Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Not a whole lot to report on the fishing front these days with the April 1st announcement closing the best of our local April chinook spots with a “no fishing for chinook regulation.” Some areas are open for “non-retention of chinook” but not much close to Vancouver proper. If you didn’t see our special chinook update last week, which includes a map of the regulations to make it easier, I would recommend you check it out. Chinook Update 2021
I have been in recent meetings with DFO, as recent as yesterday, with my role as Chair of the Sport Fish Advisory Committee to DFO for the Vancouver area, Management Areas 28/29. In these meetings, I have stressed the very low impact the Sport Fish Advisory Board chinook proposals are for our area, and how urgently we need them to be adopted so we can have access to chinook stocks of non-concern effective immediately. I also stressed how the local fishery is an April, May, June fishery and any announcement after April 1st is not acceptable. The message was received loud and clear. The message I received in return is that this is now in the Fisheries Ministers hands, and we are waiting on her and nobody else.
If you are like me and you don’t watch the news as much as you used to, you may have missed the fact our local fishery made it on to Global News with yours truly. It was a great way to promote the fact that we can fish for hatchery chinook here in Vancouver while having little to no impact on chinook stocks of concern that are often present less than 1% of the time. Last Saturday afternoon, we fished off the QA. I was able to fish this area as I have a special permit to collect DNA and that data is then used by DFO. Quite quickly, we caught a legal sized chinook. Although it was not a marked hatchery fish, there is a 99% or greater chance it was not a chinook stock of concern, based on the DNA data we have been collecting for years. Also, keep in mind that Canada only clips 10% of our hatchery chinook, while the USA clips 100%. If we clipped 100% as well, quite often the odds of you catching a hatchery chinook around Vancouver in April and May would easily exceed 50%.
So, for now we wait. The scuttlebutt is we may get some sort of announcement as early as today or it might be next week. The truth is, at this point, nobody knows when or if it will be good news or bad news. I can tell you this. The science in favour of a low risk, hatchery chinook fishery for the Vancouver waters in indisputable. The reason this hasn’t been readily accepted by the department is all politics. Environmental groups and First Nations are generally not in favour of these Vancouver fisheries, and they have their own agendas as to why. At the end of the day, it literally does come down to political pressure, and that means voters, and that means YOU. The efforts of groups like the SFI and PFA need to be backed by voters and that means letters and emails in support of the SFAB proposals.
The Public Fishery Alliance has made it easy for you with this form. Please quickly fill this out and hit send and forward to all your family and friends who enjoy the opportunity to fish out of Vancouver. Email the Fisheries Minister
I hope next week’s report is about the opportunity we have to fish for chinook salmon around Vancouver. Until then…
See you in the shop or on the water,