Chinook Salmon Regulations 2021
Starting May 14, 2021, we’re allowed to keep Chinook salmon in certain portions of Area 13 and Area 15. Specifically, those sub-areas are 13-21 (roughly the first half of Bute Inlet), portions of sub-area 13-19 (Ramsay Arm), and portions of sub-areas 15-5 and 15-6 (Toba Inlet).
In those sub-areas, anglers are allowed to retain one Chinook per day. If that Chinook is marked (hatchery), there is no upper size limit. If the fish is unmarked (wild), then the upper size limit is 80cm.
This will continue through July 14, 2021. On July 15, 2021 we’ve been told to anticipate a return to similar regulations as last year. Assuming that’s the case, then anglers will still be allowed to keep one Chinook salmon per day, but that salmon can be caught anywhere in Area 13, 14 or 15.
Up until July 15, then, it’s catch & release for Chinook salmon unless you’re fishing in one of the sub-areas mentioned in the first paragraph.
For fishing charters out of Campbell River, this presents a bit of a dilemma. You’re going to spend an hour and sometimes more getting to places where you can keep a Chinook. And in the process, you’re going to drive right by a ton of very viable catch & release fishing. So your fishing day gets shorter, and you’re likely passing up very good opportunities that are closer to home.
For people who really want to keep a Chinook salmon, be prepared to book a longer day and spend some of it travelling. On the other hand, if your aim is to maximize your Campbell River fishing experience, then catch & release fishing is just as exciting. And odds are you’ll get more of it, and see more fish.
The choice is yours. We’re happy to fish wherever you want to. But we also heartily endorse catch & release fishing — Chinook salmon are some of the best sport fish out there, and increasing the times you can have one on the end of your line is always a good thing.
Give us a shout and let us know where you want to go fishing.