Saltwater Fishing Regulations: Area 1-23 / 1-24 / 24
Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Under normal circumstances, most anglers require the ability to adapt their approach to fishing certain waters at certain times. The need for a diversified fishing approach can be due to a wide variety of reasons, with species, seasons, areas and fish stocks dictating the need for flexibility.
For the 2008 Sports fishing season on Vancouver Island’s west coast, there are some changes to fishing regulations and opportunities for most areas of the coastline, with the following details specific to the Inshore (area 24) and Offshore (area 1-24) marine areas of Tofino/Clayoquot Sound. With an overall good fishing forecast for the season, these regulation changes are minimal compared to the great opportunities still ahead.
Chinook Salmon A slower than normal start to the Tofino area Chinook fishing is now a distant memory, as the fishing and average sizes of Chinook Salmon has turned for the better. Regardless of an aggressively conservative inshore recreational Chinook fishery, and special regulations for the past 7 years to protect 4-5 year old mature Chinook in Clayoquot Sound, the escapement numbers to local spawning rivers has continued to decline. Though these local Chinook Stocks contribute an extremely small percentage of the overall catch for Tofino area salmon anglers, further restrictions have been implemented to protect returning mature Chinook to WCVI rivers. Starting July 15th north of Tofino, and locally starting August 1st, the inshore area of Tofino/Clayoquot Sound, and out to the 1 mile surf-line boundary, all Chinook over 77cm must be released. This same area is still open for retention of Chinook salmon under 77cm, which are most likely to be non spawning 3 year old Chinook up to approx. 16 lbs. Approximately 96% of Chinook Salmon over 77cm are 4 or 5 year old fish that are this year’s mature spawning Salmon. The main difference to this year’s regulation changes is for the non retention of <77cm. Chinook salmon in popular Tofino areas like Blundan Isl., Tree Isl. and Wilf Rock. These same areas have allowed a retention of 1 Chinook Salmon over 77cm and 1 under 77cm. during August for the last 7 seasons, with an overall difference of 1 Salmon.
The offshore areas outside the surf-line boundary continue with normal regulations, with a retention limit of 2 Chinook per person per day, with a minimum size limit of 45cm. The possession limit for inshore and offshore caught Chinook Salmon is still a maximum of 4 per person for multiple days of fishing, with an aggregate possession of Salmon species at 8 per person. Watch for September to be some of the season’s best fishing for large offshore Chinook Salmon destined to the Fraser and Columbia rivers.
Coho Salmon Coho Salmon fishing is anticipated to be good again this season, with great signs of early feeding fish in the Tofino area this spring. Fishing regulations and retention limits are the same as last season in the Tofino area, with the inshore areas open to 2 Coho per person per day, being wild or hatchery fin clipped fish. The offshore areas are again open to retention of 2 hatchery fin clipped Coho per person per day. Starting September 1st, the daily limit goes to 4 Coho salmon per person per day inshore, with 2 Coho of your 4 having to be hatchery fin clipped. The offshore areas are open for 4 Coho Salmon being hatchery fin clipped, and again, the possession limit is based at 8 Salmon per person for multiple days of fishing, of which only 4 can be Chinook.
Halibut This season has started off with some great fishing for Halibut, and is forecasted to provide a very solid fishery based on the estimated biomass of Pacific Halibut.
The 2008 season has also brought some changes to Halibut catch limits, which are administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, but dictated by the Pacific Halibut Commission. Early in 2008, Halibut anglers were allowed a retention of 1 per person per day, with a normal possession of 3 Halibut for multiple days of fishing. Starting on June 1st, Halibut anglers were again allowed a daily limit of 2 per person per day, with a possession limit now set at 2 for the remainder of the season. Recreational Halibut fishing in Canadian waters is open from February 1st thru December 31st annually.
For our focus of guided Freshwater and Saltwater Sport fishing opportunities on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Clayoquot Ventures Guide Team is equipped with the right gear to do the best job possible of hosting clients for safe and successful excursions. The following outlines should help you become familiar with the fleet of vessels that we strive to maintain beyond industry standards, showing our pride and commitment to top quality service for our guests.
For more detailed information, you can visit the Canada Fisheries Website at http://www.pac.dfompo.gc.ca/recfish/Tidal/area24_e.htm You may just want call us for information you can actually understand, or check postings at our store.