As expected, DFO imposed a non-retention of Chinook Salmon from the top of Vancouver Island on both sides all the way down to the Canadian/USA border with the exception of within 1 mile of the shore line from Nootka Sound to the Cape Scott on the outside from April 1st till further notice. As you can imagine, there is little to no fishing pressure in these remote locations. There has been proposals submitted to DFO for select marked fishery (hatchery Chinook) in certain management areas but we will have to wait and see if any of these sustainable fishing options are adopted. Not only have the lower half of British Columbia recreational fishermen been affected by the closures, Covid 19 has curtailed all fishing unless solo or fishing with household members. That being said, I have been able to get out alone or with my wife and test the local waters around Vancouver. Roy has also been out on his boat and staying on top of the salmon (as well as the prawns and crabs.) There are also a number of other lone fishermen doing the same. One day we targeted flounders and manage to find some very nice table fare for dinner. Other days we have been collecting DNA samples of the clipped and non-clipped Chinook Salmon and there are plenty out there. The crab and prawn fishery remain strong and there is going to be a delay in the commercial prawn fishery (due to Covid and their ability to get their catch to market) which will extend the recreational opportunity of obtaining these delectable morsels. Fishing off the south end of Bowen Island has been steady to really fantastic. Hardware is the ticket since no one wants to waste money on bait when you can't keep the salmon anyway. A variety of plugs, spoons and hootchies have been working in 60' to 110' depths. My go to are always the Herring Aid, Irish Creme and Cop Car variation of color for spoons and hootchies with glow type flashers. Other fishermen have been finding success on other colors, but to each their own. Experiment with different gear and depths and once you find them, stay there. May 1st is opening day for lingcod and other rockfish. Just a reminder to always check the regulations prior to heading out for closures and daily limits. With the Chinook non-retention regulations, many fishermen will be targeting these species. Always use a descending device to return any rockfish caught and not retained. It is the law now. Rockfish suffer barotrauma and will die if you simply toss them back overboard. "Let's Go Fishing" and "Catch Your Limit, But Limit Your Catch"
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