Sunday, 30 June 2019

Fishing got even better ! It's a long story.

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. 

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