It’s a good time to do some saltwater fishing, pink salmon are returning in healthy numbers all along the BC coast.
The Pacific Salmon Commission has again increased its fall forecast for the Fraser River run, with 17 million now expected, more than the 12 million average.
On the Island, local pinks are gathering near river mouths waiting for the right time to enter and spawn, creating some excellent shoreline and in-ocean fishing.
On the Campbell and Quinsam River systems, Quinsam Hatchery manager Ed Wall says they are expecting a good return.
“[We expect] at least 800,000 pinks coming back, based on what we saw for the outmigration a year and a half ago,” he says. “There certainly seem to be a lot of fish coming, and there seems to be a lot of fish in front of town as well. There are more fish to come, and we’ve certainly seen a lot at the hatchery.”
Hatchery staff regularly swim the Campbell and Quinsam rivers to count fish. Wall says there are so many pinks right now it’s hard to spot Chinook, but there are some of the prized “king” starting to return.
He says water levels remain concerning. River systems are drier than last year, and rain is desperately needed in the next few weeks to improve spawning conditions.