Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED NOVEMBER 23, 2014.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For WINTER 2014-15

From: Victoria, Oak Bay, Sidney, Langford, Elk Lake, Prospect Lake, Sooke, Pedder Bay, Lake Cowichan Area, Port Renfrew, Nitinat Lake, Nitinat River, Harris Creek, Cowichan Bay, Shawnigan Lake, Duncan, Chemainus Lake, Salt Spring Island, St. Mary Lake, Cusheon Lake, Nanaimo, French Creek, Parksville,Qualicum,  Spider Lake, Cameron Lake, Nile Creek, Courtenay / Comox, Oyster River, Campbell River, Gold River, Oyster River, Salmon River, Port Alberni,  Bamfield,Ucluelet, Tofino, Barkley Sound, Nootka Sound, Moutcha Bay, Port Hardy.

OPENINGS

ROCKFISH CONSERVATION AREAS are closed to all fin fishing. Descriptions of these closures, and other recreational fishing information, can be found on the Internet at: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish

SHELLFISH SANITARY CLOSURES - Over the summer shellfish sanitary closures are common in Island waters due to warmer temperatures leading to blooms of dangerous micobal life. Detailed bivalve shellfish closure information and maps are available at: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/psp

Contact the Department of Fisheries and Oceans For fishing regulations, to report violations, or just give your opinion: Website: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/recfish/Tidal/coastalmap_e.htm Phone: Port Hardy 250-949-6422, Campbell River 250-850-5701, Comox 250-339-2031, Port Alberni 250-720-4440, Tofino 250- 725-3500, Nanaimo 250-754-0230 , Duncan 250-746-6221, Victoria 250-363-3252. \

CURRENT RIVER CONDITIONS

Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.

www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/text_search/search_e.html?search_by=p&region=BC

Great Canadian Shoreline Fall Cleanup
It began in 1994 when a small team of employees and volunteers at the Vancouver Aquarium decided to clean up a beach in Stanley Park to help protect the city’s shorelines. By 1997, 400 volunteers were participating in 20 sites across British Columbia as part of the Great BC Beach Cleanup. In 2012, the Shoreline Cleanup celebrated its 19th anniversary with more than 57,000 volunteers.
Interested in contributing to the Shoreline Cleanup, but limited on time? Or, would you like to meet new people while doing something meaningful? Whatever the reason, becoming a cleanup participant is an easy, fun way to get outside, meet other locals, and make a difference. There are many cleanups that would love to have an extra pair of hands on their team. Find a cleanup in your area and learn more at: http://www.shorelinecleanup.ca/en/about

SOUTH ISLAND FISHING REPORT - Victoria, West Shore, Sidney, Saanich

Salt Water - Winter spring fishing is picking up with fish up to 12 lb. Coho fishing is just about finished as the fish are entering the rivers. Halibut fishing was good, but often winds and cold have kept anglers off the water.

There are new openings for halibut and coho see http://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fns-sap/index-eng.cfm?pg=search_results&lang=en&ID=recreational&Year=2014

BECHER BAY– Coho salmon are still being caught, but not as many, most at 90-110 feet on the downriggers and have been wild or unmarked fish. Anglers are having best results fishing anchovies. Some winter springs up to 10 lb. have been coming from inside the bay and near the Bedfords. The most productive teaser heads for anchovies were the UV green and the Bloody Nose. For flashers the Madi and the Purple Onion have been good lately. Spoons such as G-Force in the smaller sizes have been working as well, both in Cop Car or glow/green.

PEDDER BAY –Spring salmon up to 12 lb. being caught. Coho fishing has slowed out in the strait. All the coho have been unclipped. There are lots of grilse around now, making it hard to keep the gear working for larger salmon. Both Whirl Bay and Pedder Bay are holding some winters in 120 foot depths. Anchovies were productive for springs with UV green and Bloody Nose teaser heads being top choices. Anglers are getting coho while trolling 3" to 3.5" spoons. Coho Killers and G-Force spoons with both glow and green have been working the best. Squirts are working too with yellow, Purple Haze and Gray Ghost the best patterns. The best flashers have been the Silver Betsey, green/silver Hot Spot and Jellyfish UV.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was excellent in November. Anglers were using extra large herring, salmon bellies and/or octopus for bait. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics also worked well. You can also use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or other large jigs.

VICTORIA – Coho fishing has slowed down. Winter springs are being caught to 12 lb. close in as well as out at Constance Bank. Anchovies have been working well in green and UV chartreuse/flash colours outside the harbour. Good choices in plastic baits are the Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in green and glow colours have been very effective.

Halibut – Halibut fishing was good out at Constance Bank and off Albert Head.

OAK BAY – On the Flats and in the Gap some winter springs were being caught but not many big ones. Anglers were using squirts, spoons, or tiny strip. The fish that were being caught trolling were caught on Coho Killer spoons and 3" to 4" G-Force and Gypsy spoons. Good squirts were the Pickle Green, J-79 and Jellyfish. Good flashers have been the Purple Onion, green/silver or green Jellyfish. Halibut fishing was excellent in Oak Bay.

SIDNEY- Salmon fishing was fair around Sidney in November. There were winter springs near Sidney and at Pender too, and in the Sidney Channel south of the Powder Wharf. Most of the winters are just around or just under the minimum size for retention, but fish as large as 9 lb. have been caught. Many anglers are fishing using anchovies in UV green teaser heads. Squirts have been out producing hootchies recently and the hot patterns for springs now are Purple Haze, Glow Below and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have also been working well, especially in double glow and 50/50 colours.

FRESHWATER - Fishing is good on most lakes in the South Island area because of the recent stockings. Remember that all wild trout must be released in all streams in region 1. Only single barbless hooks are allowed on Island streams and rivers.

The Vancouver Island Fish hatchery has started its fall stocking program and has so far released 51,100 catchable rainbow trout on the Island. Stocked lakes include Colwood lake, Prospect Lake, Elk Lake, Durrance, Lookout, Thetis and Kemp, Glen and Matheson, Spectacle Lake, Ida Anne Lake, and Shawnigan Lake.

Bank anglers are catching trout on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms while fishing from shore and right on the bottom. Yellow and Bubblegum have been good Powerbait colours. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, Leeches and Micro Leech patterns on full sink fly lines. Trollers have been doing well on Rhys Davis Baitrix Trout lures, UV Mini Strip Teasers, Apex Trout Killers, Flatfish and/or Kwikfish in sizes 5 to 7 in Frog, black with silver flake or Rainbow Pattern. Smaller Rapalas in Rainbow Trout or Brown Trout patterns also work well; jointed Rapalas have been great for larger fish. Larger Willow Leaf Lake trolls with a size 6 hook tipped with a small piece or two of worm always produces fish. The biggest trout usually come from Langford Lake and Elk Lake.

Bass fishing is slower with some success on spinner baits in chartreuse, white and black. Soft plastics rigged "Carolina Style " is also a good choice when fishing drop offs and docks, and have been most productive in 4" Yum Bait colours Smoke or Pumpkinseed. Langford Lake, Shawnigan, Prospect, Elk and Beaver lakes are the best local bass lakes. St. Marys Lake on Salt Spring Island is also a great place for bass fishing.

CARP – Carp fishing is slow at Elk Lake. Corn and carp boilies have been the best bait recently.

Island Outfitters, 3319 Douglas St.,  Victoria, ph: 475-4969

 

SOOKE FISHING REPORT

Winter spring fishing has been pretty good around the Sooke, from the bluffs to the trailer park. Best fishing depths have been between 100 and 150 ft. Anchovies trolled in various glow teaser heads have been working great. Coho killers also have been working pretty good. Cop Car, purple, and glow green have been good colours. For hootchies try J-79, Purple Haze, glow white, Cloverleaf, and Peanut Butter.

On the halibut side Muir Creek and Jordon River have been producing pretty good numbers. Lots in the 15 to 25 pound range. Herring, salmon bellies, and octopus have been working great.

So don't put the boat away yet lots of good fishing to be had. Or come out fishing with us. We offer special discounted winter rates for fishing charters and accommodations until April 30.

A reminder the fourth annual Boxing Day Derby will be held at Crab Shack tickets will be sold at Eagle Eye Wilderness and the Crab Shack for more details phone Al at 250-880-1004.

Until next time happy faces and tight lines.

 Kennedy, Reel Excitement Salmon Charters www.salmonexcitement.com email: fishing@salmonexcitement.com 250-642-3410

 

LAKE COWICHAN AREA FISHING REPORT

Freshwater: Cowichan Lake has picked up. Try trolling creek mouths with 3" Tomic plugs in amazing iridescent colours. Also good success with Gang Trolls (The larger the better) 24-30" leader and size 5-7 Kwikfish or Flatfish, chrome blue and frog patterns best. Fly casting at creek mouths with Wooley Buggers or leeches. Remember bait ban and single barbless hooks until April 15. Cutthroat and rainbow trout over 50 cm must be released.

Kissinger and Lizard lakes to the west, good rainbow trout fishing. Try Corky and single egg rigs off the docks and beaches. Trolling with small Spratleys, leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons.

Fuller Lake, Chemainus, Dougan, Quamichan and Somenos lakes also producing well. These seven lakes have been recently stocked.

Cowichan River trout fishing: Mid-river resident rainbow and brown trout. Single egg copies.

Skutz Falls to 70.2 Trestle excellent for browns and rainbows. Single egg copies and minnow or Rolled Mudler flies. Stanley Creek to 70.2 Trestle loaded with rainbows that have dropped from the lake to dine on salmon eggs and prepare for spawning. The largest browns in the river are found in this section. Flies of choice: single egg patterns, Rolled Mudlers, Prince Nymphs, Hairs Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies; the river is quite high and it is important to get down deep. Best flies for coho are blue Rolled Mudlers, Micky Finns or Jim Humphrey’s famous river salmon flies.

Best spinning lures for coho: Vibrax, gold/orange size 3 or silver/pink in size 3 also Gibbs Krock spoons in hammered brass with fire stripe.

Steelhead fishing: Cowichan River - Try Silver Bridge area for early steelhead. Pink worms (we stock 17 shades), blades, or Spin-N-Glos are your best bets. Mid-river (Riverbottom Road area) try pink worms, blades and smaller roe imitations. December/January yields the largest fish of the season followed by the February/March run of smaller but more plentiful fish.

Nitinat, San Juan, Harris Creek: All excellent rivers for late summer runs and winter steelhead. Best fished when coming off of high water.

Fly fishing: Heavy sink tip lines are necessary when the rivers are running high in winter conditions.

Flies of choice: Always popular egg and roe copies, General Practitioners in black or orange, Squamish Poachers and any large and bushy fly. The best of the best are Jim Humphrey’s Intruder flies that could entice a strike at any time. Put your time in and as the weather improves the odds of landing a winter steelhead will only get better.

May your rod bend to the butt and your smile go from ear to ear.

Stop by the store for current fishing report. View our webpage www.cowichanflyandtackle.ca

Gord March, Gord's Fly Box & Goodies 170C Cowichan Lake Road Box 1742, Lake Cowichan, BC V0R 2G0 gordsflybox@shaw.ca

 

NANAIMO FISHING REPORT

SALT WATER - Winter spring salmon fishing will start up in late December. The usual hot spots should be productive: Entrance Island, Thrasher Rock, the Five Fingers and Ballenas. Troll deep at 150 + feet with bait, hootchies or spoons in green and white. We’ve still got coho out front, but by press time they’ll have moved into the rivers. With the high water they’ll move through quickly.

Prawning has been good lately, and until the winter springs start up that’s the best bet on the saltwater.

Freshwater - There have been lots of nice trout coming out of area lakes. Westwood and Green lakes stand out as most productive. Anglers have been catching them on worms or Powerbait, fished deep. Trolling slowly with a small Wedding Band should also get some action. Fly fishers will do well with the local favourite, the Pumpkinhead Wooly Bugger - orange with a beadhead to get down quickly into deeper water.

The chum salmon fishery on the Nanaimo River was a brief bit of fun. Now the river will be ready for coho fishing. Many anglers are gearing up with Ironhead and Krock spoons.

Gone Fishin’, 600-2980 North Island Hwy. ,Nanaimo, ph: 250-758-7726

 

FRENCH CREEK / PARKSVILLE / QUALICUM FISHING REPORT

The best way to winterize your boat is to keep fishing! A great way to break up a wet winter is to find a day when the wind and sun cooperate and head out on the salt chuck. Nothing like a crisp day, flat seas, backdropped with fresh snow on our local mountains.

Winter chinook (2-3 year old resident salmon) will hold in our area providing there is bait (usually herring) to satisfy their hearty appetites. Winter chinook tend to be deep so keep the downriggers just off the bottom, troll a bit faster than usual (2 1/2-3 mph) as well. Covering lots of water is key, as these salmon are on the move looking for food. Brighter colour 4" spoons in neon glow/pink strip with a (48"-60") leader with a Crushed Ice/glow flasher work well. Having glow material on flashers, spoons, hootchies, and teaser heads can help to grab their attention in low light conditions. Now is the time to try bait again (anchovie, herring, herring strip) as the dogfish have moved out to warmer water. A glow teaser head (48"-60" leader) with a green/glow flasher should do the trick.

Chinook salmon tend to feed near structure so areas like "Out Front" on the humps, Mistaken Island, Gerald Island, and Ballenas Islands. are good starting points. These salmon are some of the best eating, with cooler water temperatures they have more fat content and beautiful red flesh.

Winter is time to prawn and crab as well. Keep an eye out for spawning female prawns (eggs attached) during the winter, recommended to return these, or better yet move to another area if you’re getting a lot of females in a paticular spot. Crab is nice and fresh with less molting (soft shell) crab in the winter. It's also a great time of year to harvest oysters and clams.

As far as the boat goes, It's a good idea to stabilizer your fuel in the off season. Running the boat once a month keeps your batteries up and things moving so you might as well take an extra step or two and find that perfect day to hit the water! The taste of fresh seafood in the winter will always bring a smile to your face so what are you waiting for?

Darrell Jobb, Western Star Charters, 250-951-5927, westernstar@shaw.ca

& French Creek Harbour Store, 5 - 1025 Lee Rd., Parksville, 250-248-8912, www.frenchcreekstore.ca

 

MID-ISLAND RIVERS & BEACH FISHING REPORT

The height of the fishing season is now largely over. While we had a fantastic pink season, the coho off the beaches were elusive and whether or not you caught fish was based on being in the right place at the right time or just being plain lucky. Fishermen using gear could often get to the fish that the fly guys couldn’t reach.

Some hardy types will be out on the salt chuck after feeder chinook on the finer days of winter. These are young fish typically two or three years old. In general they are more active feeders than summer fish. As a result you can fish faster and cover more water.

In freshwater the steelheaders will be chasing this fantastic fish in a core of Vancouver Island rivers, the most famous of which are the Stamp and Cowichan. Fly fishermen will get some fish, using large marabou patterns and Woolly Buggers in a variety of bright colours. Large Rubber Legged Nymphs also work well close to the bottom. However, the majority will be caught on gear using Jensen Eggs, Corkies, Spin-N Glos, or pink worms under dink floats with pencil lead.

As I write this there are still late runs of chum and coho in many east coast rivers and several anglers had good sport on the fly on the Little Qualicum River and on fly and gear in the Englishman River.

At this time of year thoughts turn to the festive season ahead and perhaps what to get the fisherman or lady fisher in your life. We can help with a variety of gift items and gift cards if you don’t know what to give. All our Orvis Access Fly Rods are 20 per cent off while we have stock, and we also have a fantastic deal on Orvis Endura Waders. December 27-28 is our Annual End of Year sale with a huge range of deals. Check our website for more information or call for more information.

Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you catch more fish.

Tight lines !

Keith Hyett, Coast Sportfish,  202 - 891 Island Hwy. West, Parksville,  telephone 250-586-6622,  www.coastsportfish.com

 

PORT ALBERNI / WEST COAST - BARKLEY SOUND FISHING REPORT

Salt Water - We’re looking forward to winter spring fishing starting sometime around the New Year. Remember the first weekend of March we have our Barkley Sound derby. Right now there’s good prawning and crabbing, and people are out getting oysters. Lingcod is closed. Halibut is still open right now, check regulations for coming closures.

Fresh Water - In the river the coho are about finished. It was a great coho fishery this fall, with good numbers of fish. The summer-run steelhead fishery was also good. We’re anticipating the start of the winter-run steelhead any day now.

Trout fishing in area lakes continues to be good. The bigger lakes, Cameron, Great Central and Sproat are all producing some nice catches. Most people are doing well with worms and Powerbait, and some are doing well trolling. Fly fishers need to get down into deep water to find the fish. You’ll always have good success using your secret lure.

Gone Fishin’,  5069 Johnston, Port Alberni,  ph: 250-723-1172

 

Enhancement News - INCREASED COHO SMOLTS COUNTED IN LOST SHOW CREEK

by Danielle Francis

Central Westcoast Forest Society (CWFS), based in Ucluelet, is dedicated to restoring and conducting research in local forest and stream ecosystems. Lost Shoe Creek is within the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and enters the ocean at Florencia Bay in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

This creek historically supports anadromous and resident populations of coho, chum, pink, Dolly Varden, cutthroat and steelhead. In the late 1960s, 90 per cent of the creek’s riparian corridor was logged. Spawning gravel was removed for road construction and large volumes of wood waste were left in the creek degrading spawning and rearing habitat. Since 1997, CWFS has been restoring Lost Shoe Creek: stabilizing landslides, adding spawning gravel, making an off-channel and removing large wood debris.

In 2007 CWFS began to monitor salmonid populations using a smolt trap to measure the number of juvenile salmon heading out to sea. CWFS happily reported that this year nearly triple the number of coho were counted in Lost Shoe Creek since beginning this monitoring project, with 1,915 coho smolts heading out to sea!

 

CAMPBELL RIVER / COURTENAY / COMOX FISHING REPORT

Winter chinook fishing has been fantastic at the Campbell River Lighthouse as well as the Hump.

Many springs weighing in the teens and twenties are still being caught. There still seems to be lots of bait in the area which is making the salmon fishing productive. At this time of year, you will want to use smaller Tomic Plugs, needlefish and 3-4" spoons. Chrome and sparkly lures work the best in the clearer winter waters. Anchovies have also been working very well. Make sure to go down nice and deep. There are lots of springs hanging around Shelter Point as well. Don’t forget that until Dec. 31, you will be allowed two coho per day, including one wild, in most areas. Please check regs for areas and general rules for coho.

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/tidal-maree/a-s13-eng.html#tyee

For the Courtenay area, you will want to troll around the Kitty Coleman Hump or the south end of Denman Island. Prawning has been productive for the most part, but watch for spot closures. Make sure to use a good mix of Tyee Marine Ultimate Prawn Bait and Carlyle Cat Tuna as this mixture gets the prawns feeding right away and keeps them feeding for a longer period of time. You will find many areas around Campbell River and Denman Island for prawning, but for the most current information, you will want to contact one of our stores. Until Dec. 31, the daily limit on halibut is two in many areas, however, you will want to check the regulations as there are size and area restrictions (see below link)

http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/species-especes/halibut-fletan-eng.html

Steelhead was off to a bit of a slow start this season with the lack of water. However, the current rains and run-off are bringing water levels up and steelhead are starting to show. Try using Intruder patterns, pink worms, yarn, Gooey Bobs, or steelhead jigs.

The Courtenay and Campbell River area lakes (Wolf, Mohun, Campbell, Maple and Spider) should start to cool down which will bring out some very hungry trout. Bobber and worms for shore fishing will work great. Try casing with Blue Fox or Krocks.

Thanks, Kerry, Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy., Campbell River, 250-287-2641  & Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942

                                                                                                                                                   

CHECK CURRENT RIVER CONDITIONS

Find out river conditions, water levels, volume, temperatures, etc, before you leave home.

www.wateroffice.ec.gc.ca/text_search/search_e.html?search_by=p&region=BC

                                                                                                                                                      

2014 TIDAL WATERS FISHING LICENSES ONLY ON-LINE

In the spring when it’s time to buy your fishing licenses there will be some changes. Non-tidal licenses will remain available from your fishing tackle store as well as the BC government website. Tidal licenses however will no longer be for sale at any store, they will only be available on-line for 2014.

As an attempt to go green by using less paper the federal government will no longer print blank licenses. Anglers, however, will have to print the on-line license and carry it with them when fishing.

The federal government will also stop offering vendors any incentive to sell  licenses. Previously tackle shop owners earned one dollar for each license sold. Not exactly a high profit margin, but a bit of compensation for their time. So the federal government will save money by not printing licenses and also by not sharing proceeds with stores. Also going into extinction are printed tidal waters regulations booklets. The government is banking on anglers carrying smart phones to check regulations wherever they are fishing.

Many tourists will be caught unprepared, and possibly find themselves paying fines for fishing without a license and without a clear idea of fishing regulations.

                                                                                                                                                      

BITUMAN CRUDE OIL PIPELINE THROUGH B.C. BY 2018?

While still awaiting approval from the federal government, site preparations and surveying has begun for the Northern Gateway pipeline proposed to run through B.C. to deliver tar sands oil to fleets of tankers. The heavy crude oil will be refined in China and shipped to markets.

The pipeline will run through some of BC’s most sensitive habitat including prime fish bearing rivers. Chances of an oil spill along BC’s tricky reef studded coast pose another risk.

Enbridge, the Calgary company building the pipeline is confident they will finish the project by 2018.

Enbridge’s massive advertising and lobbying campaign makes it look like a done deal. The federal Harper government is fully behind the project, despite officially awaiting the results of public input and federal enquiry. The decision is expected in 2014. The federal government has added its voice to Enbridge’s cheerleaders with a multi-million dollar advertising campaign promising wealth and a pristine environment. The ads feature fly fishing scenes.

Enbridge V.P., Vern Yu said, "We expect that there would be some appeals to that decision and that would take us into early 2015 and at that point we would be able to start construction.”

The B.C. government initially opposed to the pipeline, but now supports it in exchange for yet to be disclosed benefits. Over 70 First Nations remain against it, and environmental groups are unanimous in their objections. But with the recent flurry of crude oil train disasters there seems to be no winning option.

Enbridge has a dismal history of pipeline spills and a poor record of response and remediation. The Watershed Sentinel tallied Enbridge’s spills since the year 2000 at 132,715 barrels, more than half the Exxon Valdez spill of 257,000 barrels. Spills occurred in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Montana. One spill in Wisconsin resulted in an explosion that killed seven people. A second pipeline explosion killed two people. In yet another incident the company deliberately set fire to 6,000 barrels of spilled crude oil to get rid of the problem. Enbridge’s 2010 Michigan spill was the largest inland oil spill ever on the U.S.A. mainland.

The authors of an online petition (leadnow.ca) say the pipeline will cost  fisheries and tourism jobs in B.C. as well as factory jobs in central Canada, while it will  employs only a few Canadians. In addition the pipeline will bring 200+ super-tankers per year into our challenging and hazardous waters.

See the petition at http://www.leadnow.ca/canadas-interests

                                                                                                                                                      

Be bear aware

A biological drive to put on weight for a long winter has B.C.’s bears on the move, seeking out the calories they need before heading to their dens.

In their desperation to get enough food, bears can get aggressive, especially in areas close to human habitat. That’s when most bear-human conflicts occur. If you’re fishing Island rivers there’s a chance you may encounter bears drawn to the same shores.

Bears have an incredible sense of smell. They can zero in on food from miles away and can be single-minded to get at that food. For a bear, food comes in many forms, including garbage and over-ripe fruit in residential areas.

Every bear encounter is unique so there are no steadfast rules.

If you meet a bear in the wild try to remain calm. Never approach or chase a bear; face the bear without making eye contact, back away slowly. Take the same route out that you came in. Try to keep track of the bear, but again, don't challenge the bear with eye contact.

If the bear makes blowing or snorting noises and then charges and veers off at the last second this is likely defensive behavior so continue to back away.Extend your arms above your head appearing as large as you can, talk in a gruff voice, look for a weapon such as a rock or stick. Drop your pack to distract the bear; only do this if absolutely necessary because the bear could learn to pursue people for their packs.

Climb a tree as a last resort.

If a bear is persistent or aggressive, call the Report Poachers and Polluters hotline 1- 877-952-7277, or surf to www.rapp.bc.ca.

For more information about bears and bear-human conflicts, visit:

www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart

/bearsmintro.html.

                                                                                                                                                                       

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