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The Blue Fish Radio Show

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Blue Fish Radio is produced and hosted by Lawrence Gunther ( The show features interviews with people that have expertise and first-hand knowledge about fishing, fish and aquatic ecosystems. Lawrence Gunther applies his expertise, experience and engaging style to both educate and entertain listeners. Each show lasts 30 minutes and is streamed by a number of broadcasters.

Production and distribution of the Blue Fish Radio Show is intended to share valuable lessons and successes so more people can become stewards of their aquatic resources. By empowering local champions with knowledge, future generations of fishers will have the opportunity to pursue the tradition of fishing, and by doing so, maintain a vital link between people and nature.

If you have a story to tell about how you made a difference in your community, or would like to nominate a local champion to be interviewed on Blue Fish Radio, please send an email to:
295 Episodes
Dr. Steven Cooke teaches Fish ecology and conservation at Carleton University and runs the Cooke Lab. He’s also now one of a handful of international representatives selected to develop a Freshwater action plan designed to reverse the world-wide decline in freshwater biodiversity now on track to be at “code red” in 10-15 years.Link below to hear Dr. Cooke in conversation with Lawrence Gunther about the 6-step program being proposed to ensure the planet’s freshwater biodiversity reverses its present 40-year decline on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:Dr. Steven Cooke has diverse interests in integrative biology, conservation science, and natural resource management. His work spans the natural and social sciences with a particular focus on developing solutions to problems facing fish and other aquatic organisms. Specific projects of late have focused on issues and topics such as fish migration, fish-hydropower interactions, the sustainability of recreational fisheries, aquatic habitat restoration, the movement ecology of fish, the ecology of stress in wild fish, and winter biology.Link below for more about the work of Dr. Steven Cooke and the Cooke Lab:
Dr. Bruce Tufts is a leader in researching and conducting field studies of bass in Ontario. It’s because of his research the government of Ontario is now conducting consultations over whether to change some of the fundamental rules concerning the capture and harvest of both Smallmouth and Largemouth bass in Lake Ontario and the Upper St. Lawrence (FM Zone 20).Link below to learn about Dr. Tufts’ latest research and the government’s range of proposed changes on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: Send your comments by March 31 to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry on proposed changes to FM Zone 20 early season angling options for bass to:FMZ20@ontario.caLink below for more about the research being undertaken by Dr. Bruce Tufts and his researchers at his Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Lab at Queen’s
Watersheds Canada’s Natural Edge Program has teamed up with Quinte Conservation to take on naturalizing one mighty long Bay of Quinte shoreline and related watershed. Their 3-year Natural Edge program goal is to naturalize the shores of farms, parks, cottages and homes.Link below to hear Lawrence Gunther in conversation with Chloe Lajoie, Natural Edge Program Manager for Watersheds Canada, and Maya Navrot, Education and Stewardship Coordinator with Quinte Conservation on this episode of Blue Fish Radio.
Recently news broke about the full extent of the raw sewage releases occurring across Canada thanks to a new transparency initiative by Environment and Climate Change Canada and Fisheries and Oceans Canada. While the numbers may seem beyond be leaf, never mind comprehensible, there is evidence that this great big ship we call Canada is attempting to make a course correction.Link below to hear what Mark Mattson, Co-Director of Swim Drink Fish Canada and the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper, has to say about raw sewage and all the rest that’s impacting our water quality and fish health on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:Link to a recent article on sewage pollution published by Swim Drink Fish Canada’s Water Quality Monitoring Coordinator, Elise Mackie.
The Miramichi River Striped Bass Cup is now considered to be one of the largest competitive fishing events in Canada. It reached this level relatively quickly thanks to a rebounding Striped Bass population. Even though they are a native fish species, there are some who would rather have their numbers reduced significantly to protect Atlantic salmon, another native fish species only this one is not recovering.Link below for a Blue fish Radio up-date from Jeff Wilson on the latest in this high-stakes battle over whether Striped Bass will take the fall for Atlantic salmon.
Salmon traditionally found in the Pacific ocean, such as Sockeye, Pink and Chum, (less-so Coho and Chinook), are now entering the Arctic Ocean in greater numbers each year. So much so that it’s triggered research by Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Salmon are now being caught and submitted by local fishers for examination by DFO researchers. So many samples were submitted in 2019 that the research team decided to prepare a cookbook so those living in Canada’s Arctic can better take advantage of this new bounty.Link below to hear DFO researcher Dr. Karen Dunmall in conversation with Lawrence Gunther on Blue Fish Radio:Link below for more about the Arctic Salmon research project:
As part of our “Giants in the Fishing Industry” series, we are pleased to present Italo Labignan. Italo has been a fixture in the fishing media for 35 years with his TV program Canadian Sportfishing, and has recently expanded his offerings to include even more ways of showcasing just how meaningful it is to connect with nature through fishing.Link below to hear Italo Labignan in conversation with Lawrence Gunther on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:
While covering the 2-day Nature-based Climate Solutions Summit earlier this month, I sat in on the discussion on wetlands. Dr. David Brown from the Canadian Wildlife Federation, who we had as a guest on Blue Fish Radio before, was one of the panelists. Dr. Brown spoke about the important role shoreline and coastal wetlands play in providing habitat for fish. Naturally, I immediately added David to the top of my list of Summit participants for a follow-up call.Link below to hear Dr. David Brown from the CWF speak about challenges facing Canada’s shoreline and coastal wetlands on this episode of Blue Fish Radio.Link below for more about the research work being carried out by Dr. David Brown and his colleagues at the Canadian Wildlife |
St. Lawrence River Muskie were hit hard by a virus that killed many of the large breeders in the mid-2000’s. Dr John Farrell and PhD candidate Anna Conklyn from the Thousand Islands Biological Station are part of a scientific research initiative that is exploring the link between Round Gobies and the spread of yet another virus that is impacting Muskie in areas of the St. Lawrence River yet again.Link below to hear Lawrence Gunther in conversation with these two experts on what we know and what’s being done to address the virus being spread to Muskie by invasive Round Gobies on Blue Fish Radio.Link below for more about Dr John Farrell and PhD candidate Anna Conklyn and their research underway at the Thousand Islands Biological
The America’s Conservation Enhancement (ACE) Act is moving closer to becoming law. What does it mean and how does it affect Canada such as keeping invasive carp out of the Great Lakes? What about lead fishing tackle? The American Sportfishing Association says the Act is a positive development for the U.S. $125 billion recreational fishing economy that supports over 800,000 jobs. The National Wildlife Federation is also supports the ACT --– or at least mostly.Link below to hear Lawrence Gunther speak with Collin O’Mara, CEO and President of the National Wildlife Federation, to gain perspective about the ACE Act and recent Clean Water Act rollbacks on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:Link below for more about the ACE Act and what the American Sportfishing Association has to say: below for the NWF’s position on the recently announced US Clean Water Act rollback:
FB: The Miramichi Salmon Association is one of several groups looking to eradicate invasive Smallmouth bass from the Miramichi Lake and River. This New Brunswick watershed was once home to world record runs of Atlantic Salmon, now considered to be well below conservation levels. The Smallmouth are viewed as a significant threat to the rebuilding efforts of Atlantic Salmon stocks.Link below to here Mark Hambrook from the Miramichi Salmon Association explain how they propose to use Rotenone to poisen the Smallmouth bass in the Miramichi on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:For more information about the Miramichi Salmon Association and their fight to save Atlantic Salmon visit:
Fishing is great, but not when you’re in pain. Just look at Big Jim McLaughlin for a fantastic example of how physical fitness can turn things around. In my case, I turned to Ottawa-area Dr. Pierre Brunet and head trainer Craig Adams at Studio One Personal Training. These gentlemen made fishing fun again. I’ve since learned of Travis Perret, owner of Exercise Therapy of Kansas City, who specializes in working with many of North America’s top anglers to address their pain relief and fitness training goals.Link below to learn about common pain and fitness issues Travis encounters, how training helps, what anglers can do at home, and how perceptions of fitness in the sport of angling are changing on this week’s episode of Blue Fish Radio:
Following the winter closure of the St. Lawrence Seaway to ships in December 2019 and a spell of mild temperatures across the Lake Ontario basin, the International Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Board took action and set Lake Ontario outflows at unprecedented levels. The volume of water passing through the St. Lawrence River reached up to 10,700 cubic meters per second, higher than has ever previously been released in winter. This led to extreme low water conditions on stretches of the River above the Moses-Saunders Dam in Cornwall, and concern being expressed by anglers and others who live along the River that important habitat and aquatic life had been imperiled. A drop in air temperature has meant a reduction in flow levels to allow ice to form and stabilize; however, if mild weather returns this winter, the Board intends to increase outflows again as much and as soon as possible. Link below to hear professional angler Todd Beckstead speak with Lawrence Gunther about his first-hand experiences fishing on Lake Ontario during recent flood events, and how high out-flows at the Moses-Saunders Dam have impacted the Upper St. Lawrence River above the dam on this episode of Blue Fish Radio:
Henry Lickers is the first indigenous person to be named a Commissioner to the International Joint Commission. The IJC is responsible for the transboundary waters between Canada and the United States and has been successfully resolving water issues for over 100 years. Commissioner Lickers believes the IJC is committed to include the traditional knowledge of both indigenous nations and shoreline communities, and to apply science to inform precautionary measures, as the IJC fulfils their mission of informing Canada and the U.S. on issues such as resilience in the face of climate change. Link below to hear IJC Commissioner Henry Lickers share his perspectives on the precautionary approach and traditional knowledge with LawrenceGunther on this episode of Blue Fish Radio
One of the leading proponents of transferring fish farms from the ocean to land, Eric Hobson has worked tirelessly to finance and build the Kuterra land-based closed-containment salmon farm in partnership with the Vancouver Island Namgis Nation. Hobson founded the Save Our Salmon Society and is a Director with the Watershed Watch Salmon Society. He’s personally raised many thousands of dollars for scientific investigations on open pen fish farming impacts and the support of court challenges.Link below to hear Eric Hobson, the 2018 Haig-Brown Conservation Award winner, in conversation with Lawrence Gunther on this episode of Blue fish Radio: For more about Eric Hobson and his leadership on moving salmon farming on land visit:
Thousands of abandoned unnecessary dams are responsible for the overall deterioration of fish habitat across Canada. Add fish stocking to the equation, and it’s no wonder wild trout and other fish species are under pressure. Is it possible to go back in time to the way it was? What do anglers and fish biologists think about the idea of putting the wild back in our streams, creeks and rivers?Link below to listen to a re-broadcast of an “Outside In” New Hampshire Public Radio podcast on stocking fish, damming rivers and wild trout this week on Blue Fish Radio
The Great Lakes have experienced far more than their fair share of toxic chemicals over the past 100-plus years. Persistent substances such as DDT, PCB and Mercury nearly killed several of the lakes in the 1980’s. Just when you think things are improving, you start hearing about new chemical threats.Link below to hear John Jackson, Co-Chair of the Binational Toxic-Free Great Lakes Network, in conversation with Lawrence Gunther as they discuss what it takes to have a chemical nominated to become a candidate for study prior to being listed as a “chemical of mutual concern” on this week’s episode of Blue Fish Radio.The below link takes you to a fact sheet on PFAS called "The Threat of PFAS: The Forever Chemicals."
Ned Kehde is a retired university archivist, fishing guide and long-time outdoor writer who has helped fine-tune a phenomenal fish-catching system known today as the Ned Rig. Connecting hundreds of anglers across the continent, Ned’s online Finesse News Network features some of the most detailed fishing reports ever written.Link to hear Ned share his 80 years of fishing wisdom with Lawrence Gunther on this episode of Blue Fish Radio: Send Ned an email to have your name added to his Finesse News Network newsletter:nkehde@ku.eduOr, Catch Ned’s Midwest Finesse column on the In-Fisherman:
On June 21, 2019 Canada modernized the Fisheries Act. Find out what it means for Canada’s recreational anglers. Chad Ziai is the Director of Engagement, Partnerships and Integrated Planning at Fisheries and Oceans Canada.Link below to hear Chad discuss recreational fishing with Lawrence Gunther this week on Blue Fish Radio:For more about the changes to the Fisheries Act link below: DFO 2015 Survey of Recreational Fishing is a nationally-coordinated study providing the most comprehensive information on recreational fisheries activities and harvests in all regions of the country. It is also the only source of detailed statistics on the economic contributions made by anglers at both provincial/territorial and national levels.Link below for the latest statistics on recreational fishing and the economic and social importance of recreational fisheries to Canada's provinces and territories: below for more information about all things recreational fishing under the DFO’s jurisdiction:
Ever wonder what data smartphone recreational fishing apps can collect automatically, or why they still include options for entering data manually? How are these apps changing the way we fish, now, and in the future?Link below to here Lawrence Gunther in conversation with Paul Venturelli, one of the world’s leading experts on recreational fishing data collection, as they discuss the future of angler apps on this week’s episode of Blue Fish Radio: Link below to read a recent report published by Paul Venturelli, Assistant Professor of Biology and Director of PhD in Environmental Sciences:
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