News in brief — April 6, 2018

Halibut limits

Stricter length limits are now in effect for recreational halibut fishers.

B.C.’s recreational fishery started in March with a catch limit of 421 tonnes, and the advisory board proposed a smaller maximum length limit for larger halibut.

That suggestion has been adopted, Fisheries and Oceans Canada said on March 28. As of April 1, the larger length limit for halibut is 115 cm, down from 133 cm last year. The length limit for smaller halibut will stay at 83 cm.

Recreational halibut fishers can catch one per day with two in possession — only one of those two fish may be over 83 cm long.

DFO notes that fishers must immediately record on their licence the place where a halibut was caught and its size.

Designer degree

Dorothy Grant, a fashion designer whose “Haida couture” has been making waves for 30 years, will receive an honourary degree this summer from Simon Fraser University.

Grant started out making traditional Haida weaving, basketry, hats, and button blankets before studying design and blending traditional Haida motifs with contemporary fashions.

Grant has already received the Order of Canada and a B.C. Aboriginal Business Award. Last year, a beaded, white deerskin wedding dress she called “Raven Takes the World” was acquired by National Museum of the American Indian along with the “Eagle Gala Dress” she created for the museum’s Native Fashion Now exhibit.

Not just blowing smoke

Aaron Williams’ debut non-fiction book Chasing Smoke has been nominated for a 2018 Atlantic Book Award.

Chasing Smoke is an account of Williams’ 2014 season fighting B.C. forest fires. The book held a spot on the B.C. bestsellers list for over 13 weeks after it was published last year. Now Williams may be able to add the 2018 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award to his list of literary accomplishments.

Based in Halifax, Williams grew up in Prince Rupert and has family ties to Haida Gwaii. Dozens came to the Port Clements Library to hear Williams present Chasing Smoke last December, and he says his next work may well be about Haida Gwaii.

The Atlantic Book Awards will be given out May 10 in Halifax.

Pack behaviour

A pack of free-roaming dogs recently mauled a deer in downtown Queen Charlotte.

Constable Kyle Ackles, conservation officer for Haida Gwaii, said the dogs tore the deer’s neck open, broke its back, and left it to die in a creek bed by 2nd Avenue on a Saturday afternoon.

“When dogs are left to roam and they pack up, they revert to that primal instinct,” Ackles said.

Across B.C. there is a $235 fine for owners who allow their dog to chase deer or other wildlife.