Fishing got even better . But it is a long story that I have procrastinated writing about . Here I'll try to keep it fairly short .
Fishing has been terrific this year ! There appears to be an abundance of chinooks around .
It is ironic that this season is especially good for chinooks , while at the same time there are more new restrictions on them . There will be no retention of chinooks until July 15 . After July 15 it will be the same as last year , and more to keep after Aug 30.
The reason is that the regulations are meant to protect some weak stocks , but boy , other stocks must be doing very well at the same time . Some chinook types rear for a whole year in fresh water , living like little trout , before going to sea . The ones that come from the dry country of the upper interior of BC are having a hard time with low and warm water in summer , and forest fires, and pine beetles killing forests , etc. . Then the First Nations in those areas have first priority to harvest some of the returning adults .
The stocks of concern migrate early in spring/summer , so this year we are restricted to catch and release fishing in this area until July 15 . Actually they hardly come this way on the inside route , and, in previous years , sport anglers caught less than 1 % of those fish . The stocks at most risk migrate primarily off-shore . It appears ironic that the more rare a fish is , the less likely we are to catch one , the more likely we are to have fishing restrictions. As Chair of the Campbell River and District Fishing Guides Association , I have been following this pretty closely and we made our submissions. Sport Fishing Institute ( SFI ) and the Sport Fishing Advisory Board ( SFAB ) presented the facts thoroughly, with disappointing results . Sport fishing is not the problem , and this strategy isn't the best answer , but here we are , and there is a lot to enjoy still .
The news to the public has been very poor and misleading , with a negative general message that there is some kind of issue with salmon . Many people would be very surprised to hear that experienced anglers and guides are describing chinook fishing this year as one of the best in decades . Yes , really .
Spring / early summer, until July 15 . We are fishing catch and release for chinooks until July 15 . You can keep a coho if it is hatchery marked , and a lingcod is a delicious bonus for the table. Fewer people are fishing in this period but those who are are enjoying this fishing very much .
July 15 to Aug 29 , , the regulations will be like last year ; one chinook per person per day . As usual , the possession limit is the equivalent of two days catch .
Aug 29 and after , 2 chinooks per person per day , 4 in possession .
Releasing a chinook is still a great thrill , and handling it carefully and seeing it swim away in good shape is a wonderful feeling . In addition , we are taking tissue samples for DNA which will tell which river systems the fish are from . We are supporting science by collecting necessary data .
Come on over for lovely salmon fishing . It will be great fun for all , and fishing will be in a manner that is appreciative and respectful of the salmon stocks.