Sport FishingSalmon Fishing in Campbell River
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Campbell River Salmon Foundation
With salmon so engrained in the lives of our people and community, salmon conservation and enhancement are important for us to continue with our legacy. The Campbell River Salmon Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to salmon enhancement and public education to help build stronger salmon runs and healtier spawing habitats for future generations to enjoy the mighty salmon of our region.
The Foundation board is built from experienced and knowledgeable professionals and retirees brought together by their common mission and have a lengthly list of past projects strongly supported by our community. Their enhancement efforts extend to watersheds north of the Oyster River and south of the Salmon River along with the adjacent mainland coast.
To learn more or to support their efforts, visit their website, Campbell River Salmon Foundation.
Pacific Salmon Foundation
For the past 20 years, the Pacific Salmon Foundation has worked with First Nations groups, private companies, education institutions, non-profit groups, all levels of government and commercial and recreational anglers in their efforts to bring back and maintain healthy, sustainable salmon stocks to our rivers. Through their grassroot, volunteer and community driven projects, PSF has supported research that has been integrated at the community and watershed levels, providing access to healthier habitat, food, good water quality and enough water in streams for our Pacific salmon.
Since 1989, Pacific Salmon Foundation and Fisheries and Oceans Canada have been working together to support salmon and stewardship through the Conservation Stamp and Competition. If an angler wants to retain any species of salmon in our area, they must purchase a yearly conservation stamp and affix it to their tidal water fishing license. $1.00 of the proceeds from each stamp is contributed to support the PSF. As an angler in our area, you are contributing back to our community and to the conservation and restorative efforts of the PSF.
To learn more or to support their efforts, visit their website, Pacific Salmon Foundation.
BC Hydro's Bridge Coastal Restoration Program
This program was established in 1999, with the goal to restore fish and wildlife resources that were negatively affected by the original methods of development of hydroelectric facilities in the Bridge Coastal Generation Area, which includes Campbell River. These development methods include reservoir creation, watercourse diversion and construction of dam structures. After extensive studies, these adverse affects are specifically addressed by BCRP, involving First Nations, the public and governmental agencies in decision-making processes.
This map indicates some projects in the Campbell River area.
To learn more or to support their efforts, visit their website, Bridge Coastal Restoration Program.
Code of Conduct
Fishing responsibly includes protecting the environment and the resource and practising safe fishing habits and respect towards others. This Code of Conduct has been developed and endorsed by the Sport Fishing Advisory Board.
- Handle all fish with care.
- Limit your catch to ensure fish for the future.
- Leave your fishing spot cleaner than you found it.
- Respect the rights of property owners and other outdoor enthusiasts.
- Use the proper tackle and methods for the species being targeted.
- Promote the sport by teaching children and new participants how to fish.
- Become informed about your fishery and participate in its management.
- Report all illegal fishing activities to the proper authorities.
- Respect the space of others, leave enough room for everyone to fish.
- Learn the fishing and boating laws and abide by them.
Catch and Release Tips
Practicing good catch and release techniques ensures that the majority of sport-caught will survive; as high as 85% to 95% in the ocean and even higher in rivers and streams. Techniques and points to remember are:
- When fishing for salmon, barbless hooks are mandatory. To change a barbed hook to a barbless one, simply pinch the barb tightly against the shank fo the hook with a pair of pliers.
- Use larger lures or artificial baits to reduce the incidental catch of undersize fish.
- Have a measure tape attached to the side of your boat where it is easily used to test for legal lengths of fish.
- Do not overplay the fish, bring it in as quickly as possible, so it is not exhausted.
- If you wet your hands prior to handling a fish, you improve its chances of survival.
- Unhook the salmon at the water surface to minimize handling.
- If it is too difficult to unhook the salmon in the water, bring it onboard. Minimize any stress to the fish.
- To minimize scale loss use a soft knotless mesh net.
- Handle the fish securely to ensure that minimal damage and scale loss. Remove the hook quickly and release it back into the water.
- Remove the hook with needle-nose pliers or surgical hemostats.
- Do not touch or handle a fish by its gills.
- When lifting the fish, hold it with one hand securely around the base of it's tail and the other hand under it's belly. Do not lift it by it's tail alone as this will cause damage to the vertebrae.
- Release the fish at a 45° angle with the head pointing downward and just below the water level.
- If the fist is exhausted, revive it by holding it's tail and slowly and gently move the fish back and forth to increase water flow over the gills. When the fish is strong enough, it will swim out of your hands.
- If a fish is hooked deeply, cut the line as close to the hook as possible and leave it in and release the fish as normal. The hook will erode over time.
Note if you are bottom fishing: Most rockfish will not survive catch and release. The pressure difference between the water surface and depths where they live will inflate their swim bladder and cause the fish's stomach to be pushed out through it's mouth. This kills the fish.