WORMS: New Environmental Mysteries
For fifty years this old WORM has been driving the Malahat on a regular basis. The reason for the weekly forays have changed dramatically over this period.
In the 1950s it was our regular fishing trips to the areas where there were excellent angling opportunities, and for 20 years these seasonal trips didnít change much.
From January to March we fished the Cowichan, San Juan or Harris Creek systems, or we might stop at Hallís Boathouse and pick up a limit catch of bluebacks. It was easy to take your limit of eight fish in a few hours of trolling a bucktail fly.
From April until September we were chasing spring salmon at the Mill Bay side of the Saanich Inlet where we either fished the bay or the ebb tide at Bold Bluffs in Samsun Narrows, with the odd trip to Qualicum or French Creek.
From September to the end of November was bucktailing for coho off Cherry and Whiskey points; and in the 1960s this was awesome. In the fall of 1961 there was 60,000 coho in the bay after the net fleet in Juan de Fuca went on strike.
In the 1980s a dramatic downturn in angling opportunities occurred. Catch-and-release for steelhead ended our January to March trips. The barren waters of Saanich Inlet and the closure of Cowichan Bay ended our April to September fishing for coho on the fly; trip after trip did not produce a fish.
We therefore turned our angling to lake fishing for trout, and the new hatchery at Duncan was supposed to be a factor in this.
Today in 2007 we pass the Dead Sea, as Saanich Inlet is now called, and look down from the view points where not a single fishing boat is seen. In 1950 you would have seen as many as 200 boats. Where there would have been 10 to 15 boats a mere decade ago today there are none.
We old WORMS have now set up a watch on what is happening in the outdoors, and we are now convinced that there is some unknown factor in process in the environment.
Other disappearances have scientists baffled. The most significant is the disappearance of the honey bees. Our fruit and berry crops, which have always been great, are down 75 per cent this year, because of the lack of honey bees. During the flowering stage there were zero honey bees in our fruit crop.
But that is not all. To keep the mosquitoes down at the lake we mounted a dozen swallow nest boxes. We usually have nine to 12 boxes occupied with families of swallows, and they nest twice a season. But not this year. Only three families arrived, and they nested only once.
There is something awesome happening which science needs to examine in quick time.
Cell phones became suspect in the disappearing bee problem, but the scientific community seems to have ruled that out.
Are the many satellite transmission interrupting the migration patterns of fish and wildlife. Are they becoming lost at sea or in the air?
We old WORMS watch many geese that no longer migrate; not a normal way for geese to behave. Have their flight areas been invaded by manís inventions. Who knows - keep your eyes pealed anglers, and watch for more strange
The Chief Nightcrawler