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Most rivers in Region 1 (Vancouver Island) and Region 2 (Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley) which have been closed to fishing in the past several weeks due to the drought conditions are now open for fishing once again! Here are the notices:
To check the daily quota of salmon for the stream where you want to fish, you should visit the following links:
If you fish the Lower Fraser River for pink salmon, then you should be aware of some important regulation changes which come in effect this week. These changes include:
The windows of these changes are as follows:
Since 2001, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has identified these dates as the migration period for Interior Fraser River coho salmon, which are endangered. To protect these fish, managers have used these measures to minimize their mortality. Bait such as roe is known to be very effective for coho salmon in the Fraser River, so well that fish often swallow the bait when hooked. This often leads to post-release death, therefore banning the use of bait during this period is required. The Sport Fishing Advisory Committee has also made sure fishing opportunities for chinook, pink and chum salmon remain available during this period, so anglers can still cast lures, fly fish, bar fish with a spin n’ glow for them without impacting the coho salmon run. When you catch a salmon, be sure to identify it first in your landing net before bringing it onto shore. If it is a coho salmon, please release it with care so it can continue its migration safely. With your support, we can keep these fishing opportunities open while protecting endangered species.
Knowing the differences between a coho and a pink salmon may sound simple on paper, but beginners often find it difficult when seeing them for the first time by the river. If you are just starting out, don’t be afraid to ask for second opinions if you are unsure about your catch. Always double, triple checks your fish before deciding to retain it. Experienced anglers should understand these challenges for beginners and assist and educate those who seem to need guidance. Coho salmon (top in the photo) have small spots across their back and the top portion of the tail. Pink salmon (bottom in the photo) have larger “thumb-print”, oval spots across their back and the entire tail.
If you are interested in reading more about Interior Fraser River coho salmon and its recovery program, please check out this document.
Finally! The Lower Fraser River pink salmon fishery which many have been waiting for is here! Fisheries and Oceans Canada announced the opening for both the tidal and non-tidal portions of the Fraser River, which begins on September 5th 2015. This fishery generally starts around the 1st of September and peaks by the 10th, but the season can extend until the third or fourth week of September. It is a fantastic fishery for beginner anglers who wish to get into salmon fishing due to the high abundance of fish which are more than willing to bite. Millions of pink salmon are expected to converge into the Fraser River with each incoming tide. They will chase your lure without much hesitation. If you have never done it before, here are some tips to get you started.
Here are some useful links to get you started:
Since the Fraser River reopened for chinook salmon retention, bar fishing for them has been excellent. Multiple hook-ups within a couple of hours, of both large adults and small jacks, have been the reports arriving in my inbox for several days now. This evening my dad and I were invited along to a quick bar fishing trip and I took a series of photographs during the fight of one fish. This fish was caught near the end of the day, when a school of fish must have been moving through as several bar rods started dancing in the holders, all within minutes apart. Ken grabbed the rod when his bell rang, and the bend in the rod told us right away that it was a chinook salmon.
It actually came into the shallow water pretty quickly, so Bob had the net ready, expecting this to be an easy fight.
But the fish had other ideas, it began gaining some line and headed upstream.
After navigating around the boat as the fish continued upstream, Ken was gaining line again.
The fish splashed on the surface, it looked almost ready to be netted.
As Bob approached with the net, this fish once again had other ideas. It headed downstream, this time from the shallow side of the boat and proceeded to go underneath it.
Ken carefully worked his line under the boat and managed to avoid hooking the motor.
The third try was much smoother. Bob scooped the fish up once he could get a good aim.
A memorable fishing experience, shared by three generations of Ken’s family.
A beautiful chinook salmon for dinner, this is what Fraser River bar fishing is all about.