Nicholas Dean Lodge

444th Weekly Fishing Report from Nicholas Dean Lodge

For Tuesday, July 17, 2007 to Monday, July 23, 2007


Adam Chelini hoists a hefty 30 lb Kitimat River Chinook that smashed his spoon as it worked through the heart of the pool.


Fish Tales

Hello Anglers,

The past week has been a very frustrating one for anglers wishing to target Chinook Salmon in the rivers near Terrace. On Tuesday of last week, the Terrace area finally experienced some summer weather, which normally would be a positive thing given the very cold spring and early summer, but with a large majority of the snowpack intact this year, the warm weather caused nearly all fishable rivers to be blown out. Even the Kitimat River, with its smaller drainage area and fewer tributaries (relative to the Skeena and its watershed) ran high and dirty. With the hot weather continuing through Friday, river levels stayed high and the Skeena, which normally provides fantastic fishing for Chinooks at this time of year, is unfishable. However, for better or worse (depending on your perspective!), the weather has cooled off a little over the past 3 days, which has made the Kitimat River fishable once again. Both Greg and Sky reported good fishing yesterday, with fish up to 35 lbs landed. And one of our guests, Marc Richards, lost a very big fish yesterday that Sky said was at least 40 lbs…

If you are interested in fishing with us in 2007, we still have a few openings available in prime time seasons:

1) August 4 to 10, 2007 – Summer Steelhead and All Species of Pacific Salmon – now offering a 10% discount

2) August 12 to 18, 2007 – Summer Steelhead and All Species of Pacific Salmon at the Skeena Camp

3) September 2 to 8, 2007 – Fall Steelhead, Sockeye, Pink, Chum, and Coho Salmon

4) October 7 to 13, 2007 – Fall Steelhead and Trophy Coho

5) October 21 to 27, 2007 – Fall Steelhead and Trophy Coho

6) November 11 to 17, 2007 – Early Winter Steelhead (Generally unlimited days on the Copper River)

For more information on these packages, please contact me by email phone, or check out the brochures on our website at: http://www.nicholasdean.com/Pricing.asp

And if you have been following the news lately regarding the fish stocks in the Skeena Region, you might have seen a press release made by Greg Knox of the North Coast Steelhead Alliance, along with a few members of Watershed Watch. After doing some research and conducting a provincial Access to Information Request, the researchers discovered some very disturbing documents and remarks made by Senior Biologists and Staff in the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans regarding the mismanagment of the commercial fishery in 2006. One of the most discouraging remarks was made by Steve Cox-Rogers (a DFO biologist) in an internal DFO memo: “the real issue for me is that we said we would fish selectively to minimize harvest impacts on non-target species and we caved under pressure [from the commercial fishing fleet].” Commercial fishing that utilizes non-selective means has the potential to significantly harm bycatch stocks such as Steelhead and Coho, which return in fewer numbers than the sought after Sockeye Salmon. In most years, there is policy employed that helps minimize the effects on non-target species, but DFO chose not to adhere to these policies and indeed their own mandate, which has caused a significant uproar in angling and conservation groups. To show that you care about Skeena and other North Coast Steelhead and Salmon stocks, I encourage you to continue writing your letters to Loyola Hearn, Canada’s Federal Minister of Fisheries, as well as other bureaucrats in the hope that we can establish a sustainable resource that benefits all user groups, and most importantly, the fish themselves. For more information on this press release, please go to the North Coast Steelhead Alliance website (www.ncsteelheadalliance.ca), where you can also find several tools and government addresses under the “Take Action” link.

Yours in fishing and in conservation,

Chad Black

Operations Manager

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Nicholas Dean Lodge 2007 Season Records To Date:

Steelhead: 27 lbs, Caught by Yvonne Williams of Vancouver, BC on the Skeena River

Chinook Salmon: 40 lbs, Caught by Bob Cusick of Edmonton, Alberta on a Skeena River Tributary

Coho Salmon: Out of Season


Fishing Conditions

The chart below provides an overview on the current river fishing conditions by fish species:

Fish Species Poor Marginal Fair Good Excellent
Steelhead Out of season
Chinook Salmon
Coho Salmon Out of season
Pink Salmon
Sockeye Salmon
Chum Salmon
Halibut
Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout
Dolly Varden
Bull Trout
Rainbow Trout

Though Chinook Salmon continued to enter the Kitimat River in good numbers last week, hot weather pushed the river to unfishable levels, with a muddy brown stain. However, over the weekend cooler temperatures ensued, reducing snowmelt, which lowered the Kitimat River to fishable levels. It is now fishable again and has good visibility to make fishing conditions very much improved. There have been rumours of a few Pink and Chum Salmon entering the Lower Kitimat, but we have not encountered them in good numbers as of yet. Halibut fishing has been very good for those willing to target them with spreader bars and herring off mid-Ocean humps near Prince Rupert. Trout fishing in lakes continues to be productive.