It was mid-March and already a number of opinions were out there about the regulations coming from DFO, hoping that changes for chinook salmon retention for this year 2021 would be coming; they didn’t.
Non-retention for chinook was really not a surprise to the people who make a living fishing or operating fishing lodges in this area. We know what the regulations are and the options are guide in other areas where you can keep your limit; take on another job to bring home a paycheck and contract out your guide services to an area that is better for the paying customer.
We are still practicing social distancing around the province and travel restrictions have not been lifted. With all said, the fishing has been good for the low percentage of anglers who have been getting out in Discovery Passage area 13. One of the fishing guides mentioned that he has to go with the flow and fish according to regulations. As it stands at the moment, those in the fishing hospitality business are making adjustments and operating to guidelines set out by the province.
In the month of May, a number of boats have not moved from their parking spot at various owners’ homes and a number already have decided to get out boating with fishing and prawning in mind. Salmon Point Marina is now full for the season and many locals have decided to stay close to home and get out there fishing and enjoying the nature in the area.
Last year, there was not a fishing season at Painters Lodge and, at the moment, plans are being placed to open operations in early June. Already people have booked fishing trips in the month of June, just to get out in the boat.
Lings have been open since the beginning of May.
In area 13, there are no reports of non retention chinook. On the west coast, the fishing season is in the early stage but activity picks up in a few weeks. Northern lodges are getting good salmon and that means a good season ahead for anglers at Nootka Sound. I call it rock n roll fishing, big water and big fish.
At the moment, I am in the process of getting together with master guide Joe Cameron who guides out of Dolphins Resort and will get the information on what’s happening for the upcoming season. A number of people have been coming to Campbell River to experience fishing but that is not happening now as travel restrictions are in place. If you live in the area, something to do is get out and support local guides and operators who live in Campbell River.
A number of lodges are located on the west coast and I call it rock ‘n’ roll fishing. Many operators are getting their operation ready for the summer months and since this is a year of changes, many will extend their fishing activity into the month of October to make up for any slow start this year.
Trout anglers should be getting out on rivers for catch and release while water conditions are good and local lakes are good for the next two months. By the end of the month, I have plans to make the short drive to Buttle Lake and fish a couple of spots and get the report out to you.
Stay safe, stay local!