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Lower Fraser River Opens for Pink Salmon Fishing!

Published on Friday, September 4th, 2015

Fraser River Pink Salmon

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.

  • Make sure you have a valid fishing licence! If you are fishing in the Fraser River anywhere downstream from the CPR Bridge in Mission, then you need a valid tidal water fishing licence. If you are fishing upstream from the CPR Bridge, you need a valid freshwater fishing licence. If you want to keep a pink salmon, you also need to purchase a salmon conservation stamp.
  • Know the daily quota, which is the number of pink salmon you are allowed to keep per day.
  • Know the regulations. There are some general fishing regulations that you need to know when fishing for pink salmon in the Tidal and Non-tidal Fraser River. Make sure your hook only has a single point and barbless. You can read the rest on this page.
  • Identify your catches before killing them. Among millions of pink salmon, there are three species that you need to know and must release with care when caught. These two species are sockeye salmon, coho salmon and steelhead. During the pink salmon season, late summer run sockeye salmon, endangered interior coho salmon and steelhead will make their way into the Thompson-Nicola region. Fishery managers are working hard to conserve these species while ensuring our fishing opportunities remain available. As anglers, we need to work with them to minimize our impact on endangered species.
  • Time your fishing outing with the tide. This fishery is heavily influenced by the tide. The magic hours are the last three hours of the incoming tide. During this time, fish will follow the tidal current into the river. There’s no such thing as the “best spot” on the Fraser River. You can catch pink salmon anywhere along the Fraser River, just make sure you are at the right spot at the right time.
  • The weather can be fantastic for fishing in September, but it is still too hot to keep your fish on the beach or in the river. To preserve the freshness of your pink salmon, make sure your fish are bled immediately and packed in an ice-filled cooler while you fish.
  • Bring a landing net. Majority of pink salmon are lost just before they reach the angler. Having a landing net can improve your catch success significantly. The rocky shorelines along the Fraser River can be steep and slippery at times, so a landing net can also make sure you do not fall in while trying to grab your fish by hand. Because some fish are required to be released, a landing net with a soft or rubber mesh finish is best.
  • Respect other users. When taking part in this fishery, you will most likely be fishing among other anglers. Treat others like you would like to be treated so everyone can have a good experience. Some considerations include to avoid casting over other people’s lines, avoid talking loudly, pick up some garbage on the river bank and help others when they need a hand.

Here are some useful links to get you started:

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