It's coming - another lengthy non-retention of Chinook Salmon for our local waters and beyond. Last year, DFO mandated a non-retention of Chinook Salmon from April 15- July 15 in almost every fishery management area surrounding Vancouver Island and throughout the Salish Sea. Our management area of 28 and 29 around Vancouver was extended to August 1st. I won't get into the science and politics of the regulation as much has been argued and written by fish scientists and lobby groups. We are expecting a repeat of this regulation however it will start sooner on April 1st to coincide with the start date of your annual tidal water fishing license. So, if you want to retain a Chinook Salmon, you have the month of March to do so. These winter feeders are brilliantly hued and absolutely delicious. As you can see from the photo, the prawning and crabbing go hand in hand with winter fishing. Typically this time of the year, the fish are located around bait balls just of the bottom. Go deep with a variety of gear. Some days, anchovies and herring will outfish gear and some days the spoons and hootchies work better. Experiment and explore the usual haunts. When in doubt, look for guide boats and don't be shy to ask what's working. The daily catch limit is 2 Chinooks (minimun 62 cm), 200 spot prawns and 4 dungeness crabs per license. Call us as winter rates are still in effect and "LET'S GO FISHING!"
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