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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, it was Teacher Professional Development Day today, so me and another fellow-teacher had a guided-tour of the hatchery, by Lyn. Since I run a salmon program for my grade 7 Science students, raising 50 coho every winter, from the Nickomeckl Hatchery, I thought it wouldn't hurt to take in a guided tour by a staff member at the Chilliwack.

I couldn't believe how many salmon end up dying before they even get a chance to spawn. The staff had to do a clean-up of all the mortalities. There are lots of springs and chum in the channels, some very ripe, and some surprsingly fresh-looking, especially the coho,,,and yes, lots of coho up there already. They must have had lock-jaw running up the Vedder.

Lyn says they get about 40,000 coho a year for a return. That's hard to believe, so maybe they're still coming, eh?

Anyways, after "work," we hit the Vedder Campground, found it almost empty of people..was almost ghost-town-ish. My buddy, again, with his little red wool, got a chum, that bit, but it was ripe, and had some fight. I caught about 6 chum on my flyrod, in the deep slot: 3 hooked in mouth and 3 foul-hooked. I purposely tried to vary my retrieve and stripping in, to avoid the chum,,,but man oh man, I could feel my fly bumping over their backs,,so I would leave that slot, fearing that I would foul-hook again. When I saw that they were chum that were hooked, I pointed my flyrod tip down and at the fish, to do a long-distance release. All 6 came off near shore or a few feet away, intentionally. Man, each time I tried to snap off my tippet or slacken the line, the fly would shoot back at me, nearly taking out my eye. I was actually rushing so I can get my fly back into the water to get something more fresh and silver, hoping for a coho! And crap it, I used nothing but coho flies...except for a few casts, when I used a purple chum fly.

I think it's time to hit another system for coho, or maybe the lakes for some fall trout. Hmmm. :hmmm:

The photos are of the "lost" lures from fishermen.
 

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Thanks for the info augie. Very interesting. However - 40,000 coho return per year? My understanding is that the return was much lower in recent years. I'd be curious to see what the return is this year. The following is a link to the Chilliwack River Hatchery website (fish production) which shows returns of 8,311 and 7,369 coho in 2006 and 2005 respectively. This is a huge drop since previous years (e.g. 54,299 in 2002). There is no update since 2006 on this site. Anyway, thanks again for the info.

http://www-heb.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/facilities/chilliwack/fish_prod_e.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yup, that's what I thought. I was pretty surprised when Lyn mentioned that number too. I even repeated the number to her, to make sure I didn't misunderstand the figures. I asked her if that was an annual count. She said, "yes." She's worked there since its opening, in 1981. I can always call her to double check and confirm. 40,000 sounds like a big number, especially when it's not showing like it. :hmmm:

Anyways, thanks for the feedback guys! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok Noxcape, you can have your treble back...on two conditions...you have to write 100 lines: "I will never ever use a treble in any water again." And, the second condition: the treble hook cannot be used for any sort of fishing acivity, but can be used for decor, jewellery, and/or body piercings. O0

Yes, I wondered too, if any of those flies were mine. I asked Lyn if I can buy some of those lures or flies, she said, "No chance in hell." But hey, it was worth a try, eh.

We had an awesome time there, just soaking in the mountains, the air, and the experience. It's amazing what our salmon have to go through just to make it to their birth river, and then to reproduce.
 

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does that mean i have to change all the hooks on my bass fishing gear because that could get ugly lol where did you come up with the idea for that or is that up at the hatchery when me and buddy went up their there was a spring with no lies like three hooks in its back i was like damn that's one lucky fish lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Haha, LOL! I know...no worries, Noxcape. :peace: Man, I caught my first bass this summer. I can't believe how much they fight. I caught it on my 4 wt. I heard there's some killer holes around the Lower mainland for bass fishing. :happy:

The lure display is from the hatchery. It's all the hooks collected from spawned-out fish.
 
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