No decision by Dept Fisheries & Oceans yet
Updated: Apr 28
Our new tidal water fishing licenses came into effect April 1, 2021 and for the lower half of British Columbia, we have been basically reduced to either no fishing for Chinook salmon, catch and release or status quo of 2 per day limit on the west side of Vancouver Island within one mile of shore depending on the fishing management areas you are fishing. But for the vast majority of the recreational sports fishermen, who fish on the east side of of Vancouver Island from Port Hardy down and around to Port Renfrew including the Fraser River and all around the Vancouver waters, we are shut down till at least July 15th. There has been lots written and presented to DFO and the Honorable Bernadette Jordan, on having a sustainable sport fishery, conservation of stocks of concern and a marked selective fishery of retaining one hatchery Chinook salmon per day. The Sports Fishing Institute of BC (SFIBC) and the Sports Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) and others have been working tirelessly for years now presenting conservation proposals backed by science based evidence and data that have yet to be considered. However, there might be a light, albeit dim, at the end of the tunnel as there has been no final decision to completely shut down the Chinook salmon fishery till later in the year as in the past 2 years. In the meantime, some of us regular fishermen and guides are involved in the Avid Angler Program which is a DFO sponsored program federally licensing us to fish for Chinook salmon during closures for the purpose of obtaining DNA samples and safely releasing any Chinook or Coho salmon caught. Over the years, we have collected tens of thousands of samples from salmon ranging from Sooke all the way around to Campbell River and across the Georgia Strait/Salish Sea from Powell River down to the Vancouver areas. The dna samples are used to tracked salmon movement, health of a particular run, origin, wild or hatchery and many other scientific data for salmon research. If you go fishing, please check the regulations for the area that you intend to fish and know your species. Tight lines, catch your limit but limit your catch and good luck.