Sam Vandervalk

We are expecting a good season for fishing. We should have about 2-3 times as many Coho swimming by us this year as 2018. The forecast for the Chinook return to Barkley Sound is the best in 20 years. The past two years have had good runs in the 65K range. This year we are expecting runs in the 130-140K range. Most of those fish come through from August 10-September 10. There were good amounts of squid in close to shore the past couple years and are hoping we will have the return of the squid again which should mean good Chinook fishing in shallow water. We are already seeing squid inside salmon so we hope good things are ahead, especially since we are limited to shoreline fishing.

What about the rest of the summer?

We are expecting slightly better than normal numbers  of Chinook for early season and early summer.  There was some good Chinook fishing for about a week in April, but fishing Chinook fishing has slowed down since then. We expect it to start picking up again late May. Coho normally start late June or early July. We will start getting a few Halibut late May and by mid June we would start expecting to get our limits of 1 per day per person. Halibut fishing generally stays good until at least mid August and sometimes into early September. 

New Regulations for Chinook

There was lots of waiting this winter for the fisheries minister to make an announcement regarding the 2019 season. We didn't know what was going to happen until early April--we were just pretty sure they would end up doing something that pandered to the NGO's crying that the end of the world had come for the whales. As expected the fisheries minister made a decision that made little sense and ended up closing down much of the inside of Vancouver Island as well as restricting our offshore fishing to 1 mile until July 15.  Our guides association gave them a proposal that would get them within a few % of their return numbers without many closures at all but they opted for something to satisfy the lobbyists who hate fishing no matter how many salmon there are. For us it will mean more fuel running around (we don't have fuel surcharges for the new taxes) instead of catching the Chinook in the same spot as Coho and Halibut.  The limits for our customers will be the same. Come October we will be working hard to elect a new government! 


Fish Species: Halibut
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Sam Vandervalk

About The Author: Captain Sam Vandervalk

Company: Salmon Eye Charters

Area Reporting: Vancouver Island - Ucluelet, Tofino, Port Alberni BC

Bio: Sam Vandervalk, the owner of Salmon Eye Charters has now guided for 12 years. He grew up around mid-Vancouver Island. You could say that fishing is in the family as his older brother Ray also guides for Salmon Eye Charters. Salmon Eye Charters has grown and is now going to be operating 4 boats mostly in Ucluelet as that is where the fish seem to be the most. Happy customers are made every day here!

Click Here For Past Fishing Reports by Captain Sam Vandervalk