Fishing Report for March 27, 2019

Bob Meyer

Wednesday, March 27 2019

There has still been no decision made by D.F.O. as to the 2019 Chinook retention in Area 17 from April through July. Apparently this will done by April 1st, so we all await with bated breath. (Wait a minute, that sounds like fish breath-yuck!). Scenario A will allow for no Chinook retention, keeping the retained Chinook from the affected Fraser Tributaries to under 5%. Scenario B would allow for a one a day Chinook retention, keeping the retained Chinook from the affected streams to under 10%. A new five year plan to restore and rebuild salmon habitat and stocks was announced last week. The Feds will contribute 100 million dollars, the Province of B.C. the additional 42.8 million dollars. This is tremendous news, but you have to ask yourself why this wasn’t done ten to fifteen years ago when the Fraser River Tributary stocks started going into serious decline. D.F.O. always goes into crisis management, instead of being proactive when problems first become apparent. The Cowichan River was given the attention it needed as an indicator stream, and it’s Chinook stocks boomed from a low of 800 fish to 25,000 Chinook last year. Money, stream restoration, and enhanced hatchery techniques worked there, and would work as well on the Fraser Trib’s.   

I have had a few discussions with various people this week over the various fishing issues. I hadn’t really focused on the fish farms, but the fact that much of the herring caught commercially is being ground up, and fed to the farm fish infuriated me! The fish farms should be in tanks, not in net pens in the ocean. If the finished product costs two dollars a pound more to produce, so be it! It is a very real probability that the fish farms are adversely affecting the wild salmon with the sea lice, fecal, and antibiotic concentrations. But now, the wild salmon’s primary food source is being taken from them, and fed to farm fish. It’s just absolutely outrageous!  Please sign the petition to end the commercial herring fishery! I tried to access paper petition forms, but was unable to do so.

Chinook fishing slowed considerably this past week, which is normal for this time of year. The herring have moved offshore, into deep water, and the fish follow them. In about three weeks, the offshore fishing will begin in earnest, and it’s normally lights out! Have patience!

The prawning also went downhill off Nanaimo, and it has been my guess that the prawn actually go into the kelp, and feed on the herring roe.

Good fishing! 

Bob Meyer is the owner/operator of Silver Blue Charters. 250-247-8807