Fisheries and Oceans Canada (FOC), the hatchery is a major aspect of fish culture on Vancouver Island. Mr. Peter McCully of FOC now oversees the annual operations of the facility. Much of the fish counting and egg taking done during the salmon migration in the fall is handled by volunteer efforts. Colin and Joyce Menzies, active members of the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association, are long standing volunteers at Goldstream.
Visit the Goldstream Hatchery Website
The Wilderness Watch Program is designed to assist federal and provincial resource enforcement agencies in their protection of our natural environment and its inhabitants. Under the auspices of these enforcement agencies, volunteer Wilderness Watch participants patrol rural “problem areas” within their region to observe, report and record infractions of environmental legislation. (eg. fish or wildlife poaching, pollution, vandalism, etc.). Wilderness Watch members have no powers to confront or apprehend violators beyond those of any other citizen. Rather, they are the extra eyes and ears so desperately needed by understaffed and underfunded resource agencies.
Vancouver Island Big Game
The Victoria Fish and Game Protective Association (VFGPA), in conjunction with the BC Wildlife Federation, is actively out in the field observing and reporting stock status of Vancouver Island’s large mammals. Elk, Black-tailed Deer, Black Bears, Cougars and Wolves are all present on Vancouver Island. As outdoor enthusiast, we are committed to the correct management of these majestic creatures. Regular communication and liaison with BC Government wildlife staff promotes a better understanding of their abundance. This aspect of our organization provides us and the BC Wildlife Federation with the credible data to approach the authorities to intervene where reduction in abundance, disease or habitat damage become significant issues.
Many animal rights organization spout outright lies about animal abundance and present bogus science to further their agendas.
Conversely, we advocate ethical outdoorsmanship and lobby with true facts and actual historical field experience. The vital information we provide to government wildlife staff is of significant assistance for planning their management strategies.
- Liaise with and develop good working relations with WLAP large mammal staff
- Help Develop effective management strategies
- Lobby for improved stock assessment and management
- Develop statistic of Predator kill effects on other species
- Dispel myths that the general public hold by promoting awareness
Conservation Donations 2021
Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) ($2000) – This donation will be used to support the purchase of 49 acres of urban forest within the Colquitz River drainage in the area of Viaduct Creek and the Victoria Horticultural Centre. The property, known as Mountain Road Forest, is being purchased through the CRD commitment of $2 million with another $1.4 million to be raised via private donations. HAT is overseeing the private donation fundraising campaign.
Habitat Acquisition Trust
P.O. Box 8552
Victoria, B.C., V8W 3S2
HAT office: #202 – 661 Burnside Road East
Conservation Donations 2020
Vancouver Island Wildlife Enhancement Fund ($4000) – This donation will be used to offset the negative impacts of wolf predation on Columbian Blacktail deer populations on Vancouver Island. The money will be used to subsidize licenced trappers to harvest wolves in key areas where there is a high incidence of wolf/deer interactions. The Fund contributes $250 per wolf trapped and 48 wolves were removed in 2018, 18 in 2019 and 12 to March 07 this winter. Spring deer counts on the North Island in 2019 were some of the lowest ever recorded. This has been attributed to excessive wolf predation. Since the late 1970’s, wolf impacts have caused significant declines in deer numbers – firstly on the North Island and later on the South Island in the late 1980’s and 1990’s. Since then, deer numbers have been variable and inversely proportional to the degree of wolf predation. Ungulate deer populations on mainland B.C. are experiencing similar issues due to wolf impacts. Mule deer entries to the Wildlife Records Club of B.C. have crashed in recent years from the average number of entries per year previously recorded.
World Fisheries Trust (WFT) ($2000) – This donation, for the Portage Inlet Cutthroat Initiative (PICI) Phase 2, will further advance the work done during the 2018-2019 Phase 1. The VFGPA also donated $2000 to Phase 1 in 2018. This Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. sponsored project involves work on native Cutthroat trout within Colquitz River and Craigflower Creek as well as their estuarine habitat in Portage Inlet and the Gorge Waterway. The total value of Phase 1 was over $70,000 in both cash and in-kind contributions and included over 900 volunteer hours. This involved creating a shared database of maps, reports and an interactive map with information from historic reports and current information. The project also completed an annotated bibliography of over 30 reports and a literature review guide. Several blockages were removed on Colquitz and Craigflower and two river cleanups were done on Colquitz. They completed an instream spawning platform and a riparian restoration project on Craigflower Creek. Instream temperature dataloggers were also installed on both creeks. Phase 2 will be expanded, depending upon funding, to include developing a 10 year conservation plan for both creeks. Trial PIT tagging of Craigflower Creek Coho salmon and Cutthroat trout will track salmonid movements and survival in the watershed. Plans call for the completion of two restoration projects, one on each watershed, and continuing with stream cleanups and blockage (logjam) removals as needed. Water level loggers will be installed on both creeks in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. Three Streamkeeper training courses will be offered.
Peninsula Streams Society (PSS) ($5000) – This donation will assist the Millstream Fishway Project construction in 2020. The project will provide for the access of Coho salmon and Cutthroat trout to a further 7 km of habitat above the impassable high culvert at Atkins Road. The new fishway will create 14 step pools leading up to the culvert and add 12 concrete baffles within the culvert to aid fish passage during high flows. The total project is valued at $825,000 with about $675,000 raised as of February 20, 2020. The VFGPA donated $7500 in 2018 for the ‘purchase’ of one of the 14 step pools. As many as 700 Coho spawners have accessed the lower 2 km of Millstream aided by five small fishways (fish ladders) constructed around natural barriers by the Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association (GVSEA). The pristine habitat above the Atkins culvert is expected to increase the number of returning spawners to in excess of 1000 annually. Work is expected to start in March 2020 with the necessary removal of several trees to provide machinery access to the creek. Actual fishway construction will take place from June to October. Trees will be replanted at a ratio of 4:1 within the riparian area affected. Ralmax Group/Chew Excavating will be doing the construction work.
Sooke Salmon Enhancement Society (SSES) ($2000) – This donation will assist the Society with construction and operation costs of the new Jack Brooks Hatchery built in 2019. Chinook and Coho salmon enhancement efforts were formalized in 1981 with the incorporation of the SSES and the opening of the Jack Brooks Hatchery on a small tributary of the Sooke River. The original hatchery operated until 2018 but suffered from increasing water constraints in recent years. This water shortage reduced the number of fish they could successfully raise. Construction of a new hatchery facility started over the winter of 2018-2019 on the same property as the Charters River Salmon Interpretive Centre. CRD Water has guaranteed the Society sufficient water for their needs at the new site. The one million dollar plus hatchery building was operational this past fall. The SSES receives Nitinat Hatchery Chinook eggs annually and raises them at the Jack Brooks Hatchery before release to Sooke River. Since 1992, they have received Nitinat Hatchery raised Chinook smolts which are fed in sea pens located in Sooke Basin before release.