You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2008.

A couple of weeks ago we spent several hours filming Steve at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery spawning some coastal cutthroat trout. I’ve put together a ten minute video on the process. This is actually our March subscribers’ video but we usually release one per year for public viewing. I’ve put this one up for all to view as it is quite informative.

Each month, we feature a 10 minute video diary in our subscribers section. Subscription is $20.00/year or $35.00/two years. If you would like to subscribe, please go to:

http://www.fishingwithrod.com/shop/subscription.html

Enjoy!

Rodney Hsu
Webmaster

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The last coho salmon of 2007 was hooked up after a heavy snowfall in late November. At first it appeared to be a coho jack, but it turned out to be a small and rather bright adult after closer examination. This is a segment of February 2008’s video diary “Late Season Coho Tactics” for subscribers.

Can’t catch steelhead but still want to touch them? Then a job at the local hatchery is perfect for you! Today we spent several hours at the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery in Abbotsford to capture some footages for an upcoming video feature. Operated by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, this hatchery does not only produce rainbow trout for lakes but is also responsible for the steelhead brood program of several rivers across the Lower Mainland. Our objective today was to film the cutthroat trout spawning process, but the hatchery staff also demonstrated some steelhead spawning. Here are some photos for a preview.

While the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery is exclusively operated by paid staffs, there are many community hatcheries in the Lower Mainland that are constantly looking for volunteers to perform spawning, egg sorting, fish feeding and general cleaning duties. For more information, please contact your DFO community advisor and ask him or her to provide you some contacts.

http://www-heb.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/community/contacts/ca_e.htm

After hearing several banner days from Chris since last week, it was only a matter of time before I am lured back to the Vedder again. This morning I hopped out of bed at 4:38am, seven minutes before the alarm went off! After a quick bite in the kitchen, I was on the road to the valley. I arrived on the river bank at dawn and was delighted to find not a single soul around. Knowing that I would be the first one to dangle a few roe bags through some very fishy run, I was quite certain that there would be a connection this morning.

A few casts later, a parade of cars emerged on the other side of the river. They speedily made their way downstream, perhaps to where the fish really were. Chris’ car pulled over once the parade moved on. He made his way down to the river, waded across and took a look upstream at me. He made his way downstream, probably so I could fished the first run alone. It turned out that he thought it was not me standing by the river, apparently “he looked too tall to be Rodney.”

Once I felt that I had fished through the first run thoroughly, I made my way down to catch up with Chris. As I walked down and took a peek at him, I saw a silver fish flopping beside him on the river bank. Fifteen minutes into the morning, he was already done! A local fisher who scouts the river daily indeed has the advantage on the hook-up ratio. He almost felt bad once he found out I was upstream from him. He said that he would have let me drift through first, but I doubt that the result would be any different.

This female steelhead was approximately 7 to 8lb and one of the freshest fish that we have seen so far this season. Of course, I was glad to snap some photographs for Chris once he marked the catch on his license.

The rest of the morning was rather uneventful for me again. Other nearby anglers also reported the same result. Nevertheless, it was a splendid day as we were able to soak in plenty of sunshine. Water has been dropping and clearing steadily. The expected showers may bring in some fresh fish for the weekend. The hatchery is now holding 52 adult steelhead for its broodstock program. With over two months of steelhead season remaining, the 70 fish target will be reached quite easily.

My friend Orla Bertram-Nielsen recently did a short article on my Danish fishing ventures in a Danish angling website. If you can read it, the link to the article is:

http://www.sportsfiskeren.dk/nyheder/Nyheder_2008/Februar/Rod_Hu/

Spring is here! Well almost… After a brief visit to Berry’s Bait and Tackle today, I headed down to the Tidal Fraser River to see if a bull trout or two maybe interested in my new lures. It is just slightly too early. Most bull trout should still be in tributaries, waiting for baby salmon to emerge and feast on them. This doesn’t mean that there are no bull trout in the mainstem Fraser River of course. There should be some patrolling the channels and filling their stomach up with lazy sculpins. No fish were harmed today, but like every other Vancouverite, I soaked in some warm ray. On the way home I spotted these two sitting high above so I quickly hopped out of the car and took a photo.

After another Vedder outing on Wednesday with dismal result, it could only get worse when the old timers rub it in by catching a few on the next day. Yesterday Chris managed to connect with a couple, donating one wild fish to the hatchery broodstock program. The second fish was quite forgiving, you can find out more about what happened by reading “A Valentine Fish, A Suicidal One Too, The Journal From The Vedder, Feb.14

This morning, another email that was attached with photos came in as expected. Retirement continues to pay off for Chris, with another hatchery steelhead beached. It sure makes working in front of this screen rather frustrated but entertaining at times.

We are expecting multiple days of sunshine in Southern BC starting tomorrow, which should make some good fishing days for the weekend warriors. Have a great weekend everyone!

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has just released its Lower Mainland Feature Lake Guide. This comprehensive guide is a 24-page PDF file that is free for download. It covers the fishing season, methods, map and directions of many productive lakes in the Lower Mainland.

Please click here to download

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is a non-profit organization who works in partnership with the provincial government to deliver the fish stocking program as well as providing conservation fish culture services that support steelhead and sturgeon recovery programs.

Lower Mainland lakes are typically stocked by the Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery between late March and early June, and again between late September and early December. Most of the rainbow trout stocked are between 12 and 16 inches in length. Due to high catch rates, It is a fantastic urban fishery for everyone, especially young, entry level, disabled and retired anglers.

Natalie West from the society will be talking about this fishery and answering your questions at this year’s Fraser Valley Boats and Sportsmen’s Show. For stocking updates, we will once again be hosting the trout stocking database so be sure to check back in late March. Here are some related video clips.

That ain’t no bull trout! Nina finds her biggest coho salmon on the end of her line. This is a segment of February 2008’s video diary “Late Season Coho Tactics” for our subscribers.

YouTube has a tendency to downgrade the video quality. We have the same video on our website at higher quality, please click here to view.

A Microsoft Powerpoint presentation has been released this afternoon that summarizes the gravel operation at Spring Bar on February 2008 and its impact on salmonid habitat. The report is put together collectively by the following groups:

  • BC Wildlife Federation
  • Sportfishing Defence Alliance
  • Fraser River Keeper
  • David Suzuki Foundation
  • Fraser Valley Salmon Society

Download file now!

The file is just over 2mb large. The entire presentation takes about 10 to 20 minutes to through. Please take the time to go through it and pass it onto others who are unaware of the issue. If you do not have Microsoft Powerpoint, I have changed each slide into JPG files. Please click on each link below to see the slides.

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Last week’s photos from the operation site can be seen below.