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Vancouver BC Fishing Report

By Rodney Hsu, Fishing with Rod | Last updated: September 15th, 2014

Fraser River white sturgeon fishing with Langs Fishing Adventures

Fraser River sockeye salmon fishing remains open but the closure should be announced soon, possibly this week. Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page as we will have the fishery notice available once announced. Fishing has been spotty due to the commercial openings in the lower part of the Fraser River. This is also the time of the year when you pay extra attention on the fish you are catching. The chance of encountering a steelhead or coho salmon in the Fraser River is quite good now, and these need to be released with care. Please don't drag your fish up the shoreline unless you are very sure it is a fish which you are allowed to retain. Chilliwack River remains very low but some fish are now in the system. All other tributaries in the Lower Fraser River are still very quiet. Sturgeon fishing in the Fraser River remains excellent. Rainbow trout stockings at urban lakes should resume in a couple of weeks from now.

Over 20 million sockeye salmon have been arriving at the Fraser River mouth in summer 2014. In our latest video feature, we joined Bon Chovy Fishing Charters to explore this fishery and it was a great success! Check out this 30 minute video to see how fast the fishing was.

Please make sure you go to our Facebook page and click on "like". I am constantly adding updates such as latest fishing reports, new videos, articles and contests on it.

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 remains low and clear. Fishing is very slow now. The forecasted rain later this week may improve the fishing. There are some coho salmon in the system but fishing will only pick up again if water level rises due to rain. Please note that bait ban is now in effect until October 31st.

Please note that ALL steelhead (both hatchery marked and wild) have to be released with care in the Capilano River. Be sure to identify your fish correctly in the water. This is a vulnerable stock and your action will decide its future.

When the river remains low, coho salmon have a tendency to hold at the river mouth and nearby Ambleside Beach. Beach fishing can be quite effective at low tide if this is the case. This article on beach fishing for Pacific salmon can be helpful if you'd like to learn more about it. Fishing has been very spotty, only the odd fish have been caught at times despite of a good presence of risers in the area.

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River

Chilliwack River is very low and clear now. The river level is at its lowest in over a year. Fishing improved a bit in the past week as anglers have found some fish moving into the system. Finding deeper spots where fish tend to hold is key. Early morning is best as always. The forecasted rain later this week may raise the river level and improve the fishing.

Fred's Custom Tackle is your go-to store for the Chilliwack River fishery. Currently there are two locations, the original one by the Vedder Crossing in Chilliwack while a second new store in Abbotsford.

If you need accommodation or guide suggestions around Chilliwack, please take a look at the listing on Tourism Chilliwack's website.

Skagit River

Westslope cutthroat trout, a surprise from the Skagit River

Skagit River offers a productive catch and release fishery for rainbow trout and bull trout. Rainbow trout in this system are around 10 to 14 inches long, while its bull trout can be up to 4lb or bigger. The river is very low and clear, which makes walk and wade much more easily for anglers. At the same time it also slows the fishing down especially now that most fish have been caught a couple of times. Mosquitos is very bad right now, be sure to bring bug spray if you are heading out that way.

Squamish River

Fishing is slow for the Squamish River during this time of the year. Freshet is just coming to an end but salmon fishing isn't really available yet. Trout and char fishing is available in the Cheakamus River and other major tributaries but this fish can be tough to entice after being targeted for the last couple of months. You may encounter the odd early coho salmon. Please note that bait ban is in effect year round and retention of fish is limited to just one hatchery marked coho salmon in certain area, so please read the regulations.

Tidal Fraser River

Tidal Fraser River sturgeon fishing

Water visibility of the Tidal Fraser River is sitting at between 1 and 3 feet, depending on which part of the river you are at and what tide it is. Both chinook and sockeye salmon are currently open for recreational fishing. Please note that bait ban and no fishing for coho salmon are in effect from September 2nd to October 3rd.

Sockeye salmon are difficult to catch in the Tidal Fraser River but it's not impossible. Casting and retrieving a variety of lures will get you a fish eventually if a big school of fish is moving through the system. Commercial fishing pressure has been heavy, so overall salmon fishing is not productive.

Sturgeon fishing is very good right now and fishing pressure is very low as most boats are focusing their effort further upstream in the non-tidal section. Fish in the 3 to 6 feet range are the most common during this time of the year. Rotting dead sockeye salmon parts are the best bait to use right now.

Coarse fish such as peamouth chub and northern pikeminnow can now be caught throughout the system. These two species, as well as sculpin and a few other bottom species, are perfect target fish for kids who want to learn how to fish. If you are unfamiliar with this fishery, please check out these articles.

As water becomes clearer, you can also spincast lures for northern pikeminnow. You also have a chance to catch a cutthroat trout. Check out this video for more information.

To fish the Tidal Fraser River (downstream from the railway bridge in Mission), you are required to have a valid saltwater fishing licence.

For more information on this fishery and the latest updates on saltwater fishing around Steveston and the Tidal Fraser River, stop by the Berry's Bait & Tackle in Richmond.

Non-tidal Fraser River

The river is dropping steadily and clarity is still fair. Bar fishing for chinook salmon has been very good for this season. If you are unfamiliar with bar fishing, please read this article.

Sockeye salmon fishing is open for retention and should continue until mid September. If you have never participated in this fishery, please read this blog post. Fishing has been spotty due to both commercial and First Nation openings.

Please note that bait ban and no fishing for coho salmon are in effect between September 4th and October 6th from Mission to Hope, September 6th to October 11th from Hope to Sawmill Creek.

Sturgeon fishing remains good as expected. Lamprey and eulachon are the best bait for this time of the year, but some are also reporting good results by using salmon roe. If you are out fishing on a boat, then you should be aware of debris that are coming downstream. Book your guided white sturgeon fishing trip for this summer now. The best fishing months are August and September. We recommend the following companies in the Fraser Valley.

For more detailed reports on sturgeon fishing in the Fraser Valley, check out either Vic Carrao's report or Dean Werk's report.

Sturgeon Slough

Carp fishing is good at Sturgeon Slough but the fish are not too big. A light spinning setup is adequate for these underrated fish. Carp found in Sturgeon Slough range between 0.5lb and 4lb. Fish on the bottom with corn or dough works well. If you are float fishing, try having the float depth adjusted so your bait is laying on the bottom. This fishery should continue until late September when the slough becomes flooded due to rain.

Sumas River

Sumas River, which drains into the Chilliwack River, is a slough where carp fishing opportunities are available. The best access point is MacDonald Park at the north end of No. 3 Road in Abbotsford. Best fishing is in early mornings and late evenings. Further downstream at the Barrow Town Pump Station, you can catch northern pikeminnow and other related species. Fishing for these coarse fish can be good until October, when you also have a chance to catch and release some coho salmon and cutthroat trout.

Lower Mainland Lakes

Ross Lake bull trout

The Region 2's trout stocking database is usually updated once rainbow trout are stocked by the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery. Spring stocks have been completed and fall stockings will begin in late September. Trout fishing is quite slow now due to the hot weather, but you still have a chance of catching them in the early morning hours and late afternoon before dusk.

Deer Lake in Burnaby does not only produce rainbow trout, but also largemouth bass and common carp. The bass can be up to 0.5lb, while the carp in the lake are as big as 10lb.

Mill Lake is another multi-species lake. You can catch rainbow trout, largemouth bass, black crappie, pumpkinseed and carp from it.

Crappie fishing can be good during this time of the year at Whonnock Lake.

Cultus Lake can in fact be quite productive. This fishery produces a variety of species including cutthroat trout, northern pikeminnow, largescale sucker, peamouth chub and northern pikeminnow. You can fish from the public docks or beaches. Casting retrieving a small spoon/spinner, or float fishing with bait work well.

Ross Lake, where the Skagit River drains into, can be productive for bull trout, brook trout and rainbow trout. Please note the specific fishing regulations for this lake.

Please note that the daily quota of trout has been changed this year for most Fishing in the City lakes, please check the regulations to see if it has changed for the lake where you plan to visit.

These articles may assist you:

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 single hook is allowed on your rod. Please note that 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).

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.

Before heading out, please read the freshwater regulations in Region 2 first. For more regular updates, make sure you follow our Facebook page.

Good luck and please conserve your catches!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster, Fishing with Rod Production