We are very optimistic that with this snowy winter providing a much needed higher altitude snow pack, colder trending ocean conditions and temperatures, that we will see a more normal historic fishery for area 25/125 this coming season. The large warm “blob” that has been plaguing us for the past 2 seasons has now dissipated, broken up and has seemingly disappeared according to DFO’s most recent satellite imagery photographs, this is good news for salmon!
All indications are for a very strong healthy spring herring spawning season, which means lots of food for early migratory US bound chinook and winter feeders that are already here locally. There are already reports north of us, that good numbers of returning chinook are south bound and on their way down to us. The renegotiated US/Canadian salmon treaty will have a major impact on just how many fish make it all the way down to their home streams and rivers. A new report released last winter has indicated that as much as up to 80% of all Alaskan commercially harvested Chinook are either Puget Sound or British Columbia bound fish, this study was based over a 3 year period of DNA head sampling from these commercially caught and delivered fish. We have been promised by DFO that it is part of these negotiations to ensure a more sustainable escapement for these fish and that both the Alaskan and British Columbian commercial fleets will have their TAC’s under much more stringent controls, including in season closures made on them if the escapement numbers are not there, this is an extremely positive step for recreational sport fishermen.
We are looking forward to another very strong outside offshore salmon fishery and a much better inside sound fishery for local fish this coming summer, primarily due to the much colder ocean conditions we are now experiencing. We are also extremely optimistic that we will again this coming season see some good opportunities for Albacore tuna beginning sometime in late July through until mid-September. Again this is because of the more normal ocean conditions we are seeing that have not been present the past couple of years.
Bottom fishing will remain as it always is in our area, strong and steady with some excellent halibut fishing opportunities which is a direct result of properly managing this particular resource. All and all we are looking forward to what should be a much more normal salt water fishing season for the west coast of Vancouver Island as a whole.
Tight lines, good luck, and safe fishing.
Gibran White, Marine Operations Manager
Nootka Martine Adventures Ltd.