Vancouver Saltwater Salmon Fishing Report
Chinook Update & New Regulations:
Well, it’s the end of the month and we were actually surprised to receive the DFO Fishery Notices this morning instead of the usual late afternoon. While we were hoping for a Pilot Mark Selective Fishery opening in parts of Howe Sound for 1 hatchery chinook a day, 62-80 cm it looks like the Vancouver area will be no fishing for chinook April 1st to August 31st, just like it has been the last few years now.
That said there was the following wording in this morning’s fisheries notice:
“The plan is to start the 2023 fishing season (beginning April 1, 2023) with measures in place at the beginning of last season, until further notice. As these are interim measures, a further announcement on possible revised management actions, including any new mark-selective fisheries (MSFs) that may be approved, will be announced in a subsequent fishery notice.” So perhaps there is a chance this pilot fishery will be approved at a later date.
The DFO has stated they are going to transition to mass marking of chinook and marked selective fisheries via their position paper on it last July. If they can’t open an ultra-low impact chinook fishery (on stocks of concern) in Howe Sound for 60 days, I am not sure what they can open. The usual pushback from ENGOs and FN is there, so we will see what decision the Minister makes.
Be sure to familiarize yourself with the regulations – the notices that went out this morning are linked below:
FN0330-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Chinook – Areas 11 to 20, 111, and Subareas 29-1 to 29-5 – Chinook Management Measures – Effective April 1, 2023
FN0331-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – Chinook – Southern BC waters: Vancouver Area and Fraser River (Area 28 and portions of Area 29) – Reminder of Fraser Chinook Management Measures effective April 1, 2023
FN0332-RECREATIONAL – Salmon – West Coast of Vancouver Island – Areas 21 to 27, 121, 123 to 127 – Chinook Management Measures – Effective April 1, 2023
Prawn Update & New Regulations:
We should also see a fishery notice today that will have areas 28-1 and 28-1 open back up for prawning. Also note that as of April 1st you are required to fish a round style float for prawns. No more red and white crab floats, boat bumpers, yellow bullet shaped floats, milk jugs etc. The new regs will clearly state you need a round style float like an A1 or A2 buoy commonly referred to as a scotchman buoy. It doesn’t have to be red, although that seems to be the most common colour available in stores. It could be white, green, or yellow as those are also commonly available colours, but red probably stands out the best. Remember the float needs to have your full name and phone number on it. Any prawn gear not having this round style of float will be considered illegal gear and you could have your gear taken away and get fined. We do have scotchman buoys in stock.
Crabbing Update & New Regulations:
Just like prawning, new regulations are coming into effect on crabbing. You must use the bullet style float for crabbing, use a red and white, and put your name and phone number on it. It seems most people are using these anyways, so not a big change. But for those of you using milk jugs or boat bumpers it is time to change up your gear or face the fines. Crabbing should pick up in April.