Fishing Report for May 1, 2019

Bob Meyer  

Wednesday, May 1 2019

There are huge amounts of Chinook traveling “the Highway” from Thrasher to Entrance, in water depths of 600 to 800 feet. Our last catch and release trip produce 15 fish hooked in three hours, with 11 boated and released, and 5 keeper sized Chinook released between 7 and 14 pounds. Try fishing downrigger depths at 120 to 180 feet with Evil Eye, Silver/Blue, or Kitchen Sink spoons, or the T-Rex or Blue Meany hoochie. It is a shame we can’t retain some of these fish, as the bulk of them are clipped hatchery fish, probably of U.S. origins.

More D.N.A. data is emerging, and it provides even more evidence that sport fishers are having very little effect on intercepting the troubled Fraser Tributary stocks. Some of the rivers, such as the Nicola are being intercepted in the Straight of Georgia (Salish Sea) at a rate of 0.4%, which is way below the D.F.O. established 5% maximum desired target effect. 

First Nations are being affected by this edict also, as they have agreed not to net Chinook in the Fraser until July 15th. Constitutionally, they have first rights to fish, before the commercial and sport fleets. Their heritage of netting their own fish, which is very sacred and traditional, is being interrupted. Meanwhile, there are thousands of Chinook from very healthy stocks passing our doorstep. One solution might be to create a First Nations troll fishery on these fish. This certainly wouldn’t replace the act of catching their own fish in river, but would temporarily at least replace the Fraser Chinook food source with fish from other origins. Once their needs are met, we could resume our sport fishery, even if it was limited to hatchery Chinook. 

D.F.O. is managing to the weakest stocks, which is honourable on paper, but not in function. I think some much more creative solutions could have been accomplished to avoid the scenario we are now experiencing.The Chinook commercial troll fleet is being delayed, and is being monitored very closely this year, too. Since there is no troll fishery for Chinook in the Straight of Georgia, I really haven’t included them in my discussion of local importance, but they are being impacted mightily, also.

Prawning has really slowed. I might try some different depths to try and find them. Commercial season starts around May 8th, and I don’t compete with them while they are fishing.

Ling and Rockfish open May 1, with a one per person per day limit. Good fishing!

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