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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: April 24th, 2017

This week's new video features a trip to the Tidal Fraser River last October during the coho salmon fishing season. We bar fished for coho salmon with freshly cured salmon roe. I hope you find the information useful!

We are still longing for dry weather here in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley! Easter long weekend saw one nice sunny day but it is still wet on most days right now. Surprisingly, most rivers are staying in good shape and anglers are enjoying some late winter steelhead fishing. A mix of nice fresh fish and kelts are being caught in the Chilliwack River. Bull trout fishing is also pretty good in the Squamish/Cheakamus River systems. Fraser River is very dirty due to freshet, sturgeon fishing is improving each week as we are now seeing some pretty big fish being caught. Tidal Fraser River can be good for bull trout fishing by bar fishing with roe right now, coarse fish are also emerging as water temperature gets warmer.

Upcoming Events and Promotional News

Here are some of the latest news and upcoming events in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley!

Capilano River

Capilano River is low, clear and quiet during this time of the year. Some winter steelhead that are staging for spawning can be found and should not be disturbed. ALL steelhead (both hatchery and wild fish) have to be released with care.

Stave River

Stave River has two species in it during this time of the year - Coastal cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish. Water conditions are usually very good, due to the dam. Fishing can be good at times. Some salmon fry are now emerging so if you are fly fishing, minnow patterns should do the trick. For whitefish, a small nymph fished under an indicator or float close to the river bed works well. As the weather warms up, northern pikeminnow will also become quite abundant.

Squamish River

Squamish River offers fishing opportunities for bull trout, rainbow trout as well as winter steelhead right now. Salmon fry have emerged from redds so many trout and char are now keying on these juvenile salmonids. Minnow/fry patterns can work great when targeting them. Steelhead fishing is spotty as this system no longer produces many fish compared to past decades. Please remember that catch and release applies to all species, and a bait ban is in effect.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River's condition has remained good through the past week and should continue for awhile as no major rainfalls are expected. A mix of fresh winter steelhead and spawners are being caught. Overall fishing is slow as we are nearing the end of the season but you can certainly still find fish in the next several weeks. As the weather gets warmer, other species are also becoming more active. These include bull trout, rainbow trout and mountain whitefish.

For hands-on information, be sure to visit Fred's Custom Tackle where you can also pick up a map of the Chilliwack/Vedder River. Fred has reopened a NEW Chilliwack location at 45150 Luckakuck Way. Fred is having a fall sales event from November 15th to December 1st.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River is now very dirty as freshet has begun. This means fishing with lures or flies is almost impossible as there's no visibility for it. This time of the year, bull trout are in fact quite abundant throughout the Tidal Fraser River between New Westminster and Richmond. Because of poor water clarity, the best method of catching these fish is by fishing with roe. Please keep in mind that it is a catch and release fishery so please release all bull trout, and wild cutthroat trout with care. Carrying a catch and release net with you makes landing fish much easier so you can keep the fish in the water at all time while unhooking it.

Please note that in spring 2016, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has issued a night time fishing closure for all finfish species in the Tidal Fraser River. To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

If you would like more information on fishing in the Tidal Fraser River, please stop by Berry's Bait and Tackle in Richmond. Mike, Len and Michele have a team of knowledgable staffs who regularly fish this area and they can help you out.

Non-tidal Fraser River

Non-tidal Fraser River's water clarity is very poor as freshet has arrived. Cutthroat trout fishing is no longer productive due to this. Most of the good fishing has shifted to the tributaries.

Sturgeon fishing has been good and will only improve in the next several weeks. The presence of eulachon, as well as rising water temperature, will make these sturgeon more active. Fish up to 8 or 9 feet are being caught, but the norm is between 3 and 5 feet long. Eulachon, lamprey are popular bait that are being used right now.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Zoey with a nice cutthroat trout

Fishing is picking up at most lakes in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley. Urban lakes which have been stocked this spring include Lafarge Lake, Como Lake, Green Timbers Lake, Rice Lake, Sanctuary Pond, Mill Lake, Sasamat Lake and Buntzen Lake.

These articles may assist you:

Kawkawa Lake kokanee

Access to Hicks Lake and Deer Lake at Sasquatch Provincial Park is now open. Fish are still in relatively deeper water so more productive to be fishing on a boat.

Kawkawa Lake kokanee fishing has been reasonably good up until last week but fishing has slowed down, which is pretty typical for April and part of May. Fishing will pick up again in late May.

Squamish's Alice Lake is ice-free and is another good option for those who are travelling up Sea-to Sky. This lake has reasonably good rainbow and cutthroat trout fishing.

Cultus Lake can be excellent for cutthroat trout fishing. You will also encounter the odd bull trout and kokanee. Some northern pikeminnow and other minnow species are starting to emerge in shallower parts of the lake as the water gets warmer.

Deer Lake in Burnaby is producing the odd bass but it is still not warm enough yet for consistent action.

Please remember that for lake fishing, if you are fishing from shore, you are only allowed to use ONE rod. If you are fishing alone in a boat, then you are permited to use two rods. Only one hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that single barbless hooks are required to be used at some lakes. You should note the daily quota of trout for the lake where you are fishing. Catch and release is required in some lakes, please check regulations.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page. If you witness violations, please contact the nearest conservation office or phone 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). Conservation officers can not attend all calls, but they do their best to catch those who do not choose to play by the rules.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production