Project Bottlenose continues as we fish to sample, tag, and release little chinook salmon in their first winter at sea. The idea is to fill a knowledge gap about where the young chinooks rear in winter, where they travel to and from, and where the bottlenecks are in their survival .
This is a project of the Pacific Salmon Foundation using a few volunteers to go out in the winter weather with our own boats . Typically I am going about twice a week , one time with a biologist /technician from the BC Conservation Foundation, and once with Shamra, as we have learned to do it all ourselves. Shamra does most of the data entry and I do the sampling and injecting the PIT tag .
We are using small spoons and flashers that are made for trout or kokanee, and stacking them on the downrigger line , usually six per side, and 12 hooks in total. ( I made a post about this, with photos, back in October 2020 . ) The little chinooks often cough up herring that are much bigger than our lure .
We also catch some larger chinooks in their second winter , and occasionally a 3 year old , but the big ones get away .
We had clear but very cold weather before Christmas , and we found a concentration of the target fish in the north edge of Georgia Strait .
Then the snow came . We didn't get out for a while during the snow time .