Sam Vandervalk

What is the forecast for 2024 for Chinook salmon fishing in Ucluelet and the rest of the west coast of Vancouver Island?

From BC forecasts you have to read between the lines. We had better than expected returns in 2023 around Vancouver Island. 

The Stamp River had the best returns but the Cowichan also had good returns. Most rivers had higher than normal returns. The Stamp run normally passes right in front of Ucluelet. We are expecting another strong run in 2024. 

The Columbia River is forcasting 70% of what was forecasted last year which is about 200K. 

So it could be a good summer but its hard to say what will transpire in most areas on the coast. 

The salmon have been taking different routes the past couple of years than in most years since I have been guiding Ucluelet since 2004. 

So the question you really need to ask is when is the best time to come?

I outline that it really depends. If you are coming in your own boat fishing offshore will be easier than fishing close to shore as close to shore fishing is more technical.

We love fishing close to shore right now as there are often bigger fish.

If you are not sure where to go fish,  and you are willing travel, I wrote a blog post about the best places to catch salmon in BC and how Ucluelet compares. I only wrote about BC since I think between BC and Alaska, BC holds a large edge for Chinook (Kings). Places like Seward are great for shore fishing sockeye, but for ocean fishing BC has a few very productive areas.

If you decide you want to fish Ucluelet, I just wrote a blog piece about the hotspots in Ucluelet. Ucluelet is a great place to fish but it can also be tough if you haven’t fished it before.


You can check out the areas visit or get one of our fishing packages available at if you are intere We have very little ocean view accommodation but still have some cabins available.

Below, some pictures from the past summer.


Tight lines,

Sam Vandervalk

Salmon Eye Fishing Charters


Fish Species: Salmon, Halibut, Lingcod
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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