*Sharper Hooks*
*Tighter Lines*
BC Fishing Report

 

 

 



Fishing Report for Sept. 11, 2017
By Chris Stephen
RRGC temporary fishing chair

Lake Fishing:
Fishing in the Lower Mainland lakes has been slow due to the hot temperatures this summer. Decent fishing can be found in deeper water or in the larger lakes where colder water can be found. You might also try fishing for warmer water fish such as Bass, Crappie and Carp which produce nice sizes in some areas.  It was reported that Tunkwa Lake has been hit with a toxic algae bloom, so caution should be taken when fishing there at this time.

Saltwater Fishing:
Saltwater fishing has been spotty.  With the lower returns of Squamish and Indian Arm Pink Salmon: many popular Squamish/Indian Arm run saltwater fishing spots weren’t producing Pinks like they have in the past.  Chinook fishing has been very good and with Coho and Chum starting to show up, your best bet might be fishing relatively shallow around the mouth of the Fraser (Sandheads to Point Grey).  Anchovy and herring has been working best, but green or blue hoochies work well too. Bottom fishing and Crabbing has reportedly been slow this year.

Sturgeon Fishing:
Sturgeon fishing in the Mission Area has been very active with many monsters being caught and released, however further upriver has been somewhat slower.  Best bait right now is salmon parts, but lamprey, pike minnow and eggs are also working.

Squamish and Indian Arm:
The Squamish and Indian Arm Pink Salmon return has been dismal this year, reportedly less than 2% of the 2015 run size.  The Mamquam and Cheakamus River remained closed to Pink fishing while retention in the Squamish River was reduced to 1.  Still, the fishing wasn’t too bad, with the fly fishermen seemingly doing the best.  Small pink or chartreuse presentations were the ticket, some Chinook where also being caught.  Unfortunately, the drive to get to Squamish from the Fraser Valley is quite intimidating.

Chehalis, Stave, Chilliwack, Harrison
The Water lever in these rivers are currently quite low, but Salmon have been trickling in steadily.  Some hiking may be required to find the deeper pools where fish might be holding. Trout fishing has been fairly good, so don’t pass up that opportunity.  Remember, all Pink and Sockeye fishing are closed in these rivers.

Fraser River:
The entire Fraser River is closed to all salmon fishing; however you can still fish for trout (Cutthroat, Rainbow and Steelhead) , Sturgeon and course fish.

Fraser River Sockeye and Chinook:
The Fraser River Sockeye run was normal this year. Normal meaning the return was about what was expected for this cycle, which is very low and only open to First Nation people at a LAER (low abundance exploitation rate). 
The Fraser River Chinook run estimate is reportedly 22,000-68,000 fish, with a median value of 42,530 which is lower than the 45,000 minimum conservation escapement. Due to low Sockeye numbers: the First Nations were given first priority over the Chinook return.
There have reportedly been large numbers of illegal nets in the Fraser River keeping DFO officers occupied, however the Sockeye that have made it past these nets (and all the seals) are arriving at the spawning grounds in good condition.

Fraser River Pink Salmon:
Recreational Pink Salmon fishing was kept closed till after the Labor Day weekend to allegedly protect Sockeye holding around the lower and mouth of the Fraser. This may confuse some, because there are virtually no bycatches of Sockeye by anglers targeting Pinks in the tidal Fraser. Off the record it was indicated that recreational Pink fishing was kept closed: “because if they opened it to recreational anglers; (politics dictated) they would also have to open it up to the other user groups” who; in turn would scoop up both pink and sockeye with their finer mesh gill nets.
The Fraser River Panel (made up of US and Canadian representatives) initially gave an estimate of 4.8 million salmon returning, which gave an inaccurate TAC (total allowable catch) of 1.8 million; of which 15% (after test fishery and bycatch allotment) was given to “American All Citizens” (Treaty Indian, commercial and recreational). Once the US citizens took their allotment of 97,000 Fraser River Pink Salmon, the panel then changed the return estimate to 4.5 then 3.7 million on Sept 8th. That meant there was no more TAC left for Canadians or Fraser River fishing this year. To put this in perspective, the recreational Fraser River Pink catch would have been less than 10,000…if it had opened.


Note:
 If you want the river open, join the team at FRSA (fraseralliance.com). They are committed to bringing a positive influence that puts fish first and a balance of opportunity to the users of the resource in a fair and equitable manner.
 
Make your voice heard to government that you demand access to a fishery that is your heritage and hopefully the future. You can only be part of the solution if you are part of the fishery.  Now is the time to act if you want your children to have the opportunity to fish in years to come.