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October 9 Port Renfrew Fishing Info

An excerpt from DC Reid’s Times-Colonist article today “Where to Fish Around the Island”, related to Port Renfrew’s San Juan River fishing:

“Deb and Ashby: We’ll be fishing in the Victoria area, towing a boat for freshwater and fly fishing freshwater with float tubes. Where should we go?

Answer: The Campbell, Quinsam and Salmon rivers are now filling up with coho. Closer, the Nitinat, opens for fishing and retention Oct. 16, and to my eye had about 12,000 springs in it on Sept. 30, almost double the DFO pre-season estimate. The Stamp has coho higher up. And, on the first huge rain day, the San Juan coho, the largest on average on the island, will move up pronto to the first corner accessed from the 4×4 track just below the Harris Creek Bridge. You have arrived in the golden time of year that river anglers wait for all year long.

Steve Staley says: I am writing to tell you about a once in a lifetime catch.

On Friday, Sept. 19 at about 11 a.m., I got a six-foot white sturgeon on my line. At about noon, I got it on the beach. Now this may sound like just another sturgeon story, and your wondering what makes this note worthy. It’s the fact that this one- hour long sturgeon fight happened in the San Juan River, about one to two kilometres upstream from the bridge in Port Renfrew.

Answer: Folks, Staley’s picture is definitely a sturgeon and the water is clear, like the San Juan. The fish likely originated from the Columbia River, or, less likely, from the Fraser. It’s a long way from home.”


Below the San Juan River bridge is tidal waters, which means you can retain salmon — current rules are 4 salmon per day, which can include 4 coho, but only two of which may be wild (has adipose fin). Chinook is CLOSED anywhere inside San Juan Harbour.

Above the bridge it is currently catch and release only.

Map of salmon fishing regulations for Port Renfrew

Good luck out there!

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