Fishery Notice

FN0786-RECREATIONAL - Salmon: All Salmon Species - South Coast - Areas 17 to 19 - No Salmon Retention

In 2014/2015 Vancouver Island experienced extremely low snowpack with 
exceptionally low precipitation during the spring 2015 period. Water levels in 
many systems on Vancouver Island are now extremely low and river temperatures 
in many cases are reaching lethal limits for salmon migrating through these 
systems. Predictions are that above average summer air temperatures and reduced 
precipitation will continue, and likely will further contribute to elevated 
stream temperatures throughout Vancouver Island.

The Cowichan River is experiencing particularly warm water and low flows at the 
present time. It is anticipated that these severe river conditions will cause 
Cowichan chinook to stage in the marine area, and likely delay entry into the 
river until flows improve. This will likely result in Cowichan chinook being 
more vulnerable to fishing in the marine approach areas to the Cowichan River, 
due to these river conditions.

A closure was implemented on all southern island freshwater systems, including 
the Cowichan River, in early July prohibiting all fishing, including First 
Nations FSC fishing.  Management measures are now being expanded to the 
adjacent terminal marine areas, elevating the key chinook non-retention areas 
to salmon non-retention areas. DFO analysis has shown that the implementation 
of this management measure will reduce the exploitation rate on Cowichan 

The following subareas will close to salmon retention effective 00:01h August 
4, 2015 until further notice:
Subareas 17-5 to 17-7, 17-9
Subareas 18-6 to 18-8
Subareas 19-7 to 19-12

These areas may re-open to salmon retention, with the non-retention of chinook, 
if environmental conditions improve.


Barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in tidal waters of British 

The term "marked" means a hatchery fish that has a healed scar in place of the 
adipose fin.

Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery 
program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped chinook and 
coho salmon.  Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for 
coast-wide stock assessment.  Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program 
toll free at (866) 483-9994 for further information.

Anglers are advised to check for fishing closures 
and other recreational fishing information.

Tidal Water Sport Fishing Licences can be purchased via any computer connected 
to the internet at 
or by using Google search key words "Recfish Licence".

Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation?  If so, please call 
the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line 
at (800) 465-4336.

For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at 
1-(866)431-FISH (3474)


Contact the nearest Fisheries and Oceans Canada office or visit our website at

Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0786
Sent July 31, 2015 at 1204