Hot Off The Press
Some great news in the forecasts for West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI)
1-Chinook and Coho this year.
Key WCVI Hatchery returns are expecting the biggest Chinook runs in 20 years.
2- Brand new regulation set for Halibut allowing a bigger fish!
Department of Fisheries and Oceans Chinook Conservations announcement:
You may have seen media reports on Fraser River Chinook concerns. We are reaching out to you to reassure you that the West Coast of Vancouver Island has a great summer ahead with generous limits still in place.
Significant areas on the mainland of BC as well the eastern and southern portions of Vancouver Island are becoming non retention Chinook during times and areas where key Fraser River stock migrate. It is an unfortunate set of circumstances. However, Esperanza Inlet, Nootka Sound and other West Coast Vancouver Island areas will remain with normal limits for Chinook.
2019 Nootka Sound & Esperanza Inlet Fishing Regulations and WCVI FISHING OUTLOOK
CHINOOK “The Good News”:
West Coast Vancouver Island (WCVI) has been showing some positive trends for 2019. Local wild stocks have been on an upward trend in North Western Vancouver Island. Hatchery stocks that migrate past our doorstep in season, also remain strong to very abundant as well. Over 195,000 Canadian Hatchery Chinook Salmon are anticipated to return to the WCVI area this summer.
Last year there was an expected return of 158,000 and over 180 000 returned so last year was even better than expected!
This year is the largest return of West Coast Vancouver Island Hatchery Chinook in 20 years.
More Good News:The North Western section of Vancouver Island, in particular Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound, will experience some exceptional Salmon Fishing. Chinook are highly migratory for portions of their lives, in particular WCVI and Southern US Chinook are traditionally intercepted in very large numbers in the Alaskan and far Northern BC Commercial Troll Fisheries, early in the season before they migrate South to come home.
This year, it will be different for those Northern interception fisheries because the Northern Commercial Troll Fishery is closed until late August.
2019 Detailed Plan:
Nootka Sound & Esperanza Inlet Inshore Waters: OPEN ALL SEASON to Chinook, Coho, Ling Cod, Halibut etc.
Bajo Reef, Beano Creek, Ferrer Pt, Pin Rocks (Wash Rocks),Outer Black Rock, Grassy Island, & all the usual nearshore Chinook hotspots will remain open to normal Chinook limits, 2 per day / 4 possession ALL SEASON.
Inshore waters are defined as those waters that are 1 nautical mile off the surf line shoreward.
Offshore Waters: open to fishing for all species, the exception will be non-retention of Chinook Salmon offshore from April through July 14th. On July 15 the offshore waters open up to normal limits of Chinook,
2 per day / 4 possession. Our plan will be to fish offshore for Halibut, Ling Cod & other bottom fish and Fish/Catch Salmon inshore prior to April 15.
Offshore waters are defined as those waters that are 1 nautical mile off the surf line seaward.
Coho for West Coast Vancouver Island are expected to be a large return again this year and we are really excited about this forecast. Coho are in an "at or near target" abundance level which means normal returns. Compared to last years outlook this is another improvement. Bonus!
Offshore fisheries should experience phenomenal Coho fishing since the Columbia River Coho (mass hatchery marked) are expected to be over 1,000,000 fish! This return combined with our West Coast returns mean some fantastic fishing inshore and offshore of WCVI this year.
The 2019 Limits of Coho in the Nootka Sound & Esperanza Inlet offshore area remain the same as 2018 - 2 per day / 4 possession; Offshore caught & retained Coho are Hatchery only & Inshore limits are 4 per day only 2 of which can be wild / 8 possession. Inshore limits of Coho to be confirmed by DFO May 15, 2019
Caption: Caught Saturday Easter Weekend April 20,2019
Yes, the Halibut remain close to the beach in inshore waters. They came in earlier to feed on the huge schools of spawning herring in the Rolling Roadstead & Nuchatlaht areas. The Hali are remaining in close because now they are feeding on squid spawn that will continue well into early June.
Pictured with her 36lb Halibut is Smiling Shauna Hunter Westview’s new Pub/Deck & Island. Attitude Coffee/Beer Café Mgr. Her and Jeff (taking the picture) also hooked & brought to the boat a 100+ lb Hali which they released. They where fishing just west of Catala Island in 135ft depth.
A new Halibut regulation system is being deployed for the first time in Canada's public fishery this year, where anglers have a choice on the regulation they want. Sound odd but true.
- You can have two Chunky Chickens or go for a single Tubby Turkey during a multi-day fishing trip.
The 2019 limit is 1 per day. The possession limit depends on the size of the fish you wish to retain.
If your preference is for the Chunky Chicken, then you can have 1 per day, and 2 in possession up to 90cm/35.5in (about 20 – 25 pounds)
- If you hook into a honker (Tubby Turkey), you can keep 1 per day, and only 1 per trip if your fish is over 90 cm (20 pounds) but up to 126cm/35.5in (about 50 - 60 pounds)
Plus new to Westview Marina Charters:
- Halibut Quota Fish – Ask John or your Charter Captain about this program.
For approx..$7.00 per lb you can catch and retain more and larger Halibut.
With the price of halibut at Costco $25+ per lb you may want to consider this option.
Only available on Westview Marina Charter Vessels
Fisher with their own boat are signing up for one day Westview charters to load up on Halibut
Yes, Because of the excelent Salmon return projections here in Esperanza & Nootka and the new regulations in other areas of BC which are much more restrictive we are nearly booked up.
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