Now is the time to organize your fishing activities around Campbell River

However you get your license, you need a paper copy. Photo by Don Daniels

However you get your license, you need a paper copy. Photo by Don Daniels

By Don Daniels

Today marks the end of March and for the locals and those who have made Campbell River their new home, spring has sprung and the fishing movement has begun.

Before you start any fishing on the saltchuck or lakes, there are things you need to know! First of all, you need a recreational fishing licence and secondly, know and understand the rules and regulations. Since we are still in pandemic times, we are masking up and social distancing and groups are at a minimum.

Here are your options to getting a license: Go online or, if you are a senior with no interest or know-how to do that, get a family member to do it for you. Local tackle shops in Campbell River are open with customers at a minimum in the store.

They do not print a licence for fishing because during the start of the season it takes extra staff but since we are still dealing with COVID-19, go online. Outside of Campbell River, some stores will print a licence for you.

Local salmon anglers are waiting to hear about any changes to chinook salmon regulations here in Discovery Passage but no announcement has been made and I’m expecting news in a few weeks.

The herring spawn is pretty much over and the commercial boats were spotted prior to March 9 heading south to Comox and the bait balls were spotted by anglers anywhere from Comox to Qualicum Beach. Some of the fishing guides were getting herring for bait to use for the upcoming fishing season and their place of employment. A number of fishing guides have been contacted and will start work in early April and get ready for the upcoming season that will extend into the first week of September.

Last Monday the sun was out and Discovery Passage was calm and a number of boats were out at the Hump and Red Can but some better results were had at Kitty Coleman and Bates Beach. When the herring spawn is over, it’s like a free-for-all out there but salmon fishing will improve within a month.

Catchable size trout have made their way to Echo Lake and I met the truck late afternoon on Wednesday March 24. It takes about a week for the newly arrived trout to make their way around the lake and settle in. A few carry-over fish may be in Echo and these trout were stocked last year and grow to about 14 to 16 inches in length. Last year at this time, because of COVID-19, the day use area was full and people were staying in their own group bubble. Rest areas were full and at times people were staying overnight and camping, especially at the Eve River rest stop.

Coming up in the month of April: I am working on an article to save you money, for fly anglers who have a small budget, and the idea is to get you out fishing locally. River trout fishing for catch and release cutthroat will be good at the end of April and a few lakes between Campbell River and Gold River will be explored. I plan to take out John Holmes from Campbell River and do shore fishing from Zippermouth Lake.

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