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Author Topic: Squamish River  (Read 4123 times)

psd1179

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2019, 09:59:33 PM »

How was the fishing?

water level did not change much but colored up a lot. fishing is much slower than last weekend but had some decent action. Multi species on streamer.
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Wiseguy

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2019, 10:02:35 PM »

water level did not change much but colored up a lot. fishing is much slower than last weekend but had some decent action. Multi species on streamer.
Thanx for the report.
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bkk

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2019, 10:23:34 PM »

My top 5 would be a bit subjective. Some would benefit fish more while others would benefit the angling experience. Here is what I would do:

1 - Develop a spawning escapement goal for both pinks and chums and implement it. Currently there is no target escapement, no estimate of current escapement nor any ideas of what the watershed should be able to support based on habitat.

2 - At present there are several groups as well as government, spending significant amounts of dollars to remove large river obstructions ( boulders ) preventing salmon access to the 40 + kilometers of habitat in the Elaho River. This is the best habitat in the whole watershed especially for chinook,  coho and pinks. This habitat has recently been made accessible but with current salmon population sizes it's going to be a while before it's colonized in any significant  way. What is needed is a fry stocking program to utilize this habitat until returning salmon can colonize it on there own. Coho stocking would see the most immediate return from this. 

3 - The water ramping rates on the Cheakamus River downstream of the BC Hydro dam need to be totally changed as the flow changes are currently too rapid. Lots and lots of juvenile fish as well as adult pinks this fall were being killed by a too quick decrease in water flows. Groups are working on this but there seems to be lots of push back from BC Hydro on reducing the ramp rates. This is a major fish killer in the watershed. This also applies to the IPP projects on both the Ashlu and Mamquam River.

4 - There needs to be a significant revision of the amount of fishing guides on this watershed. It has gotten a little silly in the last few years with guides coming from as far away as Pemberton and Mission. Combine that with the amount of  assistant guides and the pressure gets a little silly. A good example of that was a guiding company who will remain nameless, was bringing up full bus loads of people this summer to target pinks. There has to be some control on this.

5 - Currently there is a small pink salmon enhancement program on the Cheakamus ( 1. 6 million fry ) that will likely disappear next cycle due to reallocation of priorities by DFO. This program was one of the things that helped rebuild the pink population after the CN Rail Caustic Soda spill in the Cheakamus in 2005. This program must continue as it is a good tool to use to maintain a pink population after one of Squamish's major floods that were famous for. It would also serve as a excellent way to have a returning pink population that can be use to colonize the Elaho with pinks. In a cold and glacial system like the Squamish, pinks are a superb fish that provide essential nutrients for the watershed. Char and juvenile salmon are always fatter on a pink cycle.

 So that is my top 5. There are other things that I would like to see happen but I know there extremely unlikely ( steelhead issues, Johnstone Straight mixed stock chum fishery ) so I would be happy if these got addressed. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.
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Wiseguy

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2019, 11:10:53 AM »

Excellent post! Thank you for this. You speak from experience from the sounds of it.
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Dave

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2019, 12:33:14 PM »

Excellent post! Thank you for this. You speak from experience from the sounds of it.
Yeah, you could say bkk knows his stuff ... well written B, hope some come to fruition!
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Wiseguy

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2019, 09:15:42 AM »

At what water level is the Squamish fishable and which water gauge is the best to indicate fishing levels?There appears to be three gauges.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2019, 11:12:42 AM by Wiseguy »
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Rodney

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2019, 10:37:16 AM »

My top 5 would be a bit subjective. Some would benefit fish more while others would benefit the angling experience. Here is what I would do:

Thanks B. Those all seem to be achievable goals. Are 1, 2 and 5 just held back by financial constraints?

Rodney

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2019, 10:37:25 AM »

At what water level is the Squamish fishable and is which water gauge is the best to indicate fishing levels?There appears to be three gauges.

https://wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/report/real_time_e.html?stn=08GA022

milo

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2019, 11:43:22 AM »

At what water level is the Squamish fishable and which water gauge is the best to indicate fishing levels?There appears to be three gauges.

From my experience, most of the Squamish can be fishable all the way up to 4m based on the Brackendale gauge, with levels between 3-3.5m being ideal. Anything higher than 4.5 and you want to stay away from its banks.
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Wiseguy

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2019, 12:57:44 PM »

From my experience, most of the Squamish can be fishable all the way up to 4m based on the Brackendale gauge, with levels between 3-3.5m being ideal. Anything higher than 4.5 and you want to stay away from its banks.
Thanx Milo! This is the info I was looking for.
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bigblockfox

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2019, 06:35:06 PM »

Thanks B. Those all seem to be achievable goals. Are 1, 2 and 5 just held back by financial constraints?

was going to ask the same thing. wondering if there any of the groups excepting donations.
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bkk

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2019, 08:20:13 PM »

Thanks B. Those all seem to be achievable goals. Are 1, 2 and 5 just held back by financial constraints?

They are all to a degree. Point 1 seems to be just a lack of will. It would cost money and staff and really should be a responsibility of DFO Fish Management. You have to know what's there before you base fisheries on them. There also has to be a will to implement and work toward a plan when it has been completed.

Point 2. Currently there is enough money to make the habitat accessible and the work is presently underway. The holdup at present is the DFO Production Planning people who are favoring a more " let nature fill the void" camp. I'm confidant that next year at this time there will be a working plan in place to collect coho adults with subsequent fry output being released the following spring. A few people are pushing hard on this and it seems to be moving forward.

Point 5. This one is more in doubt. Money is an issue as well as staff time to do the collection. DFO staff who used to run this program have either retired or have been retasked to work with  critically endangered Fraser River chinook stocks ( Seton Portage chinook). Seton chinook and Squamish pinks both have the same spawning timing and they can't be in both spots at the same time. While pinks are not a very expensive program to run there is still a cost for collection, spawning, egg picking and incubation husbandry. There might be a couple of options to secure funding and that will be looked at shortly. We will see but I'm hopefully that this is  possible.

I'm sure the Squamish River Watershed Society would love to take your money especially if you have a couple of hundred thousand dollars you don't want. They would likely take less though as there are other funding sources.
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bigblockfox

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2019, 08:20:41 AM »

anyone that would like to donate

https://www.squamishwatershed.com/donate.html
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Wiseguy

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2019, 01:23:05 PM »

I made it out to the Squamish river this past week. The river dropped fast and the water clarity and rd conditions improved each day I was there. You can camp at the first bridge where there is a nice run above the bridge. Saw a few spawning chum salmon in this run. Further up river there are pull outs where u can park to get away from the logging trucks working the valley. At these pull outs one can hike into some pretty sweet water that is meant to be fished. A few Bull trout came to hand on my fly rod. I did see other anglers along the way, but not even remotely close to the hordes of people on the Vedder. Did not spot any bears but I did see a herd of Elk which was so cool to see. A big river with spectacular mountain peaks to marvel at and a few fish to hand makes for good times. Canít wait to go back.
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swimmingwiththefishes

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Re: Squamish River
« Reply #29 on: December 01, 2019, 10:55:37 PM »

My top 5 would be a bit subjective. Some would benefit fish more while others would benefit the angling experience. Here is what I would do:

1 - Develop a spawning escapement goal for both pinks and chums and implement it. Currently there is no target escapement, no estimate of current escapement nor any ideas of what the watershed should be able to support based on habitat.

2 - At present there are several groups as well as government, spending significant amounts of dollars to remove large river obstructions ( boulders ) preventing salmon access to the 40 + kilometers of habitat in the Elaho River. This is the best habitat in the whole watershed especially for chinook,  coho and pinks. This habitat has recently been made accessible but with current salmon population sizes it's going to be a while before it's colonized in any significant  way. What is needed is a fry stocking program to utilize this habitat until returning salmon can colonize it on there own. Coho stocking would see the most immediate return from this. 

3 - The water ramping rates on the Cheakamus River downstream of the BC Hydro dam need to be totally changed as the flow changes are currently too rapid. Lots and lots of juvenile fish as well as adult pinks this fall were being killed by a too quick decrease in water flows. Groups are working on this but there seems to be lots of push back from BC Hydro on reducing the ramp rates. This is a major fish killer in the watershed. This also applies to the IPP projects on both the Ashlu and Mamquam River.

4 - There needs to be a significant revision of the amount of fishing guides on this watershed. It has gotten a little silly in the last few years with guides coming from as far away as Pemberton and Mission. Combine that with the amount of  assistant guides and the pressure gets a little silly. A good example of that was a guiding company who will remain nameless, was bringing up full bus loads of people this summer to target pinks. There has to be some control on this.

5 - Currently there is a small pink salmon enhancement program on the Cheakamus ( 1. 6 million fry ) that will likely disappear next cycle due to reallocation of priorities by DFO. This program was one of the things that helped rebuild the pink population after the CN Rail Caustic Soda spill in the Cheakamus in 2005. This program must continue as it is a good tool to use to maintain a pink population after one of Squamish's major floods that were famous for. It would also serve as a excellent way to have a returning pink population that can be use to colonize the Elaho with pinks. In a cold and glacial system like the Squamish, pinks are a superb fish that provide essential nutrients for the watershed. Char and juvenile salmon are always fatter on a pink cycle.

 So that is my top 5. There are other things that I would like to see happen but I know there extremely unlikely ( steelhead issues, Johnstone Straight mixed stock chum fishery ) so I would be happy if these got addressed. So put that in your pipe and smoke it.

I would add that the number of pinnipeds on the river has also increased. Fishing the mouth of the Mamquam this year and often running to the spit from my place Iíll see several sea lions. This was not the case in the past and needs to be addressed.
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