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Turning a barren pond into a fishing mecca

By Don Daniels
Ponds bring back fond memories of pond fishing. Photo by Don Daniels

By Don Daniels

It was really by accident that I was able to fish a pond owned by a friend of mine in Alberta.

The land is family owned and his small cabin was moved to the property. After close inspection, there was no visual sign of fish of any kind but the insect life was in abundance along with signs of freshwater scuds coming from the bottom.

The pond had a natural spring and water levels remained high all summer long. It was the size of a hockey rink, shallow at both ends with tree growth and shrubs. Ducks and a loon made their home there.

We decided to invest a few dollars and stock the pond with trout. We had to get the proper inspection of the pond and then proceed to put trout in. The hatchery was contacted and they suggested putting 300 rainbow trout in and then decide how to keep them alive through the cold winter months. Deepest part of the pond was in the center and 20 feet was the deepest depth.

The trout placed in the pond were 10 inches and they could be seen going after bugs early evening. An aeration system was put in to keep the water open in the coldest months of the year. After two years and maintaining good water quality, the trout came in at over five pounds each in weight. Jigging through the ice, the purple hair streamer fished through the ice did its job.

In the beginning we kept a few but then decided to practice catch and release. There were times that people would drive in the yard and go fishing without contacting the land owner, so signs were posted: “No fishing.” A gate was later placed and that solved that problem.

There are a number of ponds around Campbell River and some have trout and others can be connected to a natural creek or river. Any land owner has to get a permit, then get to a hatchery to transport hatchery trout.

As of Feb. 1 until March 31, recreational fishing for halibut is open coast-wide. The daily limit is one measuring 90 cm to 133 cm head on. The aggregate limit is 10 and catches must be recorded on the tidal waters license. Know the regulations and check local weather. Local tackle shops know the gear needed which includes bait and various scents.

There are good catch reports coming in for winter springs and even some areas around Lewis Channel saw boats in the area hunting winter springs. Kitty Coleman had a number of boats in the area beginning on Monday, Jan. 31.

My fly-tying sessions for beginners will continue for Friday, Feb. 18, and Friday, March 18. Since we are still dealing with the COVID pandemic, group sessions are kept at a minimum. Tony Pinder donated a number of fly-tying materials and packages will be put together and given out to those who have attended since November at the Seniors Centre at Ironwood Mall.

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