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Provincial Game Commission REPORT for the Year Ended December 31st 1956 British Columbia. Legislative Assembly 1958

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Provincial Game Commission
for the Year Ended December 31st
The Provincial Game Commission became a part of the Department of Recreation and Conservation on April 1st, 1957; however, this Report covers the
period January 1st to December 31st, 1956, when the Provincial Game Commission
was under the jurisdiction of the Attorney-General's Department.
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.
1958  To His Honour Frank Mackenzie Ross, C.M.G., M.C., LL.D.,
Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of British Columbia.
May it please Your Honour:
The undersigned has the honour to submit the Report of the Provincial Game
Commission for the year ended December 31st, 1956.
Minister of Recreation and Conservation.
Department of Recreation and Conservation,
Victoria, B.C., July, 1957. Office of the Game Commission,
Vancouver, B.C. July 1st, 1957.
The Honourable E. C. Westwood,
Minister of Recreation and Conservation,
Victoria, B.C.
Sir,—I have the honour to submit herewith the Report for the year ended December
31st, 1956.
I have the honour to be,
Your obedient servant,
Game Commissioner. TABLE OF CONTENTS
Reports— Page
Game Commission     7
Report of Game Management Division—Chief Game Biologist Dr. J. Hatter     7
Report of Fisheries Management Branch — Chief Fisheries Biologist R. G.
McMynn     9
Officer Commanding "A" Division  18
Officer Commanding "B" Division  20
Officer Commanding "C" Division  23
Officer Commanding "D" Division  32
Summary of Reports of Game Wardens in "E" Division  36
Report of Predator Control Branch—Supervisor of Predator Control G. A. West 39
Statistical Statements—
Statistical Statement of Revenue, etc., 1913-56, Inclusive  43
Summary of Total Revenue Derived from Sale of Various Licences, Collections,
etc., during Year 1956  43
Revenue—Sale of Resident Firearms Licences  43
Revenue—Sale of Deer, Moose-Elk, Goat, and Pheasant (Game) Tags  44
Revenue—Sale of Resident Anglers', Guides', Free Farmers', and Prospectors'
Firearms Licences  44
Revenue—Sale of Non-resident Firearms and Outfitters' Licences  44
Revenue—Sale of Non-resident Anglers' Licences  44
Revenue—Sale of Fur-traders', Taxidermists',  and Tanners' Licences and
Royalty on Fur  45
Statement of Revenue from Fur Trade, 1921-56, Inclusive  45
Statement Showing Pelts of Fur-bearing Animals on Which Royalty Has Been
Collected, 1921-56  45
Statement on Kind of Pelts of Fur-bearing Animals on Which Royalty Has Been
Collected during Year 1956  45
Statement of Firearms, Fishing-tackle, and Fur Confiscated during Year 1956  46
Cougar Bounties Paid, 1956  46
Statement of Bounties Paid from 1922 to 1956, Inclusive  46
Revenue—Big-game Trophy Fees Paid by Non-resident Hunters, 1956  46
Prosecutions, 1956  47
Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956  49
Statement—Big Game, Fur-bearing Animals, and Predatory Animals Killed by
Holders of Special Firearms Licences, Season 1956/57  50
Statement—Game-bird Liberations, 1956  50
Statement—Returns of Game-bird Farmers, 1956  51
Miscellaneous Revenue  51
Personnel of Game Commission as at December 31st, 1956  52  Report of the Provincial Game Commission, 1956
As frequently pointed out, there would seem to be every assurance, with increased
population, that there will annually be a notable increase in hunting and sport-fishing
pressure. The year 1956 has been no exception to the rule, because in this year revenue
increased $109,914.68 over the year 1955.
It is pleasing to be in a position to remark that we now have in effect a well-organized
game-management programme that, it is sincerely felt, will ensure adequate protection
for wildlife everywhere in the Province. In this connection, attention is respectfully
drawn to the reports contained in this presentation which have been submitted by the
Game, Fisheries, and Predator Control Divisions.
The policy of holding Annual Provincial Game Conventions has been continued.
In 1956 the Convention was held in Prince George, and was a most successful and
interesting one. I would like to take this opportunity of expressing my sincere thanks
to the Prince George District Rod and Gun Club and the citizens of Prince George for
their very whole-hearted co-operation and their unfailing hospitality, which made this
Tenth Annual Convention not only successful, but a most pleasant meeting. Speaking
of these Annual Conventions, I must again remark that in my opinion there is no greater
means afforded your game administration in bringing to the attention of the general public
our message of the constant need of proving the statement that " wildlife of the Province
is a very valuable natural resource that requires proper management or control, because
with such management this resource will not only increase in importance, but will also
ensure continued excellent hunting and fishing that cannot be equalled anywhere."
Over a period of years, information obtained through the seasonal operation of the
Cache Creek Checking-station has proven to be invaluable and of extreme importance
in our management work. As time goes on, similar stations in other sections of this
Province may have to be established. Until, however, these additional stations are
necessary, I have continued the policy of arranging for the operation of surprise- or spot-
checking stations in different strategic areas, and the results obtained have proven very
worth while.
As our population grows, so must industry grow. Such growth will present many
problems affecting our wildlife resource, but by employing proper management techniques,
and through co-operation between industry and wildlife-management agencies, many of
these problems can be satisfactorily resolved without any great amount of trouble.
The co-operation of all governmental agencies, including wildlife organizations in
the United States and Canada, has been very helpful and much appreciated. I am
thankful also for the friendly relations existing among game associations, farmers, and
other organizations, and sincerely hope that such cordial relations will continue in the
future. I am most appreciative of the outstanding work which has been carried out by
every employee of the Game Commission, and my personal thanks are extended to each
and every one of them.
By Dr. J. Hatter, Chief Game Biologist
Progress in game management was most satisfactory in 1956. One notable advance
was a marked change in the format of the Game Regulations and the establishment of R 8
game management areas.   The change from booklet to a sheet containing a map of the
Province and a synopsis of the regulations for quick reference met with popular approval.
In view of the many changes in seasons for the year 1955 and the expanded harvest
of many species as a result of this liberalization, it was felt advisable to consolidate our
position and not make further liberalizations for 1956. A comparative summary of the
harvest appears in a later section of this Report.
Another exportation of California bighorn sheep was made, this time to the State
of North Dakota. Eighteen head were trapped at the Riske Creek trap-site and transported by truck to the new position.
Looking at the operations of the Division and its small staff of keen workers, one
or more major considerations have come to mind during the past year. It is evident
that we are approaching a point in our work where the emphasis must be shifted somewhat more toward research. Since our beginning only five years ago, many of the
former obstacles in the way of better utilization of the resource have been overcome.
In most instances we have public support and understanding, which has been the happy
outcome of some very concentrated effort by the staff toward public education and
indoctrination with biological principles. For several years this phase of work held
priority, and the results testify to the accomplishments of our regional men. It is inconceivable now that a similar degree of effort will be required along such lines. Accordingly, it is my hope and intention that the activities of the Division should be more
productive of research and short-term seasonal projects designed to benefit the over-all
conservation programme.
Hunter Sample
The hunter sample and Cache Creek records followed the same pattern as 1955,
although I am sorry to report that the operation of the checking-station at Cache Creek
was not as successful from the point of view of obtaining detailed and accurate statistics.
of Harvest
of Major Game Spe
cies, 1954 to 1956
186.554 1188.000
1954        1955        1956
1954        1955        1956
South of Quesnel...
North of Quesnel..
Vancouver Island-
Mainland Coast-
Peace River-
Wells Gray Park  _
South of Thompson River-
Totals - _..
By R. G. McMynn, Chief Fisheries Biologist
Demands on the Province's sport-fish resources continue to mushroom each year.
Over 16,000 more anglers' licences were sold in 1956 than in 1955 (including both
resident and non-resident licences). Rapid industrialization in British Columbia will
result in an even more accelerated population growth in the next five years. Current
trends tend to increase the demand for outdoor recreation and particularly for sport
fishing. Under the impact of this fishing pressure, the Province's more accessible lakes
and streams will require more intensive management. As a result, an increased expenditure of money for additional technical and non-technical personnel and an expansion of
such management facilities as hatcheries will be necessary. The return from this type
of expenditure, both real and intangible, will more than offset the original investment.
In 1954 the sport fishery of British Columbia was responsible for an angler expenditure
of $19,000,000. The increased number of anglers since 1954 (119,650 in 1954 and
147,152 in 1956) has increased the value of the fishery to approximately $24,000,000.
The year 1956 witnessed a variety of productive management activities, valuable research
advances, many important fish-protection accomplishments, the full utilization of our
hatchery facilities. One of the more significant advances in the management of the
sport-fish resource of the Province was the initiation of a commercial and private fish-farm
licensing scheme, designed to control the rearing, selling, and distribution of trout and
other game fish. In this respect a manual was prepared outlining pertinent information
concerning the rearing of fish and explaining the need and reasons for the licensing
system. The scheme is working out remarkably well and has solved one of the perennial
problems of the Department.
Regulations were further reduced in volume, simplified in presentation, and made
more liberal in 1956. The point is now reached, however, where further simplification
cannot be undertaken; as a matter of fact, with increased knowledge of specific waters,
it is probable that there will be an increase in special regulations pertaining to certain
watersheds and perhaps even to individual lakes and streams. The ultimate in fisheries
management would be individual lake and stream management. However, such management is quite impractical, especially from the enforcement view-point at the present time.
The work of the Fisheries Management Branch is a co-ordinated effort involving
research, hatchery production, regional management, and protection. Each of these
phases, or divisions, is more or less discreet in that each is operated as a unit under the
supervision of a biologist, with the exception of the Regional Management Division,
which does not have as yet a biologist in charge.
In order to give as broad a picture as possible of the activities of the Branch during
1956, a brief report of each of the Divisions follows.
Regional fisheries management in 1956 placed an increasing emphasis on lake and
stream improvement projects, lake management through chemical treatment, pollution
abatement, obstruction removal, investigation of hydro-electric projects, and sound lake
stockings based on survey results. Public relations, or, more precisely, public education,
still consumes a large proportion of a Regional Biologist's schedule. This is particularly
true with respect to such management practices as the elimination of annual stockings of
large lakes such as Okanagan, Osoyoos, Kootenay, Slocan, and Arrow, the need for
objective and sound recommendations concerning the many fish-dam controversies,
coarse-fish problems, public access, liberalized angling regulations, " over-fishing," steel- R 10 BRITISH COLUMBIA
head management, as well as a host of other activities which are involved in contemporary
sport-fish management and which are often new to the sportsmen.
Competition and predation by coarse fish is still a problem in the management of
sport fish in British Columbia. Control of undesirable species is difficult and expensive
and can only be undertaken on the smaller lakes where complete removal can be
achieved. In these cases the resultant growth of game fish is phenomenal, and this type
of management provides us with a sound tool for increasing sport-fish production.
Rotenone-based toxicants, owing to their cost, prohibit the treatment of larger lakes.
Therefore, in an effort to expand this phase of fisheries management, experiments were
initiated in order to test the effectiveness of a commercial insecticide, toxaphene, in
coarse-fish removal. Each Regional Biologist treated several lakes in his area, and their
observations, when completed in 1957, will considerably increase our knowledge of
toxaphene. Should the experiment prove successful, our lake rehabilitation programme
can be considerably expanded.
Highlights of the regional management work are summarized below.
Lower Mainland
Mr. G. Geen, a U.B.C. graduate biologist, replaced Mr. S. B. Smith as Lower
Mainland Regional Fisheries Biologist. Mr. Smith succeeded Mr. I. Barrett as Division
Fisheries Biologist in Charge of Hatcheries, after the latter had accepted a position with
the International Tuna Commission.
Steelhead management and study continues to be a primary winter problem on the
Lower Mainland. Experimental smolt plantings are continuing. Returns in late 1956
were more encouraging than in 1955, but still make up less than 5 per cent of the total
catch. Evidence of considerable adult fish straying is indicated from early returns.
Some enforceable method of keeping track of steelhead-catches is needed, and this need
is becoming more evident each year. The Coquihalla steelhead investigation, financed
from the Game Conservation Fund, pointed to some pertinent facts, including the
observation that two distinct runs of steelhead, winter and summer, utilize the river—
the summer population in the upper reaches and the winter run in the lower reaches.
A decrease in the abundance of steelhead over former years was substantiated by anglers'
checks and records. The presence of a natural rock obstruction, particularly at certain
water-levels, seems to be one factor which may have decreased the size of the runs.
Tagging at the obstruction, which is only by-passed by some of the summer-run fish, will
be undertaken during 1957 to assess the extent of the blockage. Should results of the
work warrant it, steps will be taken to have the obstruction removed or by-passed.
Deer Lake, Burnaby, was treated with rotenone and a coarse-fish barrier constructed;
it will be stocked with cut-throat in 1957. At that time an attempt to restrict angling to
juveniles and old-age pensioners will be made by the posting of notices. The analysis of
catch-record books submitted by Game Wardens and resort operators was undertaken
again in 1956. The 1956 results have been summarized in report form. Average catch
success remains almost identical to that of 1955; that is, 0.63 fish per hour. In future,
catch records will be restricted to lakes in which specific problems exist or where special
developments are anticipated.
Vancouver Island
Marked increase in industrial demands for water on Vancouver Island dictated that
a major portion of effort be placed on investigations of water-licence applications and
their possible effects on sport-fish populations. These surveys and investigations involved
such proposed projects as Salmon River diversion, Quinsam River diversion and storage,
Heber River diversion, Cowichan River diversion, Sproat Lake storage, Iron River REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 11
diversion, the complex hydro-development plans for Somass River system (including
Elsie Lake and Ash River, Great Central Lake and Stamp River, and Sproat Lake and
Plans for the development of the Somass are causing concern to Island sportsmen
as well as to Provincial and Federal Fisheries Departments, and every precaution is being
taken by the Game Commission in attempting to protect the sport-fish resource of the
system. Negotiations are under way for the rapid development of the first stage; that
is, water storage on Elsie Lake. In this respect, recommendations of the Game Commission are in the hands of the proper authorities. Many minor water-licence applications
were investigated and reported upon.
Two long-standing stream obstructions were investigated and removed—one a large
log-jam on the Koksilah River and the other an unused concrete dam on Washery Creek
near Union Bay. Considerable time was spent in processing private and commercial
fish-farm licence applications and in studying public access problems. The matter of
public access is becoming increasingly important each year, and recommendations for
the continued free access of the general public to certain waters have been made. Light
fishing intensities made the collection of catch statistics an impossible job on Vancouver
Island, particularly with respect to the steelhead-fishery. As a consequence, effort in the
future will be concentrated on selected waters. Our only source of sea-run cut-throat
trout eggs was made possible through the efforts of the Vancouver Island Regional
Studies on the life-history of this important sport-fish species were unsuccessfully
initiated in 1956 but will be pursued in 1957.
The year 1956 was an active and fruitful one for sport-fish management in the
Okanagan region; as a matter of fact, demands on the resource are now so heavy that
additional regional assistance is warranted and certainly required. One of the most
productive lakes in the Oliver district, Richter Lake, has been dropping at the rate of
2 to 3 feet per year, so that in 1956 the maximum depth was only 24 feet. At this level,
winter kill was a distinct possibility. To counteract this natural lowering of the water-
level, considerable work was done in having a near-by creek diverted into the lake, thus
raising the lake-surface approximately 3 feet. This action should provide a permanent
Following the granting of a sum of money from the Game Conservation Fund, a
fish-barrier was constructed at the outlet of Allison Lake and the lake subsequently
treated with rotenone to remove coarse fish. The lake was later stocked with fall finger-
lings and will provide excellent sport fishing in the future. Another sum of money from
the Game Conservation Fund saw the completion of a concrete vertical baffle fishway at
the Smith-Alphonse dam on Mission Creek, tributary to Okanagan Lake. This enabled
rainbow trout from Okanagan Lake to reach their former spawning-grounds. Providing
losses through irrigation diversions are not too severe, this project should contribute
substantially to the rainbow population of Okanagan Lake.
Still another grant of money from the Conservation Fund enabled the construction
of a coarse-fish barrier at the outlet stream of Heffley Lake. This lake may be treated
with toxaphene in 1957, after experiments with this new chemical have been completely
assessed. Another barrier, built by local help, was constructed between Princess and
Lady King Lakes, prior to rehabilitation of the latter lake.
Lake evaluation and resort operators' surveys were continued in 1956, indicating
rather conclusively that fishing pressure on the larger lakes was very light per unit area,
and information gained was not commensurate with the effort expended.   The work has R 12 BRITISH COLUMBIA
provided us with factual information concerning the efficacy of stocking large lakes, as
well as data to support the decision to discontinue general creel-census surveys. Most of
the year's toxaphene experiments were carried out on eight lakes in the Okanagan. Concentrations varied from 0.1 p.p.m. to 0.01, and appeared to produce a complete kill,
although in a few cases one or two fish were netted a few weeks after treatment (subsequent nettings produced no fish). Individual fish resistance to the chemical seemed to
be a greater factor than species resistance; for example, three weeks after Gallagher Lake
was poisoned, one sucker and one whitefish were caught in gill-nets, yet literally thousands
of the same species were originally killed within twenty-four hours. In another example,
a carp planted in a live box survived in one of the lakes treated at 0.066 p.p.m. for almost
two months, while in other lakes treated at 0.033 and 0.01 p.p.m. all carp were dead
within two days.
Bottom samples indicate that shrimp were killed at all concentrations, while all
bottom organisms with the exception of shrimp survived at concentrations of 0.01. At
0.1 p.p.m. only chirononids and oligochastes were picked up alive after treatment. Plankton samples have not yet been analysed. Public relations, club appearances, and " trouble
shooting " all required considerable expenditure of time and effort, but all resulted in a
far better understanding by the public of fisheries management.
Kootenay and Boundary Districts
As in other portions of the Province, angler checks indicated that, generally speaking, 1956 was another good year for sport fishing. This was particularly true of the
East Kootenay region, where one of the best fishing seasons for some time was enjoyed.
It has been noted that especially good returns have originated from some of the smaller
lakes which, as a result of removing large lakes from annual stockings, have received
more generous allotments of large hatchery fish. Perhaps one of the outstanding features
of the sport-fishery resource of the Kootenays is its diversity. Winter fishing is increasing
in popularity each year, and in this regard the Eastern brook trout is coming into its own
as the most important contributor to winter fishing. The number of anglers seeking bass
is increasing and reflects a tendency of the public to seek a greater variety in sport fishing.
Numerous requests have been received for the stocking of this species, especially in small
warm lakes. To date we have not gone into the business of rearing bass, but the culture
of this variety may be warranted in the near future. A midwinter fishery for ling continues to be popular and has been attracting an increasing number of non-resident anglers.
This fishery has been largely concentrated on the Bugaboo and Spillimacheen Rivers,
where the fish are speared at night, although some night fishing is carried out in the
Creston region. Ling-fishing through the ice is also carried out during the day on
Windermere Lake. It is also encouraging to note that the spearing of carp, one of the
more destructive of the coarse-fish species, is beginning to provide recreation for many
The once famous fishery for rainbow trout in Kootenay Lake was very poor in
1956 and has added a gloomy note to an otherwise bright picture. However, money
has been requested from the Conservation Fund to investigate the fishery, and perhaps
some sound management practices may result which would enable improvement of this
important fishery. Horseshoe Lake in the Cranbrook area was treated with rotenone
in 1956, and it will be restocked in the spring of 1957. Limit catches of 1-pound fish
and the taking of many 3- to 4-pound fish from Peckhams Lake (treated with rotenone
in 1954) have indicated the soundness of this type of reclamation. As an integral part
of the experimental lake rehabilitation project, two lakes were treated with toxaphene.
As in other regions of the Province, public access to fishing water is becoming quite a
Some of our largest lakes, immediately adjacent to main highways, have no public
access, or access only in places difficult to reach by the travelling public. Purchase of
land or easements will have to be obtained in the near future in order to perpetuate the
full harvest of this valuable natural resource.
Pollution-control in the Kootenay and Boundary Districts is now well in hand. New
operations are started each month, but through the example that has been set by the
control of pollution from earlier operations, these new operations fall readily into line.
During 1956 considerable time was expended in following up pollution-control plans
which had been put into effect earlier. In the future more and more of this checking
can be placed in the hands of the Game Warden. Failure of the freezer unit at the
Nelson Hatchery caused food spoilage and loss of many fish, therefore upsetting the
management programme of the area. It is becoming increasingly apparent that we will
have to produce more large fish to meet the demands of increased exploitation as well
as for coarse-fish-ridden water which cannot be treated because of prohibitive costs.
Many of these lakes lie on the main tourist routes through the district, and obviously
require attention if they are to yield the type of sport fishing which appeals to tourists.
To meet these requirements, additional hatchery capacity will be required at both Nelson
and Cranbrook.
As in other regions, much time was devoted to public relations. Appearance at
rod and gun club meetings as well as service clubs has served a very useful purpose in
acquainting the public with sport-fish management and is largely responsible for general
acceptance of our various programmes and projects.
Undoubtedly this work has also resulted in the excellent co-operation which the
Game Commission is receiving from the various clubs in carrying out management
The sustained high level of industrial development in the Province during 1956
was clearly reflected in the tremendous number of projects placed before the Fisheries
Management Branch which would affect sport fish. These projects varied from the proposed construction of huge dams, water diversions, and storage schemes on the Fraser,
Yukon, Nass, and Somass systems to smaller but none the less important dams on lesser
streams. Many of these create fish problems which at the present time are insoluble.
In addition to these projects, many industrial developments have had to be looked into
in order to guard against harmful pollutants fouling our streams and killing fish. All of
this tremendous industrial activity has had to be carried out without the services of an
engineer in the employ of the Game Commission and with a staff of only two biologists.
Obviously this important phase of our activities must be expanded if we are to keep pace
with the development of the Province. It is desirable to improve and perhaps increase
the harvest of sport fish in many of the Province's waters, but there is little point in this
if we have to sacrifice the production of other streams and lakes through lack of adequate
protection in the face of industrial development.
It is anticipated that further addition to the Protection Division will be made in
1957. At the present time, staff shortages preclude giving adequate attention to some
of the industrial projects which are now in the planning stage.
Many current and potential obstructions and pollutions affecting sport fish were
investigated and modifications recommended for the protection of sport fish. Some of
the larger projects were investigated in co-operation with other Provincial and Federal
Government departments, including the Federal and Provincial Fisheries Departments,
Public Works, the Provincial Department of Health and Welfare, the Department of
Highways, and the Department of Lands and Forests. This type of co-operation is proving to be most valuable and useful.
Some of the more important projects investigated and reported upon in 1956 include
the following:—
(1) Spillway mortality tests at Cleveland Dam, Capilano River, were concluded in 1956. A report on three years of investigation into the effect
of the dam on steelhead and cohoe was prepared as a basis for designing
further facilities for the conservation of these species.
(2) Analysis of Atlin and Tagish Lakes survey data was completed and a
report published by I. L. Withler. This paper included recommendations
in regard to sport and commercial fishing in the event these lakes were
utilized as storage reservoirs for a large hydro-electric development.
(3) In connection with a proposal to use Meziadin and Bowser Lakes as
storage for hydro-electric development of the Nass River, a survey of
these lakes was conducted by I. L. Withler. A preliminary report with
recommendations was prepared.
(4) A preliminary report on fishery problems associated with a proposed
hydro-electric development on the Somass River system was prepared in
co-operation with the Federal Department of Fisheries. More specific
recommendations were formulated for the Ash River segment of this
power project.
(5) Investigations were made into problems associated with the diversion of
the Salmon and Quinsam Rivers into the Campbell River. Minimum-
flow requirements for sport fish were given particular consideration and
developed with the Federal Department of Fisheries. Preliminary agreements were reached with the water licensee.
(6) Diversion of Cheakamus River for hydro-electric development received
attention, and the necessary flow requirements and facilities for the protection of sport fish were developed with the Department of Fisheries.
(7) A hydro-electric project involving increased storage on Clowhom Lakes
was investigated and clearing of inundated area was recommended.
(8) Investigation of stream pollution from a frozen-food plant was begun and
remains to be completed.
(9) A total of seventeen formal objections to the granting of water licences
were recommended. Thirteen of these involved streams on Vancouver
Island and the Lower Mainland.
(10) Initial planning was begun, in co-operation with Regional Fisheries Biologist D. R. Hum, for a stream-improvement project involving headwater
storage on Big Qualicum River.
(11) Assistance was given in the planning and construction of coarse-fish barriers at Deer Creek and Heffley Creek.
(12) A proposal to develop hydro-electric power on Bass Creek, Cassiar, was
(13) A research paper on races of kokanee in Kootenay Lake was prepared for
publication by E. H. Vernon.
(14) A research paper on the comparison of scales of young cut-throat and
steelhead trout was presented for publication by E. H. Vernon and R. G.
Under the capable direction of Mr. E. H. Vernon, 1956 proved to be a very active
year for the Protection Division. Significant advances were accomplished along the lines
of receiving co-operation of industrial concerns during the planning stages, and, in addition, a great deal of hard work, planning, and public relations have resulted in the perpetuation of large numbers of fish which otherwise would have been lost. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956
R 15
As in other phases of sport-fish management, the steadily increasing demands of
sport fishing have been reflected in similarly increased demands being placed on limited
hatchery facilities.
During 1956, modernization of equipment, together with the expansion of rearing
facilities, enabled the Hatchery Division to keep pace with these demands. However,
minimum 1957 requirements exceed total production capacity. The gap between capacity
and requirements will widen in the next few years, and additional permanent hatchery
facilities must be provided for. In addition, the present seasonal hatchery facilities at
Loon Creek, Penask Lake, and Cranbrook require modification of water-supplies, together with increased rearing facilities.
Motorized equipment is still a problem during the liberation period. The completion
of the 1,000-gallon tank liberating truck for Smiths Falls in 1957 will alleviate the problem on the Lower Mainland. A new larger tank-truck will have to be provided for the
Interior in the next two years. In addition, a smaller tank-truck is urgently required for
the Loon Lake Hatchery. These developments are to be expected and merely reflect the
normal growth of sport-fish management.
An egg collection of over 6,000,000 eggs in 1956 originated almost entirely from
wild fish taken during operation of the seasonal hatcheries. Approximately 700,000 eggs,
composed of steelhead, cut-throat, and fall-spawn rainbow, were received on exchange or
were taken from brood stock. The remainder were derived from wild fish and composed
4,500,000 rainbow, 500,000 cut-throat, 100,000 Eastern brook, and 200,000 kokanee.
The operation of seasonal hatcheries is an expensive but necessary adjunct to the management programme.
It is anticipated that with the expansion of hatchery facilities that brood-stock collections will be increased. This will considerably reduce collection costs. Aside from
the economics of the situation, brood-stock collections have certain advantages, such as
selection for disease resistance and rapid growth, and, in addition, this form of collection
is not subject to such difficulties as labour shortages, impassable roads, and the rigours of
nature. Distribution of hatchery products in 1956 is summarized in the following table;
detailed information concerning these distributions is on file at the offices of the British
Columbia Game Commission.
Egg and Fish Distributions, 1956
Fry and Fall
2,016,692 (1,0141b.)
16,500i   (7401b.)
50,000      (20 lb.)
28,400i     (93 it,.)
445,890 (4,093 lb.)
124,570 (9,082 lb.)
102,220 (3,036 lb.)
90,000      (101b.)
1 By sale or exchange.
Liberations of rainbow trout comprise almost 90 per cent of the total releases of
fry and fall fingerlings. Liberations of rainbow trout accounted for two-thirds of the
hatchery releases of yearlings, while cut-throat and steelhead comprised the other one-
third. In terms of pounds of fish produced however, steelhead trout accounted for 56
per cent of the total 1956 production. R 16 BRITISH COLUMBIA
The experimental steelhead liberations in 1956 followed much the same pattern
as in 1954 and 1955, with the exception that in addition to releases of smolts at ten to
the pound or larger, headwater plantings of pre-migrant-sized steelhead (twenty to sixty
to the pound) were carried out. This was undertaken to determine whether these marked
fish would reach migrant size by the spring of the year and proceed then to the ocean.
If so, costs of steelhead production might be considerably reduced through the rearing
of smaller fish.
Preparation, storage, and presentation of a suitable diet for hatchery fish is one of
the more costly and arduous tasks of hatchery personnel. This is especially true when
a wet or fresh meat formula is used. Increasing attention has been paid throughout
North America to the use of balanced dry food preparations in the feeding of hatchery
fish. A series of experiments is being designed to test the efficiency and conversion of
a dry food diet in British Columbia hatcheries during 1957. Should the diet be suitable
for all our needs, and should it produce a healthy rapid-growing hatchery product, then
consideration will be given to changing to this method of feeding. Production costs
will then be reduced not only through the elimination of refrigeration, grinding and mixing equipment, but also because of higher conversion and lower food costs.
Positive results from the research programme on " homing " of rainbow trout in
Loon Lake, near Clinton, were obtained in 1956. The study, begun in 1953, centred
around the two spawning populations—one using the outlet stream early in the spring
and the other using the inlet stream somewhat later in the season. From returns of
marked fry and fingerlings, it was shown that there is a strong tendency for fish hatched
in the outlet stream to return, as adults, to spawn in their home stream. A similar behaviour pattern is exhibited by fish hatched in the inlet stream, but in this case there is
some " straying " to the outlet stream.
Young fish samples from the two streams were found to differ with respect to numbers of vertebrae and pyloric c_ec_e, differences which are probably due to water temperatures characteristic of the outlet and inlet streams during the development of the
young. These differences were also found in the spawning adults, but were not as pronounced. Although the existence of a homing tendency has been demonstrated, the
appreciable number of inlet-hatched fish which stray to the outlet to spawn removes the
possibility that there are two distinct and separate races of trout in the lake. Consequently, the differences in behaviour of the young in inlet and outlet streams cannot be
due to hereditary differences. As a result of these observations, research emphasis has
been switched from behaviour of adult trout to that of the young during their early stream
fife in order to try to establish what factors dictate whether young fish will move upstream, move down-stream, or hold position. This line of research could have major
management applicability in dealing with problems of irrigation diversion and power
Fry movement from the inlet stream occurs soon after emergence from the gravel,
and although extending over a four-month period, over half of the total migration occurs
during a two-week period in August. Movement is almost entirely at night and is related
to light intensity rather than to water temperature or stream flow. In contrast, fry originating from the outlet stream do not move down-stream. Rather, they hold position for
a period varying from a few weeks to many months and eventually move up-stream into
the lake. This movement occurs during daylight and is associated with rising stream
The 1956 season's operation of the research project at Baker Lake, near Quesnel,
produced interesting results.   Two-way traps on both inlet and outlet spawning-streams REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 17
were installed, thereby allowing study of the spawning runs of five species of fish inhabiting the lake. Life-history work on coarse-fish species such as those found in Baker
Lake is essential, particularly with the increased use of fish toxicants as a management
Virtually the entire population of adult long-nose suckers were marked (using a
system of coloured rubber latex injections under the scales), and a great deal of information was obtained concerning their spawning habits. In contrast to trout-spawning
runs, both long-nose and white suckers had brief and concentrated spawning periods,
extending over less than two weeks. Survival of spent fish was high, while survival of
eggs and fry was extremely low. Suckers in Baker Lake are extremely slow growing and
do not mature until age 5 or 6. Squawfish and redside-shiner spawning populations also
received, study. In addition to the preceding work being carried out on Baker Lake, an
experiment was undertaken in the lake to test the relative merits of stocking marked
spring and fall fingerlings. Subsequent capture of the marked fish will provide a measure of their relative survival in a small lake heavily populated with predators.
During 1956, collections of fish were made in widely scattered parts of the Province, contributing much information on fish distribution. Three new species were discovered for the first time in the Mackenzie drainage of British Columbia, and others,
previously unknown from the Province, were taken from the Similkameen and Flathead
drainages to the south.
Close co-operation on several research projects was maintained with the Institute
of Fisheries. In this regard, Mr. E. J. Crossman conducted intensive studies on relations
between redside shiners and trout in Paul Lake, work which was supported by the Game
The work of Dr. E. C. Black on muscular fatigue in fishes, also supported in part
by the Game Commission, attracted international attention.
Although the greater portion of the work of the Fisheries Management Branch is
recorded in reports and recommendations to the Game Commission, a number of scientific and popular papers were published in 1956.    These included:—
(1) "Appearance of Lactic Acid in the Blood of Kamloops and Lake Trout
Following Live Transportation," E. C. Black, Canadian Fish Culturist.
(2) " Indices of Productivity in British Columbia Lakes," T. G. Northcote
and P. A. Larkin, Jour. Fish. Res. Bd.
(3) "Distribution and Taxonomy of Fishes in the MacKenzie Drainage of
British Columbia," C. C. Lindsey, Jour. Fish. Res. Bd.
(4) " Dams and Fish," R. G. McMynn, Northwest Sportsman.
(5) " The Seaward Migration of Coho and Steelhead in Capilano River in
1956," E. H. Vernon, mimeo.
(6) " The Effect on a Stream of Pollution by Organic Wastes," E. H. Vernon,
(7) "Recommended Common and Scientific Names  of British Columbia
Freshwater Fishes," C. C. Lindsey, mimeo.
(8) "The Loon Lake Fishery before and after Removal of the Eight-inch
Limit," C. C. Lindsey and G. F. Hartman, mimeo.
(9) " Sport Fish Resources of British Columbia ":
Part I—" The Species of Fish," C. C. Lindsey.
Part II—" The Influence of the Environment," E. H. Vernon.
Part III—" The Various Sport Fisheries," S. B. Smith.
Part IV—"A General Evaluation," Roderick Haig-Brown.
(10)  "Report of Fisheries Management Division,  1956," R.  G. McMynn,
Tenth Annual Game Convention. R 18 BRITISH COLUMBIA
By R. W. Sinclair, Officer Commanding
I have the honour to submit the annual report covering game and fish conditions in
"A" Division for the year ended December 31st, 1956.
Big Game
Wapiti (Elk).—This was the third year that elk have been open to hunters on Vancouver Island, and it marked the most successful harvest since its inception. Greater
interest and a longer season were two factors which contributed to the increased number
of over 40 head known to have been taken.
Deer.—Deer continue to be the most popular prey of hunters on Vancouver Island,
but their take showed a decrease of approximately 25 per cent over last year. This may
be attributed to present restricted range access, a subject now being considered by the
Game Commission, logging companies, and game associations. Also, last winter's severe
weather, which caused poor range conditions, may have contributed to the scarcity of deer.
Black Bear.—These animals are still plentiful, as few hunters bother to hunt them.
Most of those killed had proved to be troublesome to farmers.
Grizzly Bear.—These animals are found in fair numbers on Knight, Bute, and
Loughborough Inlets.
Fur-bearing Animals
Beaver.—These animals are increasing on Vancouver Island. Many complaints are
received from farmers, logging companies, and the Department of Highways of the
damage they are inflicting. In certain areas they are live-trapped and shipped to other
Marten.—Marten are fairly abundant in the south-western section of Vancouver
Mink.—These animals are quite plentiful in this Division. Very little mink-trapping
is being done.
Otter.—These animals are on the increase owing to the fact that little trapping is
being done.
Muskrats.—These animals are plentiful and are a constant nuisance to fanners and
gardeners. Most of those trapped are caught on the southern part of Vancouver Island
and on private property.
Squirrels.—These animals appear in fair numbers in certain localities. Few are
Upland Game Birds
Blue Grouse.—Through our various checks it is estimated that this year's kill of
these birds was down approximately 25 per cent over last year. This we attributed to
poor weather conditions and the migration of the birds to higher levels earlier in the
season than usual. The birds appear to be in greater numbers in the Campbell River and
Cowichan Lake areas.
Willow Grouse.—These birds appear to be holding their own throughout hunting
areas on Vancouver Island as the hunting pressure is not too great.
California Quail.—These birds are fairly plentiful on the southern end of Vancouver
Island and on Saltpring Island. Very few hunters appear to be interested in securing them.
Pheasants.—The pheasant population on Vancouver Island appeared substantially
smaller last year.    Main areas were Victoria, Duncan, and Nanaimo.   The pheasant REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 19
population in Saanich is becoming a public nuisance since the closing of this area by the
municipality a few years ago.
Migratory Game Birds
Ducks and Geese.—There would appear to be little change in the number of these
birds. They do not appear in great numbers, and the take during the hunting season
varied little from other years.
Black Brant.—The 1956 season allowed the first extension of the brant season for
many years, which increased the kill approximately 200 per cent. Brant do not usually
appear in this area until the latter part of February, when the season has, in former years,
been closed. I believe an extension is justifiable when the harvest appears to have been
light at the close of the season.
Band-tailed Pigeons.—These birds are not numerous on Vancouver Island, and
very few hunters bother with them.
Predatory Animals
All Game Wardens co-operated with the Predator Control staff in answering complaints and hunting predators. There was a slight decrease in the cougar-kill this year.
A detailed report of the predator situation may be found in another section of this Report.
As the bonus cougar-hunter system has not increased the kill of these animals on
Vancouver Island, I would suggest it be discontinued.
Game Protection
There were 132 informations laid for infractions under the "Game Act" and Special Fishery Regulations; 129 convictions were obtained, and three cases dismissed.
Game Propagation
At the request of game associations, no pheasants were released in the Division this
year. Funds usually allocated for this purpose were recommended for the use of scientific research on Vancouver Island.
Game Reserves
Since the instigation of our progressive Game Management Division, the usefulness
of our outdated game reserves seems to have lost its purpose, and I am of the opinion
that they should be re-examined, with the possible thought of opening some of them for
Fur Trade
Little fur-trading is done in this Division.
Registration of Trap-lines
The few trap-lines operating in "A" Division are in good condition. A considerable
amount of trapping is done on the southern part of Vancouver Island on private property
where lines are not registered.
Registration of Guides
There are not many guides operating in this Division, and those who have licences
are primarily interested in fishing.
Special Patrols
No extraordinary patrols were undertaken by Game Wardens in this area. A number of short patrols were carried out in co-operation with the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police in their launches. R 20 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Hunting Accidents
There were four hunting accidents in the Division during the past year, none of which
was serious.   For details, please see report "Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956."
Game-fish Culture
A total of 117,710 hatchery trout were liberated from the Puntledge Park Trout-
hatchery, Courtenay. Of these, 73,000 were steelhead and 44,710 cut-throat. All fish
were fin-marked for future study.
Summary and General Remarks
Although a slight decrease in the take of game was noted last year, most hunters
appeared to be satisfied. One of our most difficult problems is that of access to the
hunting-grounds, and this, we feel sure, will improve through present negotiations with
logging companies, the Forest Service, and local sportsmen's organizations. We must
realize that the hunting pressure is increasing every year, and it is practically impossible
for every hunter to bag a deer. Many inexperienced sportsmen expect to do their hunting
close to the road rather than in remote areas.
Fishing seems to be improving throughout the Division and is especially good in the
Campbell River area.
All sportsmen in this Division were sorry to see Inspector G. C. Stevenson retire,
for with his leaving we lost one whose personality and wise counsel had greatly improved
relationships between the public and sportsmen in general.
Another great loss the whole Department suffered was felt with the very sudden
passing of Inspector C. F. Kearns, who had been transferred here from Nelson to the
inspectorship of "A" Division.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to the members of this Division for their
co-operation in helping me in my efforts to carry on since the passing of the late Inspector
Many thanks also to other Government departments for willing assistance given on
various occasions. To the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who have given us unlimited
co-operation, we are indeed indebted.
By C. E. Estlin, Officer Commanding
Herewith please find my annual report covering game conditions in " B " Division
for the year ended December 31st, 1956.
Big Game
Moose.—The northern section of the East Kootenay supports the best moose population in this Division. Their numbers decline greatly along the border and west to
Princeton, where there are very few. There is no apparent change in the kill, the hunting
pressure, or the distribution of this animal for the past year.
Wapiti (Elk).—Elk are on the increase from Canal Flats north, and a few animals
are entering the Grand Forks country, apparently from the Okanagan. Agriculture
damage by elk was experienced in the Princeton, Lardeau, and Fernie areas. However,
the fairly heavy kill should alleviate this problem. Of paramount importance is the
resolving of a proper land-management programme, particularly in the East Kootenay,
where there is serious competition between game animals and domestic stock.
Caribou.—These alpine animals are not hunted extensively and are found only from
Nelson east.   They are increasing their range somewhat in the Creston area.   The State REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 21
of Idaho is very interested in preserving the band which inhabits the Boundary Lake area
adjacent to the International Boundary. An extended season would do no harm due to
the very light hunting pressure.
Mountain-sheep.—Sheep-hunting was best in the Cranbrook, Fernie, and Canal
Flats country. The short season on the California bighorn sheep in the Vaseux Lake area
resulted in the kill of only one animal. Hunting pressure has increased to the point
where protective measures are indicated, namely: (a) As in the case of elk, winter-range
competition is a very serious factor and should be resolved in the near future, and (b) the
tag system is needed.
Mountain-goat.—For the most part, the goat population is unchanged, although
with the increase in logging-roads in some areas, the goats are being driven back. The kill
was generally light and has done no harm.
Mule Deer.—In all Detachments but Golden, mule deer are abundant and supported
a fairly good harvest. In some areas with little or no winter range, serious consideration
should be given to extending the hunting seasons to January, as most animals are scattered
and far beyond reach until forced down by winter.
White-tailed Deer.—This species is not as plentiful as the mule deer, and due to its
slightly different range and feeding habits almost require special consideration in the
setting of seasons.   The population, although somewhat lower this year, is quite adequate.
Grizzly Bear.—The grizzly bear, one of our most important trophy animals, is on
the eve of requiring special management procedures, particularly with reference to habitat.
It is suggested that grizzly numbers are gradually declining through most of the Division,
although not at a rate to cause alarm.
Black Bear.—-These animals support fairly heavy hunting pressure. Present regulations are adequate to permit the local handling of numerous damage complaints by this
Fur-bearing Animals
Due to the very light trapping activity, lynx, marten, and mink are increasing.
Beaver are plentiful and are the cause of many damage complaints. Present beaver-
trapping regulations seem unnecessary, but do serve to stabilize the market.
Upland Game Birds
Generally, the grouse cycle is recovering from its low ebb, particularly the willows.
Unfortunately, blue grouse are not being properly cropped, and an earlier-opening season
would be advantageous to the birds, but would perhaps conflict with forest-fire regulations.
Cranbrook is about the only area that provides fair sharp-tailed grouse hunting.
Quail are plentiful in the Penticton and Osoyoos areas.
The daily bag-limit on cock pheasants in the Creston area should be increased.
Introduced chukars have done fairly well in the Oliver area, but have disappeared in
the Invermere district, where thirty pairs were liberated.
Migratory Game Birds
From Kootenay Lake west, migratory game birds are comparatively few due to the
lack of suitable habitat. Duck Lake, in the Creston area, supports the heaviest migration.
The Invermere area provides some good duck-shooting. However, elsewhere the kill was
generally light.   Little annual variation has been noted.
Predatory Animals and Noxious Birds
Coyotes are generally rare due to the efficient poisoning programme of our Predator
Control Branch. They are reported to be increasing slightly in the Fernie, Golden, and
Princeton Detachments. R 22 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Cougar are apparently decreasing in numbers. Bobcats and wolverine are on the
The following animals and birds were killed by Game Wardens in this Division:—
Animals Birds
Bear   70 Crow  205
Bobcat  14 Hawk     27
Badger     1 Merganser     25
Cougar  26 Magpie     28
Coyote  24 Owl       4
Dog  48 Raven      33
Groundhog  45
Gopher  96
Racoon  2
Skunk  20
Wolf  4
Wolverine   1
Game Protection
The usual hunter road checks and patrols were carried out. All Game Wardens
have actively participated in public relations by giving game-management talks, usually
with sound films. The Penticton Game Warden has given forty-five such lectures in the
past year.
There were 127 convictions and four dismissals registered under the " Game Act "
and Special Fisheries Regulations.
Game Propagation
Apart from limited feeding of pheasants and a few migratory game birds during the
winter months, there has been little activity in this regard.
Game Reserves
Large game reserves and closed areas are currently under review, and each will be
dealt with on its own merit. Good boundary observance along the Hope-Princeton
Highway is reported for the past season.
Fur Trade
Currently, fur trade is at a very low ebb.
Registration of Trap-lines
There is little activity due to the low fur prices, but the system is functioning
Registration of Guides
The registration of guides is a good system which could be improved upon by some
minor revisions in one or two Detachment areas.
Special Patrols
The usual patrols were carried out by all members of the Division, utilizing every
method of transportation from foot to aeroplane. Worthy of special commendation was
the extreme personal effort of Game Warden A. F. Gill, who acted as search master
when called upon by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police after Harvey Garrison, of
Princeton, was lost while deer-hunting. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 23
Hunting Accidents
There were four hunting accidents in this Division during 1956, three of them fatal
and one serious.   For details, please see report " Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956."
Game-fish Culture
All Game Wardens assisted in lake poisonings, samplings, checking of anglers'
creels, pollution observance, and other work which will be reported by the Regional
Fisheries Biologists.
Summary and General Remarks
Road checks revealed that, although more hunters were afield, the harvest of big
game was less than that of 1955, the result of more moderate weather. However, the
hunting season can generally be rated as good. At the time of writing (March 15th),
all personnel report deer to be in the best condition observed for many years due to a
less extreme winter and, of course, to improved management techniques.
The policy of heavier stocking of smaller lakes is showing good returns. Fishermen
have enjoyed one of the best seasons, with the exception of larger lakes such as Kootenay
Lake. Winter fishing through the ice is becoming more popular as anglers are discovering that good catches are possible.
All Wardens mention with pleasure the excellent co-operation being extended by
other departments of Government, especially the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Forest Service, and Public Works Department, as well as the fish and game clubs, who are
always ready to be of practical assistance.
To the Game Wardens, game and fishery biologists, hatchery personnel, predatory-
animal hunters, and office staff, I would express my appreciation for your willing assistance, your long hours of seasonal overtime, and, above all, your enthusiastic interest
and co-operation.
Although this report is a review of game conditions and our work for the past calendar year, its value may be augmented by including suggestions for future application.
To this end, the following is respectfully submitted for earnest consideration:—
(a) Additional enforcement staff required—five permanent Game Wardens
are urgently required at various points in the Division.
(b) Mobile radio communication should be installed.
(c) Greater aircraft utilization is definitely needed for enforcement, poisonings, fish planting, surveys, personnel and material transportation.
(d) Certain key areas of Crown land should be legally acquired or reserved
for big-game winter range.
By L. R. Lane, Officer Commanding
I beg to submit herewith the annual report for " C " Division for the year ended
December 31st, 1956.
Big Game
Moose.—It appears that moose are still on the increase in most parts of this Division, and these animals continue to spread into areas where they have been non-existent
or very scarce in the past. Definite increases in their numbers have been noted in the
Lillooet, Alexis Creek, Kamloops South, Williams Lake, Merritt, Vernon, Kelowna, and
Revelstoke Detachments.   It is felt that, although moose continue to increase each year R 24 BRITISH COLUMBIA
in the Kelowna and Revelstoke Detachments, habitat in these areas is not very suitable
and a really large population will never be supported. Moose are now well established
in the Salmon Arm Detachment in areas offering suitable browse, and seven are known
to have been taken during the open season. At least fourteen were taken in the Vernon
Detachment, where an increase in moose was noted particularly after the close of the
season in several local areas, with twelve being reported in the Upper Shuswap. Moose
are known to be spreading in many areas, examples being Merritt, Pemberton, Kelowna,
Vernon, and Kamloops South.
Moose appear to have wintered very well during the 1955/56 season despite the
heavy snow and severe cold in most areas. Fortunately, there was very little crusting of
snow in the late winter and spring of 1956, otherwise the winter kill would probably have
been heavy. Canadian National Railway trains continue to take a heavy toll of moose
along the Upper North Thompson River, and occasionally they are killed by the Canadian
Pacific Railway trains in the Revelstoke area.
A good crop of moose was taken in most Detachments during the open season, and
total kill was up in some of the main moose areas, such as Williams Lake and the
Chilcotin. Moose appear to be holding their own even in the most heavily hunted areas,
and it is believed that harvests could be safely increased in most of the areas where access
is difficult. Most of our resident hunters do not use horses and, perhaps owing to the
difficulties involved in back-packing animals as heavy as moose, seldom hunt more than
a mile or so from the road. The only important area where moose seem to be declining
in numbers is in the vicinity of Wells, where hunting pressure, which is comparatively
light, cannot be considered as an important factor. In general, the 1956 open season on
moose may be considered to have been very successful, and there can be little doubt that
the management policies instituted during the past few years are now paying off. I do
not feel that we would be over-optimistic in predicting an increased moose-harvest for the
next few years.
Mule Deer.—Mule deer continue to be plentiful throughout most of the Division,
except in the Revelstoke Detachment, where they remain scarce, and where few were
bagged. Increases in deer populations were noted in most areas, and they appear to be
holding their own in the few remaining districts. The late mild autumn permitted deer in
most areas to remain later on the higher levels, and consequently the kill was comparatively small until near the end of the season. It was estimated that in the Kelowna area,
where deer were plentiful, only about half as many were harvested as in 1955.
Game Warden K. R. Walmsley at Alexis Creek has noted a large increase in the
numbers of deer in the Chilcotin area and predicts a heavy winter kill in 1956/57. It
appears that quite a few winter-killed in the Kamloops South area, and some on the Dew-
drop Range near Kamloops. In most areas, however, deer are reported to have wintered
fairly well. In the Kamloops North area it was reported that many does were shot and
left in the woods during the buck season. Deer were plentiful, and hunter success could
have been increased if the hunters would venture farther from the roads.
In the Vernon district there were plenty of deer, but not as many taken as in 1955.
An increase in the number was noted in the Williams Lake area, but prevailing weather
conditions held the kill to a lower level than in 1955. Game Warden H. J. Lorance
reports from Quesnel that deer are on the increase throughout most of his Detachment,
but as hunting in general was only successful during the latter part of the season, he suggests that consideration be given to a longer antlerless season. In summary, it is felt
that the prospects for continued excellent mule-deer hunting in most of the Division are
very good.
Coast or Columbian Deer.—This species is found in this Division only in the
Squamish Valley, which forms part of the Lillooet Detachment. Game Warden R. S.
Welsman reports that they continue to increase in that area. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 25
White-tailed Deer.—These animals are not numerous in this Division, but continue
to increase in the Kelowna and Vernon Detachments, and are spreading in small numbers
into other southern areas.
Caribou.—Not much is known about our caribou herds, but reports indicate that
this species is holding its own in most cases and increasing in other areas. Wells trappers
think there is some increase in caribou north and east of Indian Point in the Bowron Lake
Reserve. No change is reported in the numbers in the herds of the Ahbau and Swift
River areas. A strong band has been reported on the headwaters of the Baezaeko River
system. Game Warden G. A. Lines, of Revelstoke, advises that caribou are believed to
be in good numbers in the Big Bend area. Prospectors report seeing large numbers during
1956 in the Downie Creek and Goldstream Valleys. Several small herds were seen
crossing the Columbia River during the migration. Only two bulls were taken in the
Revelstoke Detachment during the open season. Some increase was reported in the
scattered herds in the Williams Lake Detachment, where caribou are hunted only very
lightly. None was taken in the Vernon Detachment during 1956, possibly owing to
deterioration of the already poor access trails. No increase was noted in the herd at Joe
Rich Creek in the Kelowna Detachment, and none was taken during the open season.
Game Warden D. Cameron, Salmon Arm Detachment, reports that caribou were
seen in the fall of 1956 following their old migration route south. They have not been
known to use this route for a number of years. Three caribou were taken by guided
hunters in the Kamloops North Detachment, where their numbers do not seem to have
varied much from those of previous years. Reports from guides indicate that caribou
are increasing in the Alexis Creek Detachment. At the present time, caribou cannot be
considered as an important big-game animal in " C " Division.
Wapiti (Elk).—There can be little doubt that elk are increasing in several areas and
gradually spreading, particularly in the Merritt and Kamloops South Detachments. At
the present time, however, their numbers are not sufficient to make them an important
game animal in this Division. Several elk have been reported in the vicinity of Lac le
Jeune. A small herd consisting of four animals was observed by a rancher near Walloper
Lake. One bull was observed near Monte Lake, and one (possibly the same animal) was
shot at Westwold. Elk have been reported in various parts of the Merritt Detachment,
and Game Warden E. M. Martin observed two bulls near Stump Lake during the autumn.
A few have been seen in the Liza Lake (Bridge River) area. A small number were taken
near Adams Lake, where the herd is said to be more or less static. Elk have been showing up in various sections of the Salmon Arm Detachment in small numbers. Game
Warden D. D. Ellis reports that elk are increasing a little in the Kelowna Detachment and
have been seen around Peachland and in the Bear Lake district. For the second consecutive open season, only two bulls were taken in the Kelowna area. Several bulls were
reported in the Vernon Detachment, and Game Warden A. S. Frisby recommends a short
open season in 1957. The elk-harvest as a whole in this Division has been very small,
but present indications are that we may expect some increase in the future.
Mountain-sheep.—Small bands of these fine animals (mostly California bighorn)
are found in several portions of the Division. Most of the few harvested were taken in
the Clinton and Alexis Creek Detachments. Game Warden K. R. Walmsley reports that
the three-quarter curl or better regulation recently brought into being for the Chilcotin
area limited the number of sheep taken, but should allow the smaller bands to build up,
thus ensuring continuous hunting. Sheep in the Lillooet Detachment appear to be holding
their own, and very few were taken in 1956 despite the abolition of the Yalakom Game
Reserve. Reports received at Quesnel indicate that there is a band of sheep east of
Teapot Lake, but these have not been confirmed. The Shorts Creek herd was hunted
during the three-day open season by seventeen hunters, and although all of these hunters
saw sheep, none was taken. This was possibly due to the weather, as there was continuous R 26 BRITISH COLUMBIA
fog with rain and snow.   It is believed that a few of the Shorts Creek herd died during the
hard winter of 1955/56, and the herd does not appear to be increasing.
The herd of sheep (Rocky Mountain bighorn) near Squilax does not appear to be
showing an increase. Three were taken during the open season. Little is known of the
herd near Spences Bridge, where small numbers are observed from time to time. Hopes
of increasing the present sheep herds and harvests in this Division do not appear too
good, and it will take careful management and alert enforcement to maintain these at
their present levels. It is felt that the three-quarter curl or better regulation is a useful
one, and the continuation of this restriction is recommended. Sheep-trapping operations
near Riske Creek and liberations will no doubt be recorded elsewhere in the Game Commission's Annual Report.
Mountain-goat.—This species is fairly plentiful in many portions of the Division
where there is suitable terrain. They are particularly numerous throughout the Lillooet
Detachment and in many portions of the Chilcotin. Good numbers are found in the
Albert Canyon and Greenslide districts in the Revelstoke Detachment. Goat are numerous in Wells Gray Park, and some are found in other portions of the Kamloops North
Detachment. Game Warden J. Gibault reports that while these animals are plentiful in
some portions of the Williams Lake Detachment, they are not extensively hunted and very
few specimens were taken in 1956. Mountain-goat are scarce in the Quesnel area, with
no reports received of anyone hunting them. These animals are said to be holding their
own in the Salmon Arm and Merritt Detachments, with fair numbers on Styoma Mountain in the latter area. A few were taken near Salmon Arm, but, so far as we know, none
in the Merritt area. A few are found in the 100 Mile House and Clinton Detachments.
Goat are plentiful in the Vernon area, but few hunters pursued them. Four only were
known to have been taken in that area, two of these on the North Fork of Cherry Creek
and one each on Sugar Mountain and Sitkum Creek.
Considering the numbers of these fine animals found in this Division, few are taken,
and few sportsmen seek them. Hunting mountain-goat in the high country early in the
season is one of the most exhilarating sports available, and one may be rewarded by both
a fine trophy and excellent meat. In most areas, good equipment and skill are required,
and pack-horses are usually desirable. It is felt that the harvest of goat could be increased
several fold without any ill effects.
Grizzly Bear.—Grizzly bear are found in small numbers in most of the mountainous
portions of this Division and are fairly plentiful in some areas. They are believed to be
increasing in some portions of the Williams Lake Detachment. Grizzlies are found in
several portions of the Quesnel Detachment, with an increase in numbers noted in the
Batnuni Lake area. There are good numbers in several parts of the Revelstoke Detachment, with no known kills during the year. They are plentiful in portions of the Lillooet
Detachment, and an increase has been noted on Mara and Griffin Mountains in the
Salmon Arm Detachment. This increase is believed to be due to the fact that domestic
sheep have grazed there during the past few years, and consequently no grizzlies have
been destroyed in order to protect live stock. Grizzly bear are plentiful on all ranges in
the Vernon Detachment, especially in the Monashee area, where two are known to have
been shot. Complaints of grizzly bear taking live stock have declined, although a few
have been destroyed for this reason.
Grizzly bear are not heavily hunted, although a few non-resident sportsmen engage
in this sport each year. Game Warden H. D. Mulligan reports only one grizzly taken by
guided hunters in the Kamloops North Detachment during 1956. While the total number
of grizzly bear in the Division is probably not large, no fear is held at the present time for
their extermination.
Black or Brown Bear.—These animals are quite plentiful throughout practically the
entire Division, with an increase noted in many areas. In the Merritt area, however,
they appear to be declining, and no reports of damage to stock were received in that REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 27
district. Game Warden E. Holmes reports that black bear are numerous in the 100 Mile
House Detachment, and they are reported to be plentiful in the Lillooet, Williams Lake,
Clinton, and Alexis Creek Detachments. They are increasing in the Revelstoke area,
and so noticeably so in the Quesnel area that recommendations to class them as predators have been received.
Game Warden L. G. Smith reports that black bear were numerous in settled areas
of the South Kamloops Detachment in 1956, and suggests that this may be attributed to
lack of berries in the higher country. They caused considerable trouble to ranchers and
farmers, who shot many, as did hunters. In this area, and several others, many bear
were necessarily poisoned by our predatory-animal hunters due to predation on domestic
stock. Damage to orchards was reported by several ranchers in the Kelowna area.
In addition to those destroyed for protection of live stock and orchards, a few are taken
by non-resident sportsmen each year, and a fair number by resident hunters. Very few
sportsmen actually go out to hunt bear, but take them as incidental game when hunting
other species.
Fur-bearing Animals
Beaver.—There have been further increases in the numbers of beaver reported from
all Detachments in this Division, and this trend will no doubt continue until prices for
their pelts increase, or until these animals eat all their food-supplies and thereby starve
themselves or become victims of disease.
Beaver have become problem animals in many parts of the Division where they
have flooded fields and hay-meadows, obstructed irrigation-ditches, highway and railway
culverts, and streams. In addition to these activities, which have given rise to a very
large number of complaints, beaver dams have in several places prevented the migration
of spawning salmon and trout. In their favour, it may be said that in many areas the
storage of water by beaver has had a beneficial effect in slowing down the run-off and
moderating fluctuation in stream flow.
Fur prices being low and the level of remunerative employment being high, it has
been impossible in many cases to entice trappers to take nuisance beaver. In some
cases, therefore, there has been no alternative than to permit land-owners to destroy the
animals. In other cases it has been necessary for the Game Wardens concerned to shoot,
dynamite, or otherwise destroy the beaver, their houses and dams. No one connected
with the work of protecting and managing game and fur-bearers, I am sure, likes to waste
these likeable, useful, and valuable animals, but unless populations decline, there is little
doubt that Game Commission personnel will be called upon to destroy beaver in an
increasing number of areas. Some Game Wardens have recommended longer open
seasons on beaver in the hope that once the trappers learn to trap through the ice, larger
numbers will be taken and the damage they cause thus alleviated. The recent slump in
the logging industry in the Interior has thrown many sawmill-workers out of work, and
since some of these men are trappers, it is hoped that a larger number of beaver will be
taken in 1957. It is felt, however, that unless and until the prices paid for beaver-pelts
advance considerably, these animals will not be trapped extensively enough to bring
about any marked decline in their numbers.
Muskrats.—These animals are increasing in most areas where they are found, due,
in some cases, to a direct result of beaver dams backing up water into new feeding areas.
Although they are one of the main animals trapped in some districts, the total number
taken at the present is not large. Fortunately, muskrat seldom do much damage except
on dyked land. In the Vernon Detachment, muskrat have become far too plentiful along
irrigation-ditches, where, by digging burrows along banks, they have, during periods of
high water, flooded adjacent fields. A longer open season has been recommended in
some cases, and it is felt that under present conditions this could do no harm. R 28 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Mink.—Mink are plentiful and increasing in most parts of the Division, and in several sections are the main animal trapped. In some areas they have given some concern
to farmers by taking domestic fowl, but are usually easily dealt with and do not present
too much of a problem. No doubt an over large population of mink has some effect on
the local waterfowl population.
Marten.—These fur-bearers are plentiful and increasing in most upland areas. In
the Quesnel district, marten have become so numerous that trappers are taking them
frequently in squirrel-sets. In the Revelstoke area the noticeable decline in the squirrel
population has been blamed on the large number of marten, and no doubt this is true
in other areas also. At the present low fur prices, very few trappers are making any
great effort to take marten.
Otter.—These fur-bearers are plentiful and increasing in some areas and apparently
holding their own in the balance of their widespread range.   Very few are being trapped.
Weasel.—Weasel are plentiful in most areas. Quite a few are trapped by " weekend " trappers who are gainfully employed during the week, and who are attracted by the
fairly steady prices obtained for the pelts of these fur-bearers.
Squirrels.—Squirrels are plentiful in most areas, although declining in some. The
drop in fir-cone feed in the Quesnel district in the summer of 1956 is believed responsible
for a decline in squirrels, and if the trend continues, this may cause a definite drop in
their numbers. A further increase in the number of marten may have a similar effect.
The squirrel population has increased in the area east of Isaacs Lake, where, it is said,
there were no squirrels at all. These animals are most extensively trapped in the Kamloops South and Merritt Detachments.
Lynx.—Lynx are still plentiful in many parts of the Division, but have begun to
decline noticeably in several areas. This is believed to be due to a decline in the number
of rabbits, their principal food. In some districts, particularly in the Vernon and Kelowna
Detachments, lynx have taken to killing deer for food. A marked drop in their numbers
throughout the Division is predicted. Very few are trapped owing to the very low prices
paid for their pelts.
Wolverine.—There are quite a few wolverine in some areas, such as the east side of
the Quesnel River to Cunningham Creek and the Swamp (Cariboo) River, also around
Barkerville and the Bowron Lake Game Reserve.   Few are trapped.
Fox.—Foxes do not appear to be present in large numbers anywhere in the Division,
although there are a few in many areas. At the present prices offered for their fur, foxes
are not worth trapping.
Fisher.—There are a few fisher in many areas, but not many are being trapped.
In summary, it may be said that the trapping industry is at a very low ebb, and will
undoubtedly remain so as long as low fur prices prevail and the present high level of
employment remains. Most trappers take very little fur, and many feel that they are
conserving the fur-bearers on their registered lines with the hope that prices will advance.
Unfortunately, fur-bearers can only build up to a certain level, and when this level is
reached, unharvested furs are not conserved, but wasted. In some cases, the eventual
outcome of failure to trap effectively will be a decline in the number of animals due to
the excessive drain on food-supplies. Unless some drastic changes take place in the very
near future, the outlook for the trapping industry is far from good.
Upland Game Birds
Ruffed or Willow Grouse.—These birds were scarce in 1955, and while they still
appear near the bottom of their cycle, reports indicate that they showed some increase in
1956 in eleven of the thirteen Detachments in this Division. Willow grouse have evidently declined still further this year in the Merritt area, and remained about the same in
Revelstoke.   The increase, though rather small in some areas, was quite noticeable in REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 29
others, and it is felt that with normal weather a marked increase in their numbers may
be expected in 1957.
Blue Grouse.—Blue grouse were quite scarce in most areas in 1956, with fair numbers in a few districts. They showed a slight increase in some areas, but this, in general,
was not as evident as that in the case of willow grouse. In most districts blue grouse are
not very heavily hunted, and the fluctuation in their numbers appears to be cyclic. It is
believed that the next few years should bring their populations back to the high levels
of the late 1940's and early 1950's.
Franklin Grouse.—These birds were fairly numerous in many areas and scarce in
others. They appear to be increasing in some areas, but their population fluctuations
appear to be more moderate than in the case of ruffed grouse. Many are taken by
big-game hunters for camp meat, as, indeed, are other species of grouse to a lesser extent.
Sharp-tailed Grouse or Prairie-chicken.—Sharp-tailed grouse were abundant in the
Quesnel Detachment in 1956, where more hunters are now taking an interest in them.
There were also fair numbers in the Chilcotin and parts of the Cariboo, with a slight
increase noted in the Kamloops South Detachment. They have decreased in some areas,
notably in the Merritt region, where they were once quite plentiful.
Ptarmigan.—Ptarmigan can be found in most of the alpine country, but as they are
subject to a negligible amount of hunting, very few reports are received concerning them.
California Quail.—There are a few near Oyama, and some in the Kelowna Detachment, where they showed a slight increase. This exotic bird cannot be considered to be
of much importance in " C " Division.
Chukar Partridge.—Despite the heavy losses suffered by these birds in the Thompson Valley during the severe winter of 1955/56, they made a strong recovery and were
quite plentiful again after the nesting season. Nevertheless, there did not seem to be as
many chukar during the open season as there were in 1955. Few hunters pursued them
vigorously, and the total bag was small. Should the present winter be a mild one, we
may expect plenty of chukar next autumn. Chukar do not appear to winter well at this
latitude, and they fall easy victims to predators, particularly goshawks.
European Partridge.—These birds are found in small numbers in several areas but
cannot be considered as an important species, except possibly in the Vernon district.
Their numbers have declined, no doubt as a result of the unusually severe weather conditions encountered late in 1955 and early in 1956. There does not appear to be much
future for Hungarian partridge in this Division, except perhaps in the Okanagan Valley.
Pheasants.—The 1956 pheasant season was a disappointing one for most sportsmen
as numbers were down in all portions of the Division where these birds are found. Most
hunters experienced considerable difficulty, even with the use of well-trained dogs, in
filling their bags. As in the case of other exotic upland game birds, the hard winter of
1955/56 took a heavy toll on pheasants. Further, in most areas modern farming and
ranching practices are responsible for a decreasing amount of food and cover available
to pheasants. In my opinion, moneys expended on the liberation of pheasants could be
used more effectively on habitat improvement, and further pheasant liberations in " C "
Division are not recommended. Despite the decrease in pheasant population in 1956,
a good brood stock remains in all areas suitable for production of these birds.
Migratory Game Birds
While there was an improvement in most parts of the Division in the waterfowl-
hunting over that in 1955, a good portion of the birds taken were locally bred. Hunting
success was generally good early in the season, but birds from the north seemed late in
migrating, and very few of them stayed for any length of time, or even stopped, in this
Division. Although the autumn was much milder than that of 1955, it was cold enough
by the time the main migrations were in progress to freeze over most of the smaller lakes R 30 BRITISH COLUMBIA
and pot-holes. Populations of migratory game birds are dependent mainly on conditions
in the far north during the nesting season and are therefore largely beyond our control.
Climatic conditions during the southern migration are also a large factor in determining
hunting success. However, it is certain that the waterfowl-harvest in this Division could
be increased by the setting-aside of strategic tracts of marsh land as resting and feeding
places, and as nesting spots, for ducks and geese. Some of the better sites have already
been reclaimed for agricultural and industrial uses, and many more will be lost forever
for wildlife purposes unless set aside or purchased in the near future.
Predatory Animals and Noxious Birds
Wolves and coyotes appear to be well under control throughout the Division, and
this can be attributed to the successful use of 1080 baits by our Predator Control Division.
The number of complaints are declining, and those received are given attention by the
Predator Control staff or by the Game Wardens, or both. Crows, magpies, and ravens
are very plentiful in some districts and have been blamed for damage to crops, live stock,
and game birds. Wild or uncontrolled dogs and abandoned domestic cats have also been
the subject of numerous complaints. Game Wardens in this Division continue to destroy
predatory animals and noxious birds whenever these are encountered, and accounted for
1,304 of these creatures in 1956. These figures do not include vermin destroyed in the
Division by predatory-animal hunters, and complete figures will be found elsewhere in
the Game Commission's Annual Report.
Game Protection
Continuous patrols were carried out by all Game Wardens in " C " Division whenever and wherever possible throughout the year. Many areas, however, were patrolled
infrequently, if at all, owing to the large size of the Detachments and the many duties
modern Game Wardens are called upon to perform. It is felt that the only way in which
we can adequately protect our valuable wildlife resources, both by enforcement and
increased public education, is to increase enforcement staffs and thereby decrease the
area which each Game Warden must patrol. Populations as well as hunting and fishing
pressures are growing by leaps and bounds, and each year many more miles of road are
constructed. More and more hunters and fishermen are becoming equipped with four-
wheel-drive vehicles and are thereby reaching areas which cannot be patrolled unless
staffs are increased and provided with similar equipment. Two hundred and eleven
informations were laid by Game Wardens in this Division in 1956. Convictions were
registered in all but five cases.
Game Propagation
The trapping and liberation of California bighorn sheep, also the liberation of
pheasants, will be dealt with elsewhere in the Annual Report, and need not be listed here.
The extreme weather conditions experienced early in 1956 necessitated fairly heavy
pheasant-feeding programmes, mainly in the Okanagan Valley, Thompson Valley, and
in the Salmon Arm district.
Game Reserves
The Yalakom Game Reserve, which, like many other game reserves in this Province
and elsewhere, had outlived its usefulness, was abolished by Order in Council in August,
1956. The Bowron Lake Game Reserve has been retained, and may possibly be set
aside as a Provincial park for the enjoyment of the public. There are a number of
waterfowl sanctuaries and restricted areas which are serving a very useful purpose, and
it is felt that an increase in the number and extent of the former would be beneficial. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 31
Fur Trade
There was very little activity in the fur trade in the year 1956, principally owing to
the low price of furs and small amount of trapping being carried out. Further, most fur
taken in this Division is shipped to the large fur houses at Vancouver.
Registration of Trap-lines
The system of trap-line registration is a good one and appears to be operating with
a minimum of friction.
Registration of Guides
A very slight drop in the number of registered guides was noted in 1956, when
there was a total of 459, made up as follows: First Class, 135; Second Class, 174;
Assistant Class, 150. Most of the problems resulting in friction between certain of the
registered guides have been satisfactorily solved during the year, and very few complaints
are being received. Some guides still fail to submit complete returns, and this hinders
our efforts to implement better big-game management practices. Efforts are therefore
being made to educate the guides that it is in their own best interests to co-operate fully
with game administration officials. Most registered guides who operate on a sound
business basis had an excellent season in 1956 and can therefore expect repeat business
from most of their clients.
Special Patrols
As each Game Warden in the Division carries out continuous patrol work throughout the year, by every means of transportation available, none of these can be classed
as special. However, many of the patrols looked upon as routine by our personnel are
really of an arduous and sometimes hazardous nature.
Hunting Accidents
It is with regret that I must report one serious and one fatal hunting accident in this
Division during the year 1956.   For details, see " Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956."
Game-fish Culture
Several phases of game-fish culture work were carried out in a great many areas
during the year by the Fisheries Division, and complete data on this work will be found
in the Annual Report of that Division. In many instances, considerable assistance was
rendered by Game Wardens in this work. Obstruction and pollution problems continued
to crop up on streams and lakes, and in most cases were promptly and satisfactorily
solved. Sportsmen continued to seek out the fine fishing obtainable in this Division in
ever-increasing numbers, and, on the whole, the 1956 fishing season was a very successful one for non-resident anglers alike. If, however, the excellent fishing enjoyed in the
past is to be maintained and a larger number of lakes improved, it will be necessary in
the not-too-distant future to increase personnel as well as hatchery facilities.
Summary and General Remarks
In summary, it may be said that the 1956 hunting and fishing seasons provided a
great deal of sport and recreation to a very large number of resident and non-resident
sportsmen. Fishermen, in general, were quite successful, as were big-game hunters.
Bird-hunters, too, did fairly well on the whole, but, as in the case of big-game hunters,
usually had to work harder at their sport than in 1955 in order to obtain satisfactory
bags. Of more importance, breeding stocks of all game animals and birds appear to be
satisfactory in all areas suitable for their production, and unless unfavourable weather R 32 BRITISH COLUMBIA
conditions are encountered, we may look forward to a good game-harvest in 1957.
I feel that the staff of the Game Commission in this Division is doing an excellent job
of fish and game management, but that an even better job could be done if more personnel and equipment were available. Increased access to hitherto inaccessible areas
should assist in providing more sport and recreation, and we must all be on the alert to
ensure public access to the greatest possible number of areas.
During the year 1956 the trend toward more active participation in public relations
work by Game Wardens in this Division continued, and the value of this work cannot
be overemphasized. Much of this work is carried out during the evenings when, if other
urgent duties are not being attended to, the Game Warden should have the opportunity
to relax with his family. Almost without exception, the Game Wardens in this Division
are dedicated men, and practically all their interest and initiative are directed toward
their work. It is therefore sincerely hoped that the year 1957 will see an increase in
their salaries commensurate with their ability, experience, and devotion to duty.
In closing, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to all Departmental personnel, both in and out of " C " Division, for the excellent co-operation and
assistance freely given throughout the year. Excellent co-operation has also been received from all branches of the Provincial Departments of Lands and Forests, Highways,
Public Works, and other Government departments and agencies, from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, and from the Canada Fisheries Department and the Department
of Indian Affairs. Fish and game clubs throughout the Division have also assisted our
personnel in many ways. This assistance and co-operation is very much appreciated and
will, I am sure, continue in the future.
By W. A. H. Gill, Officer Commanding
I wish to submit herewith my annual report covering game conditions in " D "
Division for the year ended December 31st, 1956.
Big Game
Moose.—The first antlerless season was in effect in the eastern district of " D "
Division in 1956 for a duration of only four days, from December 12th to 15th, inclusive.
During these four days we were subjected to a severe blizzard over the whole area, which
resulted in a very small take of moose.
The moose population in this area is heavy, and although 1955 was a most severe
winter, there was practically no winter loss of moose, and these animals were in splendid
condition in the spring. During the winter of 1955 it was noted that the moose changed
their wintering-grounds from past years. This no doubt was due to climatic conditions.
In the fall of 1956 they moved into the same wintering-grounds as in 1955, and at the
close of the year were wintering very well.
I do not feel that the antlerless season had any effect in so far as reducing the moose
population in this Division. The moose population north of the 56th parallel of north
latitude and in that portion of the Peace River Electoral District south of the 56th parallel is certainly not nearly as heavy as in the remainder of the eastern portion of this
Division; therefore, I feel that the regulations governing seasons should be changed.
Deer.—These game animals are gradually increasing on the Mainland. I feel that
now the timber-wolves have been reduced to a satisfactory level, our deer will gradually
increase to their usual numbers before the heavy wolf population practically wiped them REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 33
out. From information received from some of the older residents, deer were present in
far greater numbers than they are at present.
On the Queen Charlotte Islands a heavy kill was reported, and the deer were found
to be in good condition.
Caribou.—Reports indicate that these animals are on the increase in the northern
portion of the Province, both in the Atlin and Sikanni Chief River areas. They have
also shown a marked increase in the Tweedsmuir Park, Telkwa, and Morice River areas.
Black and Brown Bear.—I do not believe these animals are as plentiful as in past
years, but they are causing some damage in isolated areas.
Grizzly Bear.—These animals do not appear to increase or decrease as do most
other game animals. Very few are taken by sportsmen each season, and it is surprising
that they have not increased. Apparently some unknown cause keeps their numbers
Mountain-sheep.—Sheep are reported on the increase in the Kakwa Lake area.
In the remainder of this Division they appear to be normal. Large bands are particularly noted in the Cold Fish and Gladys Lake areas.
A fair number of Dahl sheep (white) are present in the Haines Cut-off area, and
it is felt that an open season should be in effect on these animals, as they migrate into
the Yukon where there is an open season, and are thus taken by sportsmen there. It
seems we are only protecting them for the Yukon sportsmen.
Mountain-goat.—These are plentiful in all parts of the Division where there is suitable terrain. I believe we should continue the bag-limit of two and open the season
on August 15th throughout the Division.
Wapiti (Elk).—No elk were taken on the Queen Charlotte Islands in 1956. However, they are believed to be increasing slowly. A few isolated bands are reported in
the interior of this Division, but no increase has been noted.
Fur-bearing Animals
Marten.—Marten do not appear to be as plentiful as in 1955. However, this
decline is certainly not due to trapping pressure, as very few have been taken by trappers
because of the low price offered for the pelts.
Beaver.—These animals are plentiful, and in many instances are causing flooding
of farm lands, highways, and railways. Trappers are reluctant to take them due to the
poor price paid for beaver.
Fox.—Foxes have shown a slight increase in numbers, but it is felt that they have
been reduced considerably by our poison programme. However, as there is no market
for their pelts, no harm is being done.
Mink.—Mink are the most heavily trapped of all fur-bearers due to the value of
their pelts. This is the only fur that has brought a good price on the fur market during
the past four years.   There is no noticeable change in their numbers.
Fisher.—A slight increase is noted in the population of these fine fur-bearers.
However, due to the very low prices, few are taken by trappers.
Lynx.—These animals are declining in numbers rather rapidly. This, I believe, is
due to the rabbit die-off three years ago. However, they are still fairly numerous. There
is no demand for the pelts of these fur-bearers.
Squirrels. — These fur-bearers appear to be on the upward trend. The squirrel
population in this area has been very low during the past two years. Prices are still
fairly good for squirrel-pelts.
Muskrats.—Not many muskrats are found in this area. I believe this is due to the
winter loss. R 34 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Upland Game Birds
Pheasants.—Pheasants were released in the Vanderhoof, Smithers, Fort St. John,
and Dawson Creek areas in past years, but have not propagated. No birds were
released in this Division in 1956 as it is not considered suitable pheasant habitat.
Willow and Franklin's Grouse.—Both willow and Franklin's grouse are still to be
found in moderate numbers, and it is believed they will commence to show a marked
increase in 1957.   Fair bags were obtained in 1956 by hunters using good dogs.
Blue Grouse.—Very few blue grouse were taken in this Division, as they are only
found on the higher levels.
Prairie-chicken or Sharp-tailed Grouse.—Prairie-chicken are at a very low level.
Their numbers dropped in 1954 and have not increased. I feel that these birds should
be protected during their low cycle, and as soon as they start to become numerous
again, a larger bag-limit should be put into effect, as it would appear that they die off if
left to become too numerous.
Migratory Game Birds
Ducks and Geese.—Migratory game-bird hunting in the eastern district of this
Division is poor, as birds do not stop over here on their southern migration.   Only local
birds are obtainable, and they soon move to backwoods lake, where hunters seldom get
to them. _, _._
Destruction of Vermin
Timber-wolves.—The wolf population is at a satisfactory level, and I do not
believe the over-all poison programme should be continued. I feel that poison should
be put out from now on only at points where it is known that wolves are doing damage.
Coyotes. — I feel that the coyote situation is satisfactory. This area does not
appear to be too suitable for coyotes because of the deep snow and severe winters.
Cougars.—These predators are increasing slowly, but I do not believe they will
ever become a major menace, as the winters are too severe in this northern Division.
Magpies.—No change in the number of these birds.   There are few in the Division.
Eagles.—These birds are plentiful in "D" Division and are the source of many
complaints, such as the killing of ducks, swans, geese, and, on occasion, attack lambs
and even bear cubs. „ „
Game Protection
The Wardens in this area have worked exceptionally long hours in order to cover
at least the main portions of their huge Detachment areas.
Due to the great development in this northern area, a large number of displaced
persons have settled here, and this has increased the work of the Wardens by reason of
the fact that these people do not appear to understand game regulations.
Additional Game Wardens are requested for this Division, to be placed at Atlin,
Bella Coola, and Telegraph Creek.
Game Propagation
No game propagation was carried out in this Division in 1956.
Game Reserves
The Kathlyn Lake, Fort George, and Kaien Island Game Reserves are the only
ones in this Division, and they are more for the protection of the cities and towns they
surround than for the protection of game.
There is one migratory game-bird sanctuary on the Nechako River at Vanderhoof.
Approximately 300 geese inhabit this sanctuary each fall, and some hunting is obtained
in the grain-fields as these birds fly out to feed.
Buckhorn Lake, near Prince George, has been declared a closed area for migratory
game birds, and fair shooting in the farming area of Pineview is available because of
this protected area. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 35
Fur Trade
The fur trade is exceptionally poor due to the low fur prices.
Registration of Trap-lines
Few complaints are received, and our system is working satisfactorily.    When
aerial maps are available for the whole Province, the work of registering trap-lines will
be greatly reduced.
Registration of Guides
No difficulty is being experienced in this regard, as most areas have been registered
for some years, and most of the existing troubles have been cleared up. We still have a
few unsatisfactory guides, but due to the hunters being reluctant to come forward with
sufficient information as to mistreatment or misrepresentation, we have been unable to
secure enough evidence to cancel the licences of them.
Special Patrols
There were no special patrols undertaken during 1956.    However, each Game
Warden covered as much of his Detachment area as possible by car, dog team, boat,
foot, and snowshoes.
Hunting Accidents
There were four hunting accidents reported in this Division during 1956, two of
which were fatal.   For details, please see report "Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956."
Game-fish Culture
The only coarse-fish trap kept in operation during 1956 was at Cluculz Creek, outlet
of Cluculz Lake. This was supervised by Wardens from Prince George and Vanderhoof, and operated by Claire Haines, mink-farmer at Cluculz Lake. Over 6 tons of
coarse fish were taken.
Fish poisoning was carried on in Norman, Deep, Rod, and Gun Creeks, and at
Cluculz Lake during 1956, and approximately 6 tons of coarse fish were destroyed.
It is noted with interest that the number of coarse fish inhabiting these streams is steadily
declining and the trout population is increasing.
Sucker Creek was poisoned, and also Deep Creek, which flows out of Graveyard
Lake into Cluculz Lake, and approximately 5 tons of coarse fish were destroyed.
All creeks were treated three times during the coarse-fish runs.
Summary and General Remarks
Due to the increasing number of local and visiting sportsmen using aircraft as a
means of transportation to and from the hunting and fishing grounds in this Division, it
is necessary that we secure our own aircraft so that the great number of infractions
committed by these persons could be checked. As it is now, the Wardens cannot possibly check persons who reach these inaccessible areas, and we have sufficient evidence
to know that our game and fish laws are being disregarded in those remote areas.
To charter an aircraft into these areas is not satisfactory, as in all probability we
would have to charter an aeroplane from the same company taking in the persons who
are committing the offences.
I especially wish to thank Inspector J. D. Lee of the Royal Canadian Mounted
Police, Fort George Subdivision, and Staff Sergeant McAlpine for their very splendid
The various R.C.M.P. officers and constables in this Division have been most
helpful, and the very best relations now exist between the Game Branch officials and
those of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which, I feel, is in the best interests of
both forces. R 36 BRITISH COLUMBIA
I wish to thank all my Wardens, who have gone far beyond their regular duties to
protect our heritage of wildlife by giving up their own rightful hours of off-duty.
Big Game
Coast or Columbian Deer.—A good deer-harvest was taken in most parts of the
Division. Despite an eight-day open season on doe deer, there were very few taken.
Local declines in deer numbers were noted in parts of the Coquitlam district and in the
northern areas of Vancouver Island. On the other hand, deer were found to be extremely
numerous in the Mission region. The surprising total of forty-five deer were taken from
Long Island (Harrison Lake) alone. This is an exceptionally good harvest from such a
small area (Long Island is 10 miles long and three miles wide). In general, the deer
populations in this Division are good.
Wapiti (Elk).—The small bands of wapiti found in the Kokish Meadows, Nimpkish
Valley, Nahwiti Lake, and Schoan Lake areas of North Vancouver Island remain unchanged. These districts are almost inaccessible, and the animals are subjected to little
hunting pressure. There are an estimated forty wapiti in the McNab-Potlatch Creek
areas. Only three were taken by hunters during the fifteen-day open season, and it
appears that several times that number could have been safely taken. The terrain is
particularly rugged, and hunting there is arduous. It is believed that this herd of wapiti
has reached its saturation point, and no increase in numbers can be expected.
Black or Brown Bear.—These animals continue to have considerable nuisance value
and are responsible for much damage to farm crops and stock. There seems to be no
decrease in numbers despite the year-round open season. Very few black bears are shot
by sportsmen.
Grizzly Bear.—Grizzly bears are found in the majority of Mainland inlets and can
be considered numerous. There are well-worn grizzly trails leading to the salmon-rivers,
the fish being an important source of food for these animals. A few grizzly bears are
scattered throughout the higher sections of the Chilliwack district. Few of these animals
are ever taken by hunters. This also applies to the coastal grizzlies, and the hunting pressure on grizzly bears in this Division can be considered negligible. It can be said that
grizzly numbers are virtually self-controlled, and human activity has affected them but
little in this Division.   No accurate estimate of their numbers is possible.
Mountain-goat.—Mountain-goats are well established in all the mountainous areas
of this Division where suitable habitat can be found. Man has had no apparent effect on
the environment of these animals. Most of the goat areas still remain in their primeval
condition, with most goat country being above timber-line. They are the least exploited
of our game animals.
Fur-bearing Animals
Fur prices remain low, and there seems little reason to expect change in the fur
situation. The fur trade can almost be considered to be a thing of the past. Little trapping is done, with the result that all fur-bearers can be considered to be at peak populations. Racoons are extremely numerous and are a pest in some districts. They are
responsible for considerable damage to fruit-trees and undoubtedly take a heavy toll of
birds' eggs. Despite an all-year open season on racoons, their numbers do not appear
to diminish.
Beavers appear to be increasing throughout the Division and can also be considered
extremely troublesome in some areas. Fur-bearing animals, in general, are in good
supply, and a much larger harvest could be safely taken.   People who, in previous years, REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956 R 37
were in the trapping business now find more lucrative employment elsewhere, with the
result that trap-lines are not giving up anything like the harvest they once did. There
seems to be little prospect of any renewed activity in the fur trade at present.
Upland Game Birds
Blue Grouse.—It is well established that blue grouse are cyclic and are strongly
affected by periodic fluctuations in numbers. These fluctuations occur at roughly ten-year
intervals (on the average), with the birds reaching peak numbers and then "crashing"
to low densities through a variety of reasons, such as disease. It appears that the cycle
is this year on the upswing, and grouse numbers are increasing.
There are many other factors which govern the numbers of blue grouse. Man's use
of the land, logging practices, climatic conditions during the crucial nesting season, and
the use of forest sprays, all have a profound effect upon grouse populations by limiting
or affecting the habitat.
Willow (Ruffed) Grouse.—The remarks made dealing with blue grouse also apply
to willow or ruffed grouse. It should be mentioned that the so-called " ten-year cycle "
is not nearly as discernible in coastal regions as it is in more northerly latitudes. Neither
blue or ruffed grouse can be said to be plentiful in this Division. The logged-over areas
of Vancouver Island are our best grouse habitat.
Grouse numbers are expected to show a steady increase over the next few years if
nesting seasons are favourable.
Pheasants.—Heavy rains during June had an adverse effect on young pheasants, and
small broods were common. There was a marked increase in hunting pressure throughout
the Division. These factors, coupled with the steadily decreasing acreage in which
pheasants can find suitable habitat, make it doubtful if any increase in pheasant populations can be expected.
After careful study by Department game biologists and after a survey of the practice
as carried out elsewhere on the continent, it was decided that the purchase and release of
farm-raised pheasants should be discontinued after the year 1957. Information obtained
from other game administrations confirmed our findings. Purchase and liberation of farm-
raised pheasants has been a most costly operation, and studies have shown that the returns
obtained do not justify the financial outlay involved.
Hunter surveys showed that only 5.4 per cent of the total annual kill was represented
by farm-raised birds. It has long been known that mortality was heavy among liberated
pheasants. The unfamiliar and more rugged wild environment often proves too much for
farm-raised birds.   A listing of birds liberated during the year will be found in a later page.
Migratory Game Birds
Ducks and Geese.—Waterfowl generally seem to be holding their own extremely
well. This is quite remarkable when one considers the tremendous hunting pressure
to which these birds are subjected. With such a large human population in the Lower
Mainland and with more and more people turning to hunting as a form of recreation, all
available waterfowl-shooting grounds can be considered to be put to maximum use.
Conditions at nesting time in northerly regions are the controlling factors in basic
waterfowl populations.
Black Brant.—These birds were scarce during the open season but appeared in fair
numbers later.
Band-tailed Pigeons.—These birds were numerous and provided excellent sport.
Snow Geese.—-Snow geese were abundant during the early part of the season. As
usual, they were to be seen in offshore rafts. Morning and evening flights were poor, and
climatic conditions favoured the birds.   Few were bagged by sportsmen.
Wilson's Snipe.—These birds were plentiful, but are little hunted. R 38 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Predatory Animals and Noxious Birds
Domestic cats and, to a lesser extent, domestic dogs which have been allowed by
their owners to run wild continue to be a thorough nuisance. The damage done to nesting
birds by these useless animals must be extensive, while the problem seems to be impossible
to solve. Despite constant educational efforts, many people still cannot bring themselves
to destroy an unwanted pet. The Game Commission's employees never lose an opportunity of pointing out to people that this practice is extremely destructive to wildlife and
is completely unfair to the dog or cat concerned. It should be remembered that in most
centres S.P.C.A. officials will handle painless disposal of unwanted house pets.
Racoons are responsible for much damage to game birds and animals, as well as to
domestic stocks.
Game Protection
Constant patrols were made by Game Wardens. A summary of game law violations
which were detected will be found elsewhere in this Report. Regular patrols of all game
reserves are made by Game Wardens. Splendid co-operation has been received from
staffs of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and from local police forces.
Registration of Guides
Guiding in this Detachment is confined to the hunting of grizzly bears and mountain-
goats in coastal areas.   No problems have arisen during the year.
Special Patrols
The Department launches stationed at Alert Bay, Powell River, and Vancouver carried out many valuable patrols. Corporal W. J. Mason and Game Warden F. Renton,
Alert Bay; Game Warden B. E. Wilson, Powell River; and Corporal R. E. Allan, Vancouver, made many arduous and often dangerous trips on coastal duty.
Special patrols were carried out by all Game Wardens, while assistance to police
officers was given whenever required.
Registration of Trap-lines
The trap-line system continues to operate with a minimum of trouble, and it is
difficult to conceive of a more efficient plan of trap-line management.
Hunting Accidents
There were five hunting accidents in this Division during the year, one of them fatal.
For details, see Hunting and Fishing Accidents, 1956.
Game-fish Culture
A list of fish plantings that were made in the Division during 1956 is shown elsewhere in this Report, while a report on the year's activities of the Fisheries Division is
also included. A project worthy of mention was the eradication of coarse fish from Deer
Lake, Burnaby. The undertaking was a complete success. Kamloops trout were planted
in this water during early 1957. Plans are to reserve the lake for children, pensioners,
and handicapped persons and has already given much healthful recreation to many people.
Fish eradication might well have entered a new era in British Columbia with the new
chemical topaxphene being used in place of the much more costly rotenone. The high
price of the latter made it almost prohibitive, except for small bodies of water. Toxaphene
appears to be highly effective, and the eradication programme might be possible on a
much wider scale than had previously been thought possible. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956
Summary and General Remarks
R 39
The future of wildlife in this Division is largely a matter for speculation. The
number of sportsmen in the field increases enormously each year. Coupled with this is
the tendency for private-property owners and some municipalities to disallow hunting.
This means that although there are more and more sportsmen afield each season, the
available hunting-grounds are decreasing.
By G. A. West, Supervisor of Predator Control
Predator-control activities during 1956 were many and varied and resulted in a
high degree of control over most complaint areas as far as the larger predators were
concerned. Wolf and coyote predation was very small on domestic stocks. The practice of using our standard techniques of baiting (both aerial and ground) with horse-
meat and using Compound 1080 as the poison resulted in a very low population of
wolves and coyotes throughout the stock areas and over most of the heavily hunted
areas. Aerial baiting was again the principal method by which the baits were distributed.
This method accounted for approximately 80 per cent of the whole baiting programme
and enabled the placing of baits in areas which were hopelessly inaccessible by any other
means. As a direct result of using aircraft, baits were placed on coastal islands and
inlets for the first time. These areas will receive more attention as reports are received
of wolf depredation. Plans for 1957 include a large-scale programme over the entire
north central portion of the coastal area.
The numbers of the larger-type predators do not indicate too much, as many of
these animals feed upon baits and are destroyed but never located. For figures regarding animals and birds known to be destroyed, please refer to the attached table.
Vermin Destroyed, 1956
Bobcats. _  . —
Cats (wild)    _           	
Cougars.    . .   	
Dogs (wild) _	
Foxes _ _   	
Racoons „	
Wolves _  	
Totals  _	
171      |      1,024      |         995
Crows. -   -   	
Hawks _	
267      |         428             1,249
A resume of predation and the main predators responsible for damage is as
Bears.—Black bears caused more concern and complaints than the rest of the
predators put together. The damage to live stock was approximately the same as it has
been since 1954. However, there was an appreciable increase of complaints of bears
raiding orchards, beehives, poultry-houses, cabins, and creating a general nuisance.
Fortunately, the majority of the control techniques used were very effective. This
resulted in a large number of bears being destroyed for a relatively small amount of
reported damage. A total of 400 bears were destroyed, as against 237 during 1955.
Although this increase was alarming (40.7 per cent) in itself, the damage did not rise
in a corresponding fashion.
The probable reason for the sudden increase in bear predation and damage was
very likely the small berry-crop in the forests over large areas of the Province. Last
winter's killing frosts, coupled with the past summer's heat, apparently raised havoc
with the wild fruits.
Cougars.—A further decline in the payments of cougar bounties was noted during
1956. The payment of cougar-hunters decreased over the whole of the Province by
27.4 per cent, or from 358 to 260.
From an analysis of the bounty records dating back to 1922, one can see a very
distinct cycle within the cougar population of British Columbia. Of course, a portion
of the ups and downs can be attributed to economic conditions, but these conditions
could not possibly account for more than a small fraction of the variations. There was
a very distinct low point in 1925 (140), again in 1941 (196), and a third distinct low
is shaping up for 1957 or 1958, with the 1956 bounty figure at 260 bounded animals.
Conversely, the high in the population occurred in 1931 (700) and again during 1948
(725). There is evidence of cycles within cycles, as evidenced by the high point on Vancouver Island occurring during 1953, or five years behind the Provincial high. However, at the present time all areas show a general decline.
From a damage point of view, cougars have created little damage or anxiety during
the past year. Complaints have decreased to the point where they were considered of
negligible importance.
Coyotes.—These animals caused little damage and correspondingly few complaints
during 1956. Baiting and other methods, including cyanide guns, and traps have made
wide inroads into the coyote populations of the stock-raising areas, where the largest
concentrations used to be. It is felt that the coyote situation is well in hand at the
present time and can be retained under the present circumstances. With the advent
of aircraft in this work and other modern techniques, the control of coyotes over wide
areas can be accomplished with few difficulties.
One of these difficulties, which has been rather slow in developing in the past but is
surely increasing, is being caused by the type of coyotes which have either invaded heavily
settled areas or which have been enveloped by settlement. These animals can do a
relatively large amount of damage, particularly to domestic fowl. They are difficult to
eliminate, as one cannot use poison or similar control methods under settlement conditions. The only recourse is to trap the offender. This is relatively simple at present,
but as more areas are settled and built up we will be forced to adapt various techniques
to fit the situation or we will be faced with a serious problem similar to the red fox
problem of the Lower Fraser Valley.
Foxes.—They are of major importance only in the Fraser Valley, although a problem
may be in the process of developing on the east coast of Vancouver Island in the vicinity
of Courtenay and Campbell River. The foxes in this area are descendants of escapees
from fox-farms. They have shown signs of increasing their range and numbers during
the past year, but damage has been confined mainly to blue grouse during nesting and REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956 R 41
rearing seasons. They could become a large social nuisance if they spread to the south
and invade the lower east coastal area. It is regrettable that this problem was ever
allowed to begin, but we are now " stuck " with it.
A total of 273 foxes were destroyed during the year's operation, with many more
unaccounted for because they took poison baits and were not located. At the present
time, controls appear to be gaining on the fox problem, but it would only take one
circumstance favourable to the foxes to enable them to reverse the situation very quickly
and in considerable magnitude.
Wolves.—Complaints concerning these predators were at a very low level during
1956. Two or three complaints involved wolves killing cattle, but as far as is known the
damage was quite light. The major complaint was received from the ranchers in the
Anahim and Tatla Lake areas, where a pack of five wolves moved east from the coastal
area into cattle-raising country. This pack moved far and fast, creating disturbances
mainly through running herds belonging to various ranchers. However, baits were placed
and were apparently eaten by this pack, as they disappeared suddenly in the baited
vicinity and all damage ceased.
Baiting was instituted in the coastal area for the first time during 1956. Some of
the coastal islands and inlets were baited rather heavily. Plans are now under way to
bait large sections of the coast during the 1957 baiting season. Wolves on the coast are
very numerous, but rather scattered in tight communities. This means that they are
extremely vulnerable to baiting, and so the kill should be heavy.
Wolves have ceased to be a major source of complaints and (or) damage. This
situation can be maintained quite easily in the future if plans are made well in advance.
We intend to operate in a more fluid fashion so that, in effect, wolf populations will be
managed on a scale of importance. If wolves are in a heavily hunted or stock-raising
area, they will be wiped out, but the reverse will be the case in the backwoods areas
where they do little or no damage. Here they will receive light treatment in order that
they do not become too numerous.
Other Predators.—Racoons and bobcats were once again the chief sources of annoyance in this group. This applied mainly to the Fraser Valley for both species and to the
lower east coast of Vancouver Island as far as racoons were concerned. The problem
remained the same—how to establish multiple, effective controls in a heavily built-up
area. We were fortunate if the annual increment was taken. However, as long as we
can take the actual offenders, the damage will remain relatively low.
A problem which may eventually overshadow our present ones is fast appearing.
During the past two years, dogs have been very troublesome, both from domestic stock
and game points of view. This applied to the whole Province and was in no way a local
problem. It has been so bad in some localities that we have been approached by the
enforcement authorities in at least three instances for baits to be placed, not for coyotes,
but for dogs running at large. When dogs " pack up " they are capable of dragging down
and killing the largest of our more common big-game animals, as evidenced by numerous
reports from field staff and others. They run and kill everything from pheasants to
moose, and on more than one occasion have attacked and mauled human beings. Unless
owners and municipalities do something to curb this menace, there is only one answer
to the problem: we will have to concentrate more and more on dogs and classify them
in exactly the same fashion as wolves or coyotes. Many people, when warned about their
pet dogs running deer or killing domestic stock, state that their dogs never leave home.
In most cases where dogs have been shot or destroyed by baits, they have commonly been
1 to 2 miles from home in the woods and have been shot as much as 6 miles away from
their residences. Field staff are now of the opinion that dogs running at large are far
worse than any of our natural predators. R 42 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Rodent-control.—One man was on the control of Columbia ground-squirrels in the
East Kootenay from April until September, at which time he assumed duties as Game
Warden, predatory-animal hunter, etc.
During the summer of 1956 he placed approximately 100,000 baits in an attempt to
attain control. Each bait consisted of one teaspoonful of oats treated with Compound
1080. Even though the process of distribution was tedious and very time-consuming, the
results were very good. The area covered was from Skookumchuk Prairie south to the
International Boundary, on crop lands only and involved an area of 7,000 acres. The
co-operation from the farmers was excellent; in fact, they have begun to organize working bees in preparation for the 1957 season. The farmers will distribute the grain under
the personal supervision of our fieldman in all cases. This will be done in order that
danger to live stock will be at an absolute minimum.
There have been some reports that agitation for the control of pocket-gophers and
mice in the Okanagan-Kamloops region has been going on. If this was attempted it
would mean a large amount of groundwork before control could begin. A survey of
damage from Grand Forks to Kamloops was completed in June of 1956, and the results
were very surprising. The survey was very light and only covered the highlights of the
problem. From this one can see the tremendous damage that is being inflicted by pocket-
gophers in particular. The crops destroyed ranged from alfalfa to young fruit-trees and
occurred in an amazingly high incidence.
In an operation of this type each fieldman can only do a relatively small area. With
excellent co-operation from land-owners involved, he could possibly treat 15,000 acres
or 23 square miles in a five-month season. In the control of pocket-gophers or mice, the
area treated would probably be under 10,000 acres. This means that an adequate
beginning of pocket-gopher control would involve fourteen men, at least, on a permanent
In closing, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to all members of the other Divisions
for their co-operation and help during the past year. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION, 1956
R 43
Derived from
Sale of Game
and Fees
Calendar Year
Derived from
Fur Trade
Revenue derived from—
Sale of resident firearms licences
Sale of deer, moose-elk, goat, and pheasant tags	
Sale of resident anglers', guides', and prospectors' firearms licences
Sale of non-resident firearms licences and outfitters' licences	
Sale of non-resident anglers' licences 	
Sale of fur-traders', taxidermists', and tanners' licences, and royalty
on fur	
Sale of commercial and private game-fish pond licences	
Sale of confiscated firearms	
Sale of confiscated fur	
Sale of miscellaneous confiscated articles	
Collection of big-game trophy fees from non-residents
Prosecutions—fines imposed under the " Game Act "__
Miscellaneous revenue	
DECEMBER 3 1st,  1956
Ordinary firearms licences
General firearms licences _
Extra-general firearms licences
Special firearms licences
Extra-special firearms licences
Less refunds
$467,126.50 R 44 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Number Amount
Deer tags   112,098 $56,049.00
Moose-elk tags „      26,869 53,738.50
Goat tags       2,680 5,360.00
Pheasant tags      19,718 9,859.00
Total         $125,006.50
Less refunds  793.00
Number Amount
Resident anglers   109,976 $219,952.00
Guides        1,014 9,520.00
Free farmers  803 	
Prospectors           975 8.00
Total         $229,480.00
Less refunds  75.00
Number Amount
Non-resident general firearms licences  2,814 $70,350.00
Non-resident general firearms licences (special)       83 1,245.00
Non-resident ordinary firearms licences        62 186.00
Outfitters' licences           1 50.00
Total       $71,831.00
Less refunds  100.00
Number Amount
Non-resident anglers' licences (American)  25,101 $175,726.50
Non-resident anglers' licences (Canadian)     5,646 19,767.00
Non-resident anglers' licences (minor)     6,469 6,469.00
Total       $201,962.50
Less refunds  53.00
Number Amount
Resident fur-traders' licences   88 $2,200.00
Resident fur-traders' licences (transient)      4 400.00
Agent for non-resident fur-traders' licences      2 400.00
Royalty or tax on fur  44,649.64
Taxidermists' or tanners' licences  16 32.00
Totals   $47,681.64
Less refunds  34.00
1956 Totals, 1921-56
Fur royalty or tax  $44,615.64 $ 1,973,492.18
Fur-traders', tanners', and taxidermists' licences __      3,032.00 213,769.00
Totals  $47,647.64 $2,187,261.18
Kind of pelt—                                                                               1936 Totals, 1921-56
Bear    20,997
Badger.  161
Beaver        14,985 610,495
Fisher             554 25,052
Fox, silver                10 41,065
Fox, cross               12 33,744
Fox, red               24 45,858
Fox, blue (farmed)     6,082
Fox, black    3
Fox, platinum (farmed)    53
Lynx           1,336 89,684
Marten          3,430 333,158
Mink            8,818 756,860
Muskrat        60,133 3,027,682
Otter                803 26,402
Racoon     103,984
Skunk     15,237
Squirrel       134,097 7,184,031
Weasel          9,021 1,350,243
Wolverine             175 8,690
Amount of royalty collected  _.___. $44,649.64 $1,973,612.08
Confiscated Firearms
The following firearms were confiscated under the "Game Act," January 1st to December 31st,
1956: 41 rifles and 8 shotguns. The sum of $326.56 was received during 1956 from the sale of
confiscated firearms.
Confiscated Fishing-tackle
The following fishing-tackle was confiscated under the "Game Act," January 1st to December
31st, 1956: 4 rods and 3 reels. R 46 BRITISH COLUMBIA
Confiscated or Surrendered Fur
The following fur was confiscated or surrendered under the " Game Act," January 1st to December 31st, 1956: 5 beaver-pelts, 2 mink-pelts, 9 muskrat-pelts, and 1 fur-seal pelt. The sum of $36.96
was received during 1956 from the sale of confiscated and surrendered fur.
Miscellaneous Articles
The following articles were confiscated under the "Game Act," January 1st to December 31st,
1956: 1 boat and 1 3-horsepower motor. The sum of $157.50 was received during 1956 from the sale
of confiscated miscellaneous articles.
Bounty, $20   258
Bonus, $20  113
Total value   $7,420.00
Note.—Coyote bounty discontinued, effective August 1st, 1954. Wolf bounty discontinued,
effective September 1st, 1955.
Species—■ 1956 Totals, 1922-56
Wolves       22,881
Cougars  258 13,882
Bonus cougars  113 667
Coyotes       125,254
Crows       69,431
Magpies       8,230
Eagles       7,204
Owls       20,615
Amount  $7,420.00 $1,112,223.80
Note.—Bonus cougars are included in the number of cougars presented for bounty.
DECEMBER 31st,  1956
Grizzly bear  95
Black or brown bear  149
Caribou  88
Coast deer  6
Mule or white-tailed deer  304
Mountain-goat  203
Mountain-sheep  108
Moose  1,245
Wapiti (elk)  123
Amount  $103,535.00
Less refunds  65.00
R 47
DECEMBER 31st, 1956
Description of Offence
Divisions (See Foot-note)
Fines or
Game Animals
Allowing dogs to run deer	
Buying or selling game animals illegally-
Exceeding bag-limit on game animals-
Hunting or killing game animals with rim-fire shells or
metal-cased bullets : :—
Hunting, killing, or possession of game animals under 1
year of age.
Hunting, killing, or possession of game animals or parts
thereof during close season	
Hunting, killing, or possession of game animals of female
sex during close season
Pit-lamping or hunting game animals at night-
Possession of game animals in logging camp, hotel, etc	
Possession of untagged moose, elk, goat, or deer	
Possession of game animals with all evidence of sex removed—   	
Carrying or discharging firearms on game reserve	
Carrying   loaded   firearms   or   discharging   same   from
Carrying   loaded  firearms   or   discharging   same   from
Carrying loaded firearms in an aeroplane  	
Carrying or possession of unplugged shotgun	
Discharging firearms on or across highway-
Minor carrying firearms unaccompanied by an adult	
Non-resident carrying firearms or hunting without a li-
Non-resident carrying tackle or fishing without a licence-
Resident carrying firearms or hunting without a licence.—
Resident carrying tackle or fishing without a licence	
Fur Trade and Trapping
Trading In fur without a licence-
Trapping or carrying traps without a licence-
Trapping or possession of fur during close season-
Trapping beyond the bounds of his registered trap-line	
Upland Game Birds
Hunting or possession of upland game birds during close
Killing pheasant with a rifle-
Possession of untagged pheasants-
Using another person's tag	
Migratory Game or Non-game Birds
Hunting migratory game birds from power-boat-
Hunting migratory game birds during the night-
Hunting migratory game birds with a rifle-
Hunting migratory game birds during close season-
Special Fishery Regulations
Angling for trout during close season-
Exceeding bag or possession limit on trout-
Fishing for salmon (kokanee) with artificial lights...
Fishing for trout other than by angling or trolling—
Jigging or molesting fish on spawning-grounds	
Possession or use of salmon roe in prohibited area-
Taking or possession of undersized trout	
Using more than one rod or line-
Using gear designed to catch more than one fish-
40.00 R 48
DECEMBER 31st,  1956—Continued
Divisions (See Foot-note)
o _,
Fines or
Description of Offence
~ 1
Non-resident hunting big game without a guide	
Non-resident hunting with guide who did not possess re-
Obstructing Game Warden and giving false information—
Operating an aircraft for purpose of hunting without a
Purchased licence without permission of Game Commis-
Gaol Sentences
Carrying firearms without a licence—1, seven days.
Carrying loaded firearms in a car—1, seven days.
Killing moose during close season—1, twenty-five days.
Killing elk during close season—1, three months.
Giving false information to Game Warden—2, total of forty-five days.
Note.—"A" Division:  Vancouver Island area and part of Mainland.   "B" Division
areas.    "C" Division:   Kamloops, Yale, Okanagan, Cariboo, and Lillooet areas.    "D';
Omineca, Fort George, Peace River, and Yukon Boundary areas. " E
land areas.
Kootenay and Boundary
Division:   Atlin, Skeena,
Division:   Vancouver, Coast, and Lower Main- REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956
R 49
a- _°
o «
O   TJ    O
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_C        <ii ________ Jz  a)  a> <u X 25 _S
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° c
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t3 « a £ x:
c_  aj  ctl 5
H     Bh«
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u o)s.u 3  3
i-l t-J r> PQ PQ PQ
n .£ c
S     tt z 2
tt      &££',
P      T5 a •S !
C   s .2?
S *H  Tj
■" -u -a -
IH     _    O     _     „
s-s m
3 '6 £
H t=
rt a.
3 0
m 3
n -- 3 Q M
1 bO g £   o*t   est
91 31 *
■a _ 8J     trt c
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■ 9 £
• Jtt Ttt
■ S B
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-—    0_    --.
4_,   *_.   TJ   *J
TJ  TJ    Q, TJ    flj
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u a)
3 Q .___,
£ a £
;rt cd
OJ ■__        OJ
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~ __ > *
ja 13 _:
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aj   aj
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2 23
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3  65       N
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fi   fl    U H
J   »       ^flJ£   u
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ZOflQ R 50
Big Game
Moose _
Mountain-goat _
Wapiti (elk) 	
Fur-bearing Animals
Marten —
Squirrels ___
Cougar _
Predatory Animals
38 Wolves
Lower Mainland
.... 7,398
.___.     915
Total cost covering purchase of all game birds listed was $22,156.65. REPORT OF PROVINCIAL GAME COMMISSION,  1956
R 51
Number and Kind of Birds on Hand as at January 1st, 1956
Pheasants      6,704 Ducks  16
Quail   32 Partridge         260
Number and Kind of Birds Raised, 1956
Pheasants   14,843 Ducks  6
Quail   88 Partridge         365
Number and Kind of Birds Purchased, 1956
Pheasants     1,992 Ducks  8
Quail   7
Number and Kind of Birds Sold, 1956
Pheasants   13,943 Partridge         279
Quail          32
Number and Kind of Birds Killed, 1956
Pheasants      3,291 Ducks   11
Quail   54 Partridge  35
Number and Kinds of Birds on Hand as at December 31st, 1956
Pheasants    6,305 Ducks  19
Quail   41 Partridge        311
Note.—During the year there were 142 licensed game-bird farmers in the Province, but during
the year 1956 thirty of these farmers discontinued business. There were four nil returns. Game-bird
bands sold to licensed game-bird farmers during the year 1956 amounted to $511.60 (5,116 bands at
10 cents each).
One Game Convention minutes at 75 cents per copy	
5,116 game-bird bands at 10 cents each	
146 trap-line transfer fees ($2.50 each)	
Proceeds, sale of live fur-bearing animals	
Proceeds, permits to export game meat-
Proceeds, fee for tagging deer and moose hides_.
Proceeds, sale of two fur-traders' lists	
Proceeds, sale of one copy Mammals of British Columbia-
One Game Warden's badge	
1.00 R 52
Attorney-General (Minister) _
Game Commissioner	
Scientific Advisers	
..Hon. R. W. Bonner, Q.C...
_Frank R. Butler	
..Dr. W. A. Clemens	
Dr. Ian McTaggart Cowan..
Chief Clerk...
Senior Clerk-
 J. McLellan	
r W. Fowkes	
 R. Cain	
 Miss I. Lawson	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss J. Smith	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss P. Golder	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss R. McKay	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss M. Burke	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss T. Hayes	
Clerk-Stenographer Miss O. Mitravitz..
Clerk-Stenographer Miss D. Winbow__
'A" Division (Vancouver Island and Portions of Lower Mainland)
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
_R. W. Sinclair..
„ Victoria.
. D. Keirs Victoria.
..Miss J. Bull Victoria.
„W. J. Lenfesty   Victoria.
..E. Martin Alberni.
„R. S. Hayes Campbell River.
J. J. Osman Courtenay.
„W. S. Webb Duncan.
..F. H. Greenfield Nanaimo.
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
B " Division (Kootenay and Boundary Districts)
 C. E. Estlin	
..Miss L. Hickey	
..R. A. Rutherglen.
P. D. Ewart	
.J. W. Bayley Canal Flats.
_.R. R. Farquharson Cranbrook.
B. Rauch Creston.
.J. D. Williams Fernie.
._H. T.Butler Golden.
 Grand Forks.
__H. Tyler Penticton.
.A.F.Gill Princeton.
„W. A. McKay ..
R 53
: C " Division (Kamloops, Yale, Okanagan, and Cariboo Districts)
L. R. Lane
Clerk   G. Ferguson  	
Clerk-Stenographer Mrs. A. Smuland-
Game Warden H. D. Mulligan—
Game Warden L. G. Smith—
Game Warden K. R. Walmsley Alexis Creek.
Game Warden W. I. Fenton Clinton.
Game Warden D. D. Ellis Kelowna.
Game Warden R. S. Welsman Lillooet.
Game Warden E. M. Martin-
Game Warden  E. Holmes	
Game Warden  H. J. Lorance.
Game Warden  G. A. Lines...__
Game Warden  D. Cameron	
Game Warden A. S. Frisby.....
Game Warden J. P. Gibault....
.100 Mile House.
.Salmon Arm.
-Williams Lake.
" D " Division (Atlin, Skeena, Omineca, Fort George, Peace River,
and Yukon Boundary Districts)
-W. A. H. GilL.
_.R. J. Guay.	
Clerk-Stenographer. Miss L. Welfare-
Game Warden A. J. Jank	
Game Warden  R. A. Seaton	
Corporal Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Corporal Game Warden-
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden	
-C. J. Walker	
..Mrs. M. Richardson
-W. H. Richmond	
„J. A. McCabe	
„B. Villeneuve	
..H. O. Jamieson ___.
J. M. Hicks	
Game Warden G. R. Taylor-
Game Warden ...  L. J. Cox	
Game Warden D. B. Steuart	
Game Warden A. G. Balcombe.
..Prince George.
..Prince George.
.Prince George.
..Prince George.
.Prince George.
Prince Rupert.
Prince Rupert.
-Burns Lake.
Fort Nelson.
..Fort Nelson.
-Fort St. John.
-Pouce Coupe.
" E " Division (Vancouver, Coast, and Lower Fraser Valley Districts)
„R. E. Allan..
..R. S. King.
Corporal Game Warden	
Game Warden	
Game Warden R. K. Leighton Vancouver.
Game Warden B. Paull Vancouver.
Game Warden W. T. Ward Vancouver.
Corporal Game Warden W. J. Mason Alert Bay.
Game Warden F. J. Renton Alert Bay.
Game Warden  A. J. Butler Chilliwack.
Game Warden  H. P. Hughes Cloverdale.
Game Warden W. H. Cameron Ladner.
Game Warden P. M. Ciiffe Mission.
Game Warden   F. Urquhart Port Coquitlam.
Corporal Game Warden B. E. Wilson Powell River.
Game Management Division
 Dr. J. Hatter	
Chief Game Biologist	
Regional Game Biologist	
Regional Game Biologist	
Regional Game Biologist	
Regional Game Biologist D. J. Robinson Nanaimo.
Regional Game Biologist L. G. Sugden Williams Lake.
..E. W. Taylor...
..W. G. Smith ..
..P. W. Martin
-Kamloops. R 54
Fisheries Management Division
_.R. G. McMynn	
Chief Fisheries Biologist:	
Division Fisheries Biologist S. B. Smith-
Division Fisheries Biologist Dr. C. C. Lindsey_.
Division Fisheries Biologist E. H. Vernon	
Regional Fisheries Biologist G. H. Geen	
Regional Fisheries Biologist D. R. Hum	
Regional Fisheries Biologist F. P. Maher	
Regional Fisheries Biologist G. E. Stringer Kelowna.
Fisheries Biologist— T. G. Northcote Vancouver.
Assistant Fisheries Biologist I. G. Terpenning Vancouver.
Assistant Fisheries Biologist I. L. Withler Vancouver.
Fishery Supervisor-
Fishery Supervisor	
Fishery Officer.	
Fishery Officer-	
Fishery Officer.	
Fishery Officer..
Fishery Officer-
..F. Pells	
.F. H. Martin-
_J. J. Phelps—
_E. Hunter-	
-R. A. McRae
-N. W. Green _
.J. C. Lyons	
Fishery Officer. J. C. Chatwin.-
Fishery Officer G. Dibblee	
Fishery Officer L. E. Hunter-
Fishery Officer R. A. Sparrow..
Fishery Officer J. D. Varty..
Clerk-Stenographer Mrs. S. Cartwright..
 Cultus Lake.
. Nelson.
. Nelson.
. Cultus Lake.
.— Cranbrook.
. Vancouver.
Predator Control Division
 G. A. West	
Supervisor of Predator Control	
Assistant Supervisor of Predator Control...E. H. Samann...
Predatory-animal Hunter W. J. Hillen	
Predatory-animal Hunter J. T. Lay	
Predatory-animal Hunter G. Haskell	
Predatory-animal Hunter J. Kendal	
Predatory-animal Hunter J. Dewar	
Predatory-animal Hunter A. M. Hames—.
Predatory-animal Hunter C. G. Ellis	
Predatory-animal Hunter M. W. Warren-
Predatory-animal Hunter A. E. Fletcher..
Predatory-animal Hunter M. Mortensen-
Predatory-animal Hunter J. Lesowski	
Predatory-animal Hunter G. Anderson.—
. Nanaimo.
. Pouce Coupe.
. Prince George.
— Smithers.
—..Williams Lake.
.....Williams Lake.
— Cranbrook.
Printed by Don McDiarmid, Printer to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty
in right of the Province of British Columbia.


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