The saltwater season is just around the corner and we are looking to add to our guiding team for the 2021 season. Check out the full job posting here!
Spring is definitely in the air and that means 2 things. The start of some suspended fish and fisheries management decisions for April 1. Let’s start with the fishing.There have been some good catches of winter chinook, aka feeder chinook, in Vancouver Harbour in spots like the Cap Mouth, the Freighters and QB and out by the Belly Buoy. We usually do see some more chinook hang out in the harbour this time of year as more and more herring start to show up in the area. I would expect we will continue to hear of decent fishing in the harbour over the next few weeks.There has also been some nice chinook caught in Howe Sound and we are starting to see some suspended fish. This usually happens right about mid-March and will continue to become more common as we get longer days, more sunlight, and some algae blooms. The bait will often come up as the water takes on more of a tannin colour and the fish follow, resulting in suspended fish. You are still going to see a lot of fish and bait very close to the bottom, but this time of year it can pay to have some gear a little higher up in the water column.
This is a sonar shot from last weekend. A suspended chinook at about 150 feet in 239 feet of water in Howe Sound
Regarding fisheries decisions, there are proposals in place from the Sport Fish Advisory Board (SFAB) to DFO, where if accepted, would yield some opportunity for us to fish for hatchery chinook in certain areas in Howe Sound and over at Gabriola up to Entrance and Five Fingers. These proposals are particularly designed to claw back some opportunity in the months of April, May, June, and July. There has been considerable dialogue with DFO through the SFAB process these past 3-4 weeks regarding these proposals. On the political front, because you better believe the chinook management decisions are extremely political, the Sport Fishing Institute of BC (SFI) and the Public Fishery Alliance (PFA) have both been very active in lobbying for the acceptance of these proposals. For updates from these organizations, visit their websites, follow them on Facebook and Instagram, or better yet, become a member.We will wait and see what happens April 1st and I can’t tell you if these proposals will or will not be accepted. After last year’s highly politicized “no fishing for chinook” regulations, which was the Fisheries Minister’s decision, any opinion on what may or may not happen, especially if it is based on science or logic, is a fool’s game. The science supports these low impact openings and so does the social and economic impact, that is very clear, but when decisions are made based on optics and politics to cater to First Nation and Environmental Groups wishes, you really can’t say what will happen. I do know there is support for this politically, including a recent letter supporting the SFAB proposals signed by over 25 Members of Parliament, including members from opposing parties. Hopefully Trudeau and Bernadette get the message this time and we pass gunnels on April 1st.See you in the shop or on the water,Jason Tonelli