Protecting Recreational Fisheries
On June 18, 2013, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) launched the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP). This two-year $10 million program falls under the Government of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013, which includes the commitment to improve the protection of Canada's fisheries.
The long-term goal of the program is to ensure the sustainability and ongoing productivity of recreational fisheries by preserving and restoring the habitats of fish targeted by these fisheries in both freshwater and marine environments. The program aims to establish agreements with partners to support the common goal of improving Canada’s recreational fisheries. The partnership approach will make the most of joint resources, helping to achieve results that would not otherwise be possible.
The RFCPP supports local projects led by recreational fishing and angling groups, as well as conservation organizations involved in the conservation of recreational fisheries habitat. Activities that contribute directly to restoring recreational fisheries habitat are eligible for RFCPP funding.
First Projects Approved
DFO sent out invitations to submit project proposals and interested organizations had until July 12 to submit their applications. Each proposal was reviewed to determine eligibility. Government funding had to be below 50% of the project's total budget. Other assessment criteria included the project's expected results, the rigor of the work plan and budget, and the optimization of resources. Preference was also given to projects requesting between $20,000 and $100,000.
During the first call for proposals, DFO received 26 project proposals in the province of Quebec, 22 of which were approved for funding that could total $1.4 million over two years. In total, 104 projects were approved across Canada for funding that could reach $6.5 million.
Most of the projects that were approved in Quebec aim at developing spawning habitats, mainly for Brook Trout. Other activities include developing shelters, cleaning up and restoring streams and naturalizing banks. Some projects target other recreational fish species, such as the Atlantic Salmon, the Pickerel, the Northern Pike and the Smallmouth Bass.
Projects come from many parts of Quebec, including the Gaspe, the Québec, Montréal and Lotbinière areas, Anticosti Island, Saguenay and the Laurentians.
A second call for proposals is presently open and will closed on December 18, 2013. For information about the next steps, please visit the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program website.
Guy Anne Castonguay, Judy Doré and Alain Guitard