2019 West Coast Vancouver Island
(WCVI) Fishing Outlook
CHINOOKThe 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 key West Coast Vancouver Island Hatchery runs in 20 years.
The North Western section of Vancouver Island, in particular Kyuquot 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 since the Northern Troll is closed until late August.
Fraser River Conservation Concerns:
Fraser River early timed Chinook, transit coastal BC waters during the early part of the season. The department of Fisheries and Oceans have taken measures to allow as many of these Chinook to pass through Canadian Coastal waters as possible.
2019 Detailed Chinook Plan:
Kyuquot Inshore Waters: OPEN RETENTION ALL SEASON Spring Island, Look out Island, Thornton Island and all the usual nearshore Chinook hot spots will remain open to normal limits at 2 per day / 4 possession all season.
Kyuquot Nearshore Waters: OPEN RETENTION ALL SEASON. The area known as the surfline and 1NM into the offshore is also open this corridor essentially extends the inshore/surfline area an additional 1NM into the offshore areas.
Kyuquot Offshore Waters: While the waters remain open to fishing for all species, the exception will be non-retention of Chinook Salmon offshore from April through July 14th. Our plan will be to fish offshore for our Coho (Big run), Halibut and Lingcod, then head inshore to fish for Chinook Salmon. Last year the inshore fishery was fantastic from the very beginning of the season.
Ucluelet Inshore Waters: Barkley Sound OPEN RETENTION ALL SEASON The nearshore area and surfline region of Barkley sound which are part of our key areas for Chinook Salmon: Normal limits 2 per day / 4 possession.
Ucluelet Nearshore Waters: OPEN RETENTION ALL SEASON. The area known as the surfline and 1NM into the offshore is also open. This corridor essentially extends the inshore/surfline area an additional 1NM into the offshore areas.
Ucluelet Offshore Waters: While the waters remain open to fishing for all species, the exception will be non-retention of Chinook Salmon offshore from April through July 14th. Our plan will be to fish offshore for Halibut, then head inshore to fish for Chinook Salmon and other bottom fish.
The overall 2019 limits of Chinook Salmon in Kyuquot and Ucluelet area remain the same as 2018. 2 per day / 4 in possession while away from however, the location of where we can retain Chinook has changed.
click map to expand and view
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!
Ocean fisheries should experience phenomenal Coho fishing since the Columbia River Coho (mass marked) are expected to be over 1,000,000 fish! This return combined with our West Coast returns mean some fantastic fishing off of WCVI this year.
The 2019 Limits of Coho in the Kyuquot area remain the same at 2018 2 per day/ 4 possession. Inshore can be Wild or Hatchery. Offshore can be Hatchery only.
HALIBUTHalibut are an abundant species and there are no conservation concerns for Halibut with large commercial scale fisheries in both Canada and the United States. Canada does however have pre defined shares of halibut with the United States.
The recreational and commercial fishery also have pre defined "shares" of the Canadian Total Allocated Pounds. The recreational sector is entitled to 15% of the Canadian Share.
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. Sounds 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 90 cm (about 20 pounds)
If you hook into a honker, you can keep 1 per day, and only 1 per trip if your fish is over 90 cm (20 pounds) but up to 126cm (about 60 pounds)
The 2019 limit is 2 per day/ 4 possession away from home
ROCKFISHWhile many species of Rockfish are abundant such as Canary Rockfish and Black Sea Bass, there are others that are very long lived, slow to reproduce, and have been over fished by decades of commercial fishing. Back in the "old days", not much was known about their life cycle. Recently biologists have learned that some of these species can not sustain fisheries and need to be rebuilt. Rebuilding will take generations.
Yellow Eye Rockfish are one of the slowest growing of the rockfish and this year DFO has taken some changes to preserve them. New regulations for this year:
*1.) All Yellow Eye Rockfish must be released
*2.) All Yellow Eye Rockfish released, MUST BE done so with a live release descending device.
Learn more about releasing Yellow Eye Rockfish - yes they do survive!
The 2019 rules on Rockfish is 3 per day / 6 possession: No Yelloweye or Boccacciao