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No change to Chinook salmon regulations from last year for Campbell River

Locals keep plugging for salmon. Photo supplied by Dick Dueck

By Don Daniels

Each year we know that renew a tidal and non-tidal fishing licence beginning April 1.

We also know that new regulations for tidal fishing come along about the same time. DFO issued the new regulations for area 13 anglers on Monday, March 25 with no change from last year. As of April 1, there is no retention for Chinook salmon which is no change from last year.

After release of the changes in regulations, I contacted a number of experienced salmon anglers along with a number of fishing guides that operate around Campbell River in area 13. A number of guides mentioned that they wished it would change back to the old days, it would be better for business. For local guides this will affect their customer bookings for the time period dramatically. People come here to experience the Chinook fishing and they also want to take salmon home so guides will make the trip to Toba and Bute Inlet. If you want to keep a Chinook, the guides will fuel up and head out to areas where clients can keep a Chinook.

When it comes to local trout fishing, let’s look at at a few things. Weather has been warmer but the long spell of temperatures in the mid teens hasn’t hit us yet. Anglers have been heading out to Beavertail and Reginald Lake, with catch reports coming in as fair with fish coming in from 2 to 5 pounds. You can keep your fish at Beavertail Lake. Reginald is catch-and-release fly fishing only. Echo Lake has not been stocked yet and the date that new trout arrive will be announced here in the Fishing Corner.

Early morning rises on the calm water have been spotted already but expect lake turnover to happen within weeks resulting in better fishing conditions from shore or from the wharf.

It seems like we just started fly-tying sessions at the library and the Seniors Centre but it has been five months and it’s almost time to go fishing. We finished the fly-tying season locally on Sunday, March 24 and we saw a number of new families moving here from Ontario. A number of ladies are getting started and its nice to see them advancing and getting out fishing local rivers and lakes.

When it comes to the big dog on the block, i’s still Chinook salmon. Fly-fishing is picking up steam all around the province and we live in an area of more than 500 lakes within a few hours drive from Campbell River.

This month I will have a time and date for upcoming fly-tying at a specific spot picked out to come out and have some fun, I will be headed to Ucluelet for a community fly-ty event which is set for the end of April, details to follow.