Fishing Reports:  Fresh water and salt water - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada - UPDATED MARCH 31, 2015.

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salmon, trout, halibut, steelhead, bass fishing report

Vancouver Island Fishing Reports: For SPRING 2015

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.

 

SOUTH ISLAND REPORT - Sidney, Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt, Peddar Bay, Becher Bay

Saltwater - Salmon fishing has been good with fish to 27 lb. Halibut fishing was fair but strong winds have been a problem.

Effective to June 12 in Subareas 19-1 to 19-4 and Subarea 20-5 (between Cadboro Pt. to Sheringham Pt.), the limit is two chinook salmon per day which may be wild or hatchery marked between 45 cm and 67 cm or hatchery marked greater than 67 cm in length. The minimum length in these areas is 45 cm.

BECHER BAY– Most of the salmon were caught either in Whirl Bay or off the east side of Becher Bay, trolling in 130 feet to 160 of water. The bite was best in the afternoon. Anchovies were the most productive bait, Purple Haze and green glow were the most productive teaser heads. G-Force spoons in the smaller sizes have been working, both in No Bananas or glow/green. Squirts in Pistachio, Purple Haze and glow white patterns were working. Madi and Purple Onion flashers have been good lately.

PEDDER BAY – Find the bait to get results. Most keepers were 6 - 11 lb. caught near the bottom in 140 feet of water. Anchovy was productive in green chrome, Purple Haze and Bloody Nose teasers. Spoons also caught salmon.

Dave LestocKay caught a 27 lb. spring just before dusk March 6 in Whirl Bay on anchovy in a chrome green teaser head.

Halibut fishing has been good if you could get out in the weather. Berkley Gulp and Powerbait soft plastics work well or use a large spoon fished off a spreader bar, Mudraker or Lucky Jigs or large jigs to stay away from dogfish.

VICTORIA – Anglers have been catching chinooks close to shore and out at Constance Bank. The bank produced springs from 6 - 15 lb. Seals remained a problem. Esquimalt, Brotchie and Clover Point also produced fish. Anchovies have been working in glow colours outside the harbour. Good plastic baits are Cloverleaf, Purple Haze and the Glo Below. Gibbs Coho Killer, Kingfisher and Coyote spoons in green and glow colours have been effective.

Halibut were taken in 168 feet of water on whole extra large herring in quick strike rigs, biting at the changing tide, but dogfish were an issue.

Chris Row from Brockville, Ontario had a first fish of a lifetime catching and releasing a 130 lb. 160 cm. halibut on herring and salmon belly at Constance Bank. Scott Anderson of Scottsdale Arizona snuck out on a charter while on his honeymoon in Victoria and caught a 30 lb. and a 17 lb. halibut, plus a 50 lb. Skate.

OAK BAY – Trolling on the Flats and in the Gap produced a few springs to 10 lb. 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 – Halibut fishing has been good weather permitting.

SIDNEY - The Sidney Anglers’ halibut derby was won by Chris Koscik with a 34.1 lb halibut caught near Mandarte Island on Bullet Tuna.

The winning fish in Mill Bay Marina’s first Sannich Inlet Salmon Derby was 19 lb. 8 o.z. caught near Wain Rock.

Fishing was good in the south end of the Channel, near the Powder Wharf, Saanichton Spit, and in the Inlet where Richard Lake caught 4 springs up to 20.5 lb. Anchovies in UV green teaser heads are catching fish. Hot patterns are Purple Haze, J-79 and Electric Chair. Coho Killer spoons have been working in double glow and 50/50. Crabbing has been excellent off Sidney Spit.

Freshwater – Fishing is improving as the weather warms. ALL wild trout (steelhead included) must be released on ALL streams in Region 1. Only single barbless hooks are allowed on Island streams and rivers.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC began spring releases of catchable rainbow trout. Thetis Lake got 1250, Elk 1850, Kemp, Matheson, Lookout 200, and Ida Anne Lake 50, Glen and Dougan lakes 500 trout each.

Bank anglers are catching trout on the bottom on Powerbait, Gulp Eggs, or worms. Yellow and Bubblegum have been good colours. Fly anglers are fishing Pumpkinheads, Wooly Buggers, leeches and micro leechs on full sink lines. Trollers are doing well with Gang Trolls and Wedding Bands, Apex Trout Killers, Flatfish and/or Kwikfish. The big trout often come from Langford and Elk lakes. Bryan Barter caught a 4.7 lb. rainbow at Fuller Lake taking over first place on our leader board.

Bass fishing is picking up as the weather warms. Fishing drop shot style is your best bet now. Soft plastics rigged Carolina Style is also good on drop-offs and reefs, most productive in 4" Yum Bait colours Smoke or Pumpkinseed.

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

 

SOOKE REPORT

I hope everyone enjoyed the good winter fisheries. It is time to gear out for the spring fishing season.

It looks like this halibut season is starting out to be a good one especially around Jordan River and Magdalena area. A lot of nice 20 - 60 lb. halibut have been weighed in at local marinas. Salmon bellies, herring and octopus have been working great so far. For artificials try Berkey Power Baits and for artificials try Lucky Jigs and Mudraker. Muir Creek should pick up a little later in April.

Salmon fishing has slowed down some, but is picking up between Possession Point and the Sooke Bluffs. Best fishing depth has been right on the bottom from 100 ft. to 120 ft. Anchovies trolled with the glow white, Bloody Nose or Purple Haze teaser head have been working good. Spring salmon fishing should pick up again at the end of April.

The 3rd Annual Sooke Halibut Derby will be held on May 23 and 24. Tickets will be sold at Eagle Eye Wilderness and Wise Buys in Colwood. Weigh-in station will be at the Crab Shack. For more information you can call Al at 250-880-1004 or email fishing@salmonexcitement.com

Until next time happy faces and tight lines.

Al Kennedy, Reel Excitement Salmon Charters www.salmonexcitement.com email: fishing@salmonexcitement.com

 

PORT RENFREW FISHING REPORT

It is still early season and not much to report out of Port Renfrew yet. A lot of halibut in close and some nice salmon too. Early season crabbing, as always, is incredible. Right now access is an issue for many visiting anglers as the local marinas aren’t open yet.

For Pacific Sport Fishing Charters spring is our kick-off time for our first wave of feisty chinook which provide awesome action on- and offshore. These early fish are destined for southern rivers, such as the Fraser, Columbia, and enhanced stocks from Washington State. We’re expecting cooler ocean temperatures this year, which should be good for returning salmon.

Our famous Port Renfrew halibut fishery opened February 1. Port Renfrew and Swiftsure Bank offer some of southern Vancouver Island’s best halibut fishing.

See you on the water soon!

If you want a guaranteed west coast fishing adventure phone me at number below or please visit on line at: pacificsportfishing.ca

Dan Harvey, Pacific Sport Fishing Charters, Port Renfrew 1-250-954-3997

 

LAKE COWICHAN AREA REPORT + Cowichan Bay, Port Renfrew & Nitinat

Saltwater - Bold Bluff out of Cowichan Bay has also been excellent with fish ranging from 8 to 12 lb. Troll just off the bottom with glow flasher, glow anchovie head and anchovie.

Freshwater - Cowichan Lake fishing is going strong. Troll creek mouths and paralleling the shoreline staying within 30 feet. Keep your line back from the boat by at least 150 ft. Top lures are 3" Tomic, best colours are the new iridescent inserts. We have over 400 - 3" plugs in stock with over 80 different patterns.

Also working are the ever popular Gang Troll and Flatfish. As of April 16, until November 14 bait, barbs and trebles are allowed in the lake. Fishing the creek mouths with bait (single eggs, roe, paste) and a corky rig can produce large numbers of fish including the odd lunker. My favourite way to fish the lake.

Kissinger and Lizard lakes to the west, good rainbow trout fishing, try corky and single egg rig off the docks and beaches. Trolling with small Spratleys leeches, Wooley Buggers, Flatfish and small spoons. Fuller Lake, Chemainus, and Dougan, Quamichan and Somenos lakes also producing well. These 7 lakes have been recently stocked.

Cowichan River trout fishing: Mid-river resident rainbow and brown trout. Single egg copies/Stoneflies & Mudler Minnows.

From Skutz Falls to Greendale Trestle excellent for browns and rainbows. Single egg copies and minnow or Rolled Mudler flies. The largest browns in the river are found in this section. Flies of choice: single egg patterns, Rolled Mudlers, Prince Nymphs, Hair’s Ear Nymphs, Pheasant Tail Nymphs. Stick to the bead heads and weighted flies.

Over 30000 flies in stock at the store!

Also remember that all cutthroat trout in streams and rivers must be released from October 1 to May 31 to protect our brood stock All wild trout must be released all year.

Steelhead fishing - Cowichan River: April and the start of May steelheading still excellent on the Cowichan mainly for mended kelts. These fish have to feed aggressively after spawning, making them the easiest steelhead to target. A great month to catch your first steelhead! Lures of choice: blades, single egg copies or small pink worms.

Flies of choice: large and black or the ever popular egg fly. INTRUDERS ALL THE WAY.

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

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

Gord March

Gord's Fly Box, 170C Cowichan Lake Road, Lake Cowichan BC 250-932-9309

gordsflybox@shaw.ca  www.gordsflybox.ca

 

NANAIMO FISHING REPORT

Saltwater - Salmon fishing is always a little sporadic right after the herring spawn. It was a good harvest this year for the commercial fleet and for sport fishing. Lots of anglers using our herring jigs off the rocks either for food or for bait. The bountiful herring run is good news for salmon fishing, which will start to turn back on mid-April and May.

There’s always people crabbing off the dock downtown and results are not bad.

Freshwater - Trout fishing started early with the beautiful winter we’ve had. All the lakes turned on early. Westwood and Long lakes have been producing nice catches of trout. Some bigger fish have been coming out of Fuller Lake recently. Lots of guys are doing well both fly fishing and gang trolling. Try trolling Lucky Bugs or troll slowly with a Wedding Band. Worms or Powerbait, fished deep always gets some action.

The Upper Qualicum has been giving up a few steelhead. Expect some cutthroat trout in area rivers and along the saltwater shorelines near the river and creek mouths. The estuaries of the Englishman, the Qualicums, and French Creek are all good bets.

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

 

PARKSVILLE / FRENCH CREEK REPORT

If the start of this year is any indication on how the fishing will be we're in for a great season! The winter chinook fishing is the best it’s been in years. Many fisherman are reporting good early season catches, and also releasing lots of undersized chinooks. These fish will grow rapidly and be the fish for tomorrow.

There's large amounts of bait around, which will hopefully keep the salmon in our area. The local herring spawn plays a key role in our salmon fishery. Last year we had a late herring spawn locally that wasn't impacted by the commercial harvest. The abundant amount of local herring seemed to set the stage for what was a productive 2014 salmon season. Let's hope 2015 follows suit.

Winter chinook salmon will hold in our area providing there's some bait (usually herring) for their hearty appetites. I have caught these salmon from December and past April. Good areas for early season chinook are just Out Front of French Creek Harbour, on the Humps, and Ballenas Islands. In May and June we can have great fishing as migratory chinooks pass through our waters heading for their native rivers, such as the Columbia. Sangster Island and Young Point can be productive for migrating salmon.

July can be a transition time, however last year we had coho and chinook salmon remain in our area through the summer, and with pink salmon being an odd year predominant run fishing should remain steady. There will probably be less sockeye salmon in local waters this year. Last year it was a real bonus to have the opportunity to catch sockeye. Last year's mid-season coho salmon rule change to 1 Hatchery (adipose fin missing), 1 Wild (adipose fin attached) was well received. A special thanks to our Area 14 Sport Fishing Advisory Committee. Coho are open from June 1-December 31.

In August resident chinooks start to make their way home for some final feeding in preparation to head up the Little Qualicum and Big Qualicum rivers. When these Chinooks start to stack up near the end of the month it's a spectacular fishery for trollers and jiggers alike. We have our local French Creek Salmon Derby slated for August 14-16. This is fun for all ages, with lots of great prizes. All the proceeds go to the Marion Baker Fish Hatchery (coho enhancement) on French Creek.

Round out September with some great late season chinook fishing. The coho also start to stack up along the beach.

Not to be overlooked is the steady bottom fishing for lingcod, and rockcod open from May 1-September 30. Crabbing and prawning is also productive in our area. Hope you have a fun and safe fishing season in 2015.

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 BEACHES AND RIVERS FISHING REPORT

It’s March on Vancouver Island, the sun is shining and spring is on its way. It’s the start of the of the fishing season proper whether you fish lakes, rivers or the salt chuck.

LAKES - As the water gradually warms trout will become more active. Lots of fish will be caught trolling with full sinking fly lines using black leeches or Wooly Buggers. On warmer parts of the day the dry fly may come into its own so make sure you have patterns for all conditions. High lakes might be frozen and will be better in early summer. If you fish gear, Powerbait works well on many local waters as well as trolling Flatfish or Wedding Bands.

RIVERS - The Cowichan has been fishing really well of late. This is probably the best trout river on the Island with the possibility of catching cutthroat, rainbow or browns as well as steelhead. The Englishman, Little Qualicum and Big Qualicum rivers still have small runs of steelhead. Make sure you are familiar with the regulations as both the upper parts of the Little Qualicum and Englishman are closed to fishing until June1. Please also remember that must RELEASE ALL WILD TROUT AND STEELHEAD caught on any river or stream on Vancouver Island.

The Stamp River has the only hatchery steelhead program on the Island and to my knowledge there is no trout enhancement anywhere, so essentially if you catch a trout it must go back. I therefore encourage anglers who want to kill trout to eat to fish lakes, which through stocking policy makes it completely sustainable.

Sea-run cutthroat are reasonably common along the beaches north of Parksville, but can be difficult to find. Search stream or river mouths where they enter the sea. Use your 5 or 6 weight fly rod with a small brown minnow or beadhead Rolled Muddler. Alternatively throw a small Mepps or Blue Fox spinner.

SALTWATER - Trolling for feeder chinook has been generally good since Christmas with consistent catches off French Creek. The fish are way down deep at 200+ ft. depths. We also heard recently of 3 large chinook in excess of 30 lb. being caught up at Campbell River. Quite exceptional for the time of year! The season proper will gather momentum as more anglers put their boats in the water for the first time since the fall.

Whatever your passion we have all the right tackle and advice to help you, fly, gear or saltwater.

Tight lines.

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

 

ALBERNI & BARKLEY SOUND REPORT

Saltwater - The Annual Sproat Lake Loggers Derby was held the first weekend of March and was a great success with more than 400 participants. The top three fish were over 20 lb.

There’s lots of herring in Vernon Bay and elsewhere in Barkley Sound, and winter spring fishing has been good. That bait will attract the early transient salmon to the outer edges of Barkley Sound. We should have good fishing around Creek Island, Sail Rock and Cape Beale in late April and May. We should see some chinooks inside the Inlet by June. We had a good sockeye salmon forecast and we’ll start to see those in mid-June. Anglers have also been catching a few halibut inside Barkley Sound.

Freshwater - It was a good steelhead fishery in the Stamp River system all winter and spring. Lots of multiple fish days. Guys will still be getting those fish through April.

There has been good trout fishing all winter with the fine weather. Even the higher elevation lakes are fishable now, when normally we have to wait till June to be able to access the high country lakes. Trolling, casting and fly fishing with leech patterns are working well. Fishing with worms or Powerbait near the bottom always works.

Good luck. Gone Fishin’ 4985 Johnston, Port Alberni, ph: 250-723-1172

 

WEST COAST - UCLUELET FISHING REPORT

Early season fishing has started off much like last year with chinook averaging 8-12 lb, with a few 20 + lb.

Anchovy in UV, clear green and green glow teaser heads are go-to gear now. Combine those with a classic green Hotspot flasher or O’Ki Betsy silver or gold and you should succeed if the fish are there. Depths ranged from 80 ft. to 160 ft.

Halibut fishing has also started off strong early spring areas fishing well include: 5 Mile (inside south), 7 Mile (outside south), Mara Rock and Sail Reef. Bottom of the ebb is the best tide. Salmon belly, octopus or large herring on your favourite rig will entice these tasty bottom dwellers. Choose depths of 160 ft. to 300 ft. Also, have one rod rigged with a Norwegian Jig and pound it right off the bottom. More times than not, if the fish are not on the feed they will take to one of these out of aggression.

Give the early season a try - give us a call and check our early season specials.

Tight lines,

The Crew @ Big Bear 1-855-9-SALMON www.bigbearsalmoncharters.com

 

WEST COAST - TOFINO

Early season fishing in Tofino has been great with an abundance of feeder chinook salmon plus good halibut fishing. Chinook to 22 lb. have been caught and most are between 10 and 15 lb. Halibut to 40 lb. have been seen already, with the average 16 and 22 lb.

The best fishing has been offshore trolling in the mud with a glow/chartreuse needlefish hootchie, behind green/silver and chartreuse/glow flashers. Some days bait works better than artificial lures. Anchovies trolled in a Purple Haze teaser head with a green/silver or purple/gold flasher have been good combos too. Most fish have been caught 20 ft. off the bottom.

When targeting halibut, bouncing off bottom with 6’’ white grubs on a spreader bar has been effective.

Whales and sea lions are showing in numbers along with sizable herring balls - signs of a great season to come. For all your fuel, tackle, bait and boat equipment needs visit Method Marine Supply.

Shawn Counts, General Manager - Method Marine Supply Ltd., 219, 380 Main St., Tofino 250-725-3251, 250-266-2384

 

COURTENAY / COMOX REPORT

The winter spring fishing at Bates Beach and Shelter Point has been great. As spring approaches, the fish will likely move to Kitty Coleman then to Lambert Channel and the south end of Denman and Hornby islands. UV Tomic plugs, herring, UV hootchies and spoons have been working well. Jigging with Point Wilson Darts has also been productive.

Halibut opened Feb. 1. However, the regs have changed. Until further notice: The maximum length for halibut is 133 cm; The daily limit for halibut is one; The possession limit for halibut is two, only one of which may be over 90 cm; The annual limit is six halibut.

Dropping traps 300-400 feet, along a ledge should produce prawns. Make sure your bait cups are full to the brim, they will release food as the pellets expand. Always add a can of Carlyle Cat Tuna for immediate results. Make sure your traps are weighted so the currents don’t bump them around.

Shorelines near river mouths,should start to have sea-run cutthroats hanging around. Fry patterns are a must for springtime shore fishing.

The Oyster River can have great steelhead and trout fishing in the late spring. Spring fly patterns include alevin/ fry/smolt, egg, pink worms and Rolled Muddlers.

The local lakes have been good all winter. Black leach flies, Crocs, and Panther Martins work well as do smaller Tomic plugs.

Kerry Amos, Tyee Marine (Peter’s Sport Shop), 870 Cliffe Ave., Courtenay, 334-2942

 

CAMPBELL RIVER AREA REPORT

Saltwater - Halibut opened Feb. 1 and so far the fishing has been great! The Campbell River Hump has been a hot spot. Herring with a spreader bar, Mudrakers, and Powerbait are all working well. Please, make sure to check the following website for halibut regulations and in-season changes: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/species-especes/halibut-fletan-eng.html

Campbell River had some of the best winter spring fishing in years and there’s no sign of slowing down. The plentiful herring are providing a well stocked feeding ground for winter springs. A 31 pounder was caught this winter in local waters. The Hump and Shelter Point have been productive, but the fish are sitting very deep (250 feet). Herring, UV Tomic plugs, glow hootchies, and Point Wilson Darts are the lures of choice.

Prawning has been great. Make sure the traps are down deep with a good mixture of pellets and Carlyle Cat Tuna. You might want to take a moment and check regulations for spot closures.

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

Freshwater - As the lakes warm up the trout will start to feed. Try casting or trolling in our local lakes with Roostertails or Blue fox. For trolling, use Leo’s Wedding Bands or Wiggle Wood Lures.

Tyee Marine, 880 Island Hwy., Campbell River, 250-287-2641

 

WEST COAST - NOOTKA SOUND - MOUTCHA BAY FISHING REPORT

Saltwater - We are fortunate to be strategically located in the migratory path of so many runs of salmon, both Canadian and U.S. Our season begins mid-May targeting primarily clipped U.S. fish aggressively feeding on schools of herring, needlefish, and squid.

By early June these fish are consistently caught daily. Rolled baits and a variety of hootchies and spoons work best. The method all season is find the bait and you’ll find the fish. By late June while on the hunt for chinook, we will regularly start to encounter decent sized coho, increasing your success all day long.

Prime time shellfish opportunities are also best at the beginning of our season, with outstanding prawning starting as early as mid-March. Oysters and crabs are the best eating throughout the spring and early summer while the seawater temperature remains cold, and there aren’t yet any plankton blooms to raise safety concerns. However, always check local regulations and shellfish postings before harvesting and consuming.

Into July and August increasingly more local mature Conuma, Burman, and Gold River fish arrive, which are generally larger and feed on tides and tide changes more instinctively, rather than heavily all the time like migratory fish do. These fish will soon be staging for their run up local rivers to spawn, and at times they can become picky eaters. By now coho are increasing in size, and are ferocious feeders, putting on necessary weight and fat for spawning during the final months of summer, right up until the end of September.

Nootka Marine Adventures also targets the large runs of Albacore tuna that migrate by our offshore waters, this is a short but action packed opportunity, beginning mid-August and continuing until mid-September. Everything depends on offshore temperature conditions, school locations, and of course weather. If you haven’t tried this fishery yet, you have no idea what you’re missing!

The bottom fishing in our area never ceases to amaze us as every year it is constantly outstanding, from the first day we open (May long weekend) until the last day we close in (mid-September). Halibut, ling cod, yelloweye and all other species of rockfish are readily available for those willing to invest the time to target them, making Areas 25 and 26 the finest fisheries on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

Both the U.S. and Canadian preliminary DFO outlooks are looking very similar to what we experienced last year, with the exception of our local rivers. We encountered many jack springs and four year old mature fish last season, indicating a return of slightly larger averaged sized mature fish in 2015, something we can look forward to while angling the waters of Nootka Sound and Esperanza Inlet this season.

Tight Lines, Good Luck, and Safe Fishing

Gibran White, Marine Operations, Manager, Nootka Marine Adventures 1-877-377-5464 www.nootkamarineadventures.com

 

NORTH ISLAND - PORT HARDY FISHING REPORT

Winter spring salmon has been good in Port Hardy. Forecasts are that 2015 will be another good salmon year. In May we see our first run of chinooks with the Columbia River fish passing by the North Island. Another good run of springs comes through our area later in May. These are red fleshed springs.

Halibut are being caught whenever weather permits. The fishing grounds are close, 10 - 12 miles from Port Hardy. Chartreuse and white or purple and black jig tails and Berkley Powerbait in glow and white on spreader bars has been taking them. We expect to see more bigger halibut as the season progresses.

Trout fishing started early this warm winter with good catches out of Alice and Victoria lakes. Trolling and casting for trout should be good through April and May and once the hatches start the fly fishing will pick up.

Jim’s Castle Point Charters & The Bait Shack, 250-949-9294, cell 250-949-1982

                                                                                                                                                   

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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