Sustainable Sturgeon Fishing

June 17th, 2019 | in Fish Stories
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Sustainable Sturgeon Fishing

Fishing With Someone Who Is Making A Difference In this World

I recently had the privilege of sturgeon fishing with a pastor & community leader from a small village in Uganda.  We fished the Fraser River, just east of Vancouver BC in Canada. Our guide, Yves Bisson of Yves Bisson Sturgeon Co. was happy to give back to someone who has devoted his life to helping hundreds of children in need in his community.  Michael has literally saved many children through his orphanage, school and dedication to the well being of the village.  His story is incredible, from living with other children in the forest during the Ugandan civil wars to working on the streets of Kampala, to where he is now.

Catch & Release is not a common fishing practice in many areas of the world.  Fishing is done to sustain human life – when every bit of meat counts.  Because of overfishing, the fisheries in these areas aren’t sustainable.  Many fish populations have been decimated, if not completely eradicated.

Fishing in a jet boat using top of the line fishing gear is a far cry from what is done in developing areas of the world, catching a fish weighing  at most a couple pounds.  You can just imagine Michael’s thoughts when his first sturgeon of the day was over 7 feet long, measuring from tip to tail fork.  And then after checking for a tag, we let it go…

The day was an amazing day for fishing.  8 sturgeon in total, with 6 of them over 6 feet long. Two of these dinosaurs were approximately 8 feet and well over 200 pounds.  3 double headers and 3 tired fishermen at day’s end were a result of our day on the Fraser.  Our largest fish at 8ft 1 had never been caught.

Yves is a strong proponent of the sustainable fishing industry.  He has personally tagged more fish than any other individual in the sturgeon tagging program adopted by the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society in 1997.

Mandatory Catch and Release of the White Sturgeon on the Fraser River was instituted because the sturgeon population was in danger of becoming extinct.  Since then, the population has rebounded well, proof being the great number of large sturgeon being caught today. Sturgeon start reproducing between 15 and 25 and can live to be 100 years old or more.  It is incredibly important to have a plan in place to ensure the White Sturgeon flourish and have their rightful place in the Fraser River ecosystem.

But on this day, we didn’t talk about politics, about Michael’s agenda in Vancouver, or money.  This day was about spending a great day with a great guy.  It was a break for him, when he could mentally relax (physically is a different story).  It was about the fellowship and I was able to learn a bit more about Michael’s heart and what he has done for his community.  A man of God, a man I wish I could be, a man with a bigger heart than most.  Thank you Michael for making a difference in this world.

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