The 91st season of the annual recreational fishery in Tyee Pool for chinook salmon at the mouth of the Campbell River has been underway for more than a month now, with the Tyee Club fishery ending Sept. 15.
About 15 years ago the regulations governing the river mouth area recreational fishery underwent a significant revision for conservation purposes. This occurred in order to sustain the fishery in the face of advances in tackle and techniques that proved unsustainable in years of low returns. These conservation minded regulations, now printed on every Pacific region tidal waters fishing license, are essential to maintaining future opportunity for all to fish.
Unfortunately there have been some unusual and troubling incidences in Tyee Pool over recent weeks and we think it important that the public become aware of some serious risks to public safety. In the third week of August, tyee fishermen started finding their lures becoming snagged on unseen objects.
Divers and anglers have recovered ten of these and they are all of the same design – clusters of brick-sized beach rock wrapped in pieces of fishing net attached to a length of rope at the end of which are several white floats. They have large loops tied in the line to increase their “exposure” to passing lures and are long enough to be effective but short enough to remain hidden below the surface.
How many remain is unknown but clearly these are the outcome of a deliberate attempt to disrupt this traditional fishery. Just as important, these traps pose a serious a safety risk to float planes, divers and boat traffic.
The RCMP has been contacted and an investigation has started. To date no charges have been laid.
There is another safety issue. Longer term residents of the area may recall the near fatal collision in the Tyee pool in broad daylight between a speeding powerboat and an almost stationary rowboat in 1985. After this, Transport Canada introduced regulations that restrict a specific area from motor boat traffic.
Recently there has been a noticeable increase in the number of powerboats operating in this safety zone; some at excessive speeds. Some of
the boat operators concerned have done so out of a genuine lack of knowledge. Others appear to be flaunting the regulation as a matter of annoyance alone.
The Tyee Club believes that these infractions are a safety risk and we have notified the RCMP on this additional issue. A file has been opened and we encourage further infractions to be reported.
As well, some individuals have conducted high speed cruises up the inside of Tyee Spit after dark; intended, it would appear, to swamp the Tyee Club wharf and potentially damage the boats and nearby aircraft.
Against all of this background, the directors of the Tyee Club hope that these activities cease before more serious harm to all users of the river mouth occurs.
Board of Directors
Tyee Club of BC
Sharon Fisher, President