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Archive for the ‘Conservation’ Category

Killing Salmon for Eggs

Published on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

As the fall salmon season approaches the end, it’s not uncommon to see dead spawned out salmon scattered along the river banks. Unfortunately, among these carcasses, the work of some so-called anglers’ assault can be seen. Today, as I walked along a river, I discovered two of these abandoned dead fish with a slit abdomen.

Dead coho salmon

The first one was a hatchery-marked coho salmon, which had her eggs taken. Because it was a hatchery-marked fish, which can legally be retained, the angler may simply have lost the fish after gutting her. However, judging by the state of the fish when it was killed, the angler may simply find it undesirable as it was already quite coloured and decided to only take the eggs home.

Edit: One reader pointed out that the above fish was in fact a male. I stand corrected. I originally also identified this fish as a male due to its kype, but the scattered eggs which he was laying on gave me doubts. In this case, the individual who killed this fish for the purpose of harvest eggs could have misidentified the fish, only to discover its gender when slitting the abdomen open.

Dead wild coho salmon, illegally harvested

The second fish was a wild coho salmon, which have to be released by law in all Region Two streams. In this case, the fish could have been killed by an ignorant fisherman who was unaware of the rules, but was told otherwise and abandoned the fish after retaining her eggs. It could also have been an angler who already knows the regulations, but chose to kill the fish anyway so the eggs could be retained. Either cases make this angler a violator.

These serves as an important reminder that we must keep an eye on all anglers’ behaviours when fishing. Some may simply be unaware of the regulations, while others are well aware of them but choose to break the law. All wild coho salmon have to be released. If you decide to legally kill a fish, you must keep the fish. You cannot simply take the eggs from the fish and abandon it. If an angler seems uncertain, then please kindly assist him or her.

To report a salmon fishing violation, please phone Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s ORR line (observe, record, report) at 1-800-465-4336. If you are asked to leave a message, please be as detailed as possible (violators’/vehicle description, type of violation, the date and time, the precise location). Realistically, fishery officers are unable to attend all calls but they do their best with the limited resource available for them to protect our fish. With your support, you can make their job easier and improve our fisheries.

2013 Chilliwack River Clean-ups

Published on Monday, February 18th, 2013

2013 Chilliwack River Clean-ups

Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society has finalized this year’s river clean-up dates with the City of Chilliwack and Fraser Valley Regional District. They are:

  • April 20th at the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve
  • July 20th at the Great blue Heron Nature Reserve
  • September 29th at the Chilliwack Fish and Games Club

This will be the twelfth year since we started the group. In 2012, participants racked up 2,464 volunteer hours, collecting 5.72 metric tonnes of garbage from the Chilliwack River. This shows the importance of having these clean-ups. Not only are we maintaining the Chilliwack River valley so it is a pristine recreational corridor for all to enjoy, we are also minimizing garbage from being washed into the Pacific Ocean. Please support these three clean-ups once again in 2013.

Collecting Eggs and Milt

Published on Monday, October 29th, 2012

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be part of a rather fun, or dirty, project on the Alouette River. Students from BCIT were learning the process of collecting chum salmon eggs and milt for the Seymour Salmon Hatchery, and I was invited to document it.

As mentioned in an earlier article, 2012′s Fraser River chum salmon run has been better than average so far. 3 to 3.5 million fish are estimated to make their way into the system by the end of the year. Just the Alouette River alone can see up to 250,000 spawning fish returning. I was blown away by the amount of fish that have reached the counting fence at the hatchery.

Each year, Seymour Salmon Hatchery collects eggs and milt from the Alouette River to boost Seymour River’s chum salmon stock. The run has been poor for many usual reasons, including the existing dam, urbanization and poaching. By transplanting more fish, the hope is to rebuild this run to possibly what it once was.

Here are some photographs. Stay tuned for the video feature!

Big School of Spawning Chum Salmon

Collecting Chum Salmon Broods

Dead Chum Salmon

Return of Salmon at Kanaka Creek

Published on Monday, October 22nd, 2012

This past weekend, we decided to put our fishing rods down and attended a very worthy local event in Maple Ridge. On Sunday, at Kanaka Creek, volunteers from Kanaka Education and Environmental Partnership Society (K.E.E.P.S.) displayed salmon that are currently returning to this system at the fish counting fence.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a spawned out chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

Kanaka Creek is a small river system. Unlike larger systems such as the Chilliwack River, it only sees the return of several hundreds to thousands of salmon each year. Meanders through a rapidly developing part of Metro Vancouver, it faces many challenges, including pollution, river discharge fluctuation and poaching. Collectively, these challenges can impact the fragile salmon population if actions are not taken.

K.E.E.P.S. volunteer Ross Davies showcasing a chum salmon

K.E.E.P.S. is an active stewardship group that ensures the survival of this stream and its inhabitants. By ongoing work at the Bell-Irving Hatchery, habitat enhancement, river patrol and various outreach programs, it has been responsible for the return of these fish each year.

Chum salmon eggs

While we were at the event, visitors also received an extra treat when a black bear decided to make a surprising appearance. I managed to capture the last portion of its visit on video.

Salmon snagging caught on tape

Published on Friday, August 20th, 2010



I went fishing this evening, at Garry Point Park of course. A couple of days ago a pretty big pikeminnow greeted my 4wt, which was nice. I wanted to see if I could get another one on the tiny fly, but also had my sockeye gear with me (not betties but spinning rod, spoons etc) just in case because they have a tendency to hang in the shallows just after high tide to avoid the strong outgoing current.

The southeasterly wind was a bit strong so most of the spots were unfishable with the fly rod. I reached almost the end of the park and was greeted by Al. While chatting, he told me that there were people snagging on the other side, where I was just about to go. It’s a side canal where salmon have a tendency to stage back once the tide starts going out to avoid the strong current. I went over there after we chatted, sure enough, a few individuals were going at it and sockeye salmon were jumping once awhile in the bay.

Out came the cel phone to file a report at RAPP of course, then the camera followed.

Some were obviously aware of what they were doing. No need to keep turning around and look at me for approval.

Too bad, with a few fish holding that bay, there was a good chance that one of those would hit a fly or lure. I’m sure the same people, if not more people, will be back tomorrow if anyone else wants to go check it out. Just walk to the far end of Garry Point, can’t miss it.

Update: It appears that this video has stirred things up a bit, but the wrong person has been taking the heat. Somehow, people are assuming Marco at Nikka Fishing and Marine was behind this video. Not sure where that idea came from, but it is completely false. I encountered people who were trying to snag sockeye while fishing, was not pleased with it, took the video myself and decided to point out an existing problem in this area. I work hard to promote and improve recreational fishing in this community in many projects so I take personal offence when I see people choose to break the rules.

I do not know who the individuals are in the video so to think there is a personal agenda behind this video is absurd. I’m curious why some have chosen to make this a problem with Marco or the store. Just so it is clear, neither Marco or Nikka Fishing and Marine has anything to do with it. If you have a problem or concern with the video, you are welcome to email me at info@fishingwithrod.com to discuss this further.

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