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Well i was to young (13-14) and was not fishing the rivers at this time, but have heard many times from my fishing partner that the coho fishing was unreal leading up to and including 1986 Expo year, and ever a couple of years following expo. This was the case because of extensive stocking by the hatchery's (chilliwack , chehalis, capilano). what i was wondering, and i could probably just look up hatchery stocking(which i just thought of know but will continue) is does anyone know of any such stockings for the Olympic year. i would also like to hear of some more glory day outings during the Expo years. I do remember in 1990 when i first started fishing for coho that i would see guys killing their 4 hatchery's in about 1 hour on the vedder, and can remember the poles just being loaded with coho. It sure would be nice to see this again even if it only lasted for a few years after the Olympics.
 

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I also remember something about extra stocking back then as well, at least on the Capilano to provide fish for the summer saltwater fishery. I started fishing rivers about that time and certainly the fishing was much better. There were also lots of Coho in the straight of Georgia as there were significant blueback fisheries in the spring, and tons of coho in the Campbell river area. We never targeted Chums in any river, usually broke them off as soon as we hooked them, particularly in the Chehalis as it was considered poor etiquette to fight a chum and disturb the coho fishing. At that time there was no retention of Chums and Cohos didn't have to be hatchery, you could bonk wild ones as well.
 

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Oh crigey, it was only a time until the myth of the expo coho run hit the internet. It sounds like utter BS to me, over the years i've heard so damn many variations of it too. "For the 1986 run, they bread coho and chinook to make these super coho and man oh man where they big!" "yeah for expo they wanted a lot of fish back fast so they bread pinks and chum together." and other strains of mutant salmon.

It's a myth, and I think pure BS.
 

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Actually it is very factual that the Chilliwack River upped the stockings of both Coho and steelhead for 1986(stocked in 84 I believe), it is easily available to view the stocking data.

The runs of both these fish were huge those years according to the lucky folks who were in on that bonanza.

It has not been repeated since and these are very different times, its more likely to see less fish stocked than more.
 

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I have heard storys back 20 years ago from my dad, that when the coho entered the vedder at peak season, you could see huge schools of them moving through along with other salmon. If for some reason you didnt hook one, the next pack of coho would be moving through again. I would really like to see that again, but then again that would only bring out more people.
 

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I have being fishing the Chilliwack/Vedder river since 1981 and by then you can still kill wild steelheads. In 1986 Expo's year the coho fishing was unreal. The limit of adult coho was 6 and I remember clearly that i would used guts(roe) in size of golf balls to catch the cohoes on my Silex using Balsa floats.

I remember going to hatchery and ask one guy's there how many cohoes came back? He figured they got about 130.000. :thumbup:

The coho fishing fishing was good to me until 1996 when it kind went down hill because of all the white springs.

Now, I have not caught a wild or hatchery coho over 4 years in the Vedder then again I have not fished it as often as I like.

There lots another rivers for me fished like.........Q.C. Is. flows.


Silex-user.
 

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RI4B07 said:
Oh crigey, it was only a time until the myth of the expo coho run hit the internet. It sounds like utter BS to me, over the years i've heard so **** many variations of it too. "For the 1986 run, they bread coho and chinook to make these super coho and man oh man where they big!" "yeah for expo they wanted a lot of fish back fast so they bread pinks and chum together." and other strains of mutant salmon.

It's a myth, and I think pure BS.
It was true - i was there - schools of them, it was the best of times. We also broke off the Chums right away to not disturb the Cohos. I also experienced, on more than a couple of times 2 guys having 30 hookups - on a Saturday on Steelhead. In 1991 all the BS on the rivers with the big crowds, poaching and posers with the latest fancy gear ran me off to the Island. I blame the tackle industry for ruining things. Now i catch fish without a person in sight and thank God i moved away from the Mainland. :beerchug:
 

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I've just looked @ some photos from a salt charter we did back in '86 out of Pender Harbour.

Fishing was decent but in no way exceptional and within 5 years had collapsed down into the toilet it's in now-this is the Straight of Georgia Coho stock we're talking about.

So I very much doubt that river fishing was so great if there were no more fish in the ocean back then than there had ever been.
 

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there are other things that also effected returns in 1986. Ocean survival was somewhere around 18% for coho, steelhead. It's now around 1-2%. DFO did plant a pile of fish to have decent summer time fishing in Vancouver to go with expo. Hatchery returns were just coming on line for some rivers. All through the mid 1980's river fishing for steelhead and coho was good bordering on exceptional. Ocean survival changed in the late 1980's and has never really come back so we continue to see poor fishing today. Get the Pacific to pump out double digit survival rates and things would look up pretty quick.
 

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Here's the link for the historical release numbers from the Chilliwack hatchery.
http://www.canbcdw.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ows/reports/releaseReport.asp?IDValue=107#Steelheadreleased%20fromChilliwack%20R

As you can see the release of coho smolts in 1986 was 2.5 million. However the releases before 1986 were in the hundreds of thousands.

Here's the historical numbers from the Capilano Hatchery.
http://www-heb.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/facilities/capilano/fp_hist_smolt_releases_e.htm
Yes there is a HUGE blip in 1985 in the release of coho smolts, but would those fish return by 1986? I'm pretty sure that coho spend at least two years out in the ocean after smolting. You can also see that after 1986 production went down to normal levels (around a half million, give or take 100 grand) except in 1988 when they released 900K smolts, which could correspond with the return of the 1985 fish.

This myth of the Super Run of coho for the expo year, just doesn't hold water with me. Production obviously stepped up around expo, but it didn't last beyond that one expo year. DFO was putting on a show for the world and that's about it.
 

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Silex-user said:
I have being fishing the Chilliwack/Vedder river since 1981 and by then you can still kill wild steelheads. In 1986 Expo's year the coho fishing was unreal. The limit of adult coho was 6 and I remember clearly that i would used guts(roe) in size of golf balls to catch the cohoes on my Silex using Balsa floats.

I remember going to hatchery and ask one guy's there how many cohoes came back? He figured they got about 130.000. :thumbup:

The coho fishing fishing was good to me until 1996 when it kind went down hill because of all the white springs.

Now, I have not caught a wild or hatchery coho over 4 years in the Vedder then again I have not fished it as often as I like.

There lots another rivers for me fished like.........Q.C. Is. flows.


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I hope you werent killing wild steelheads of the chilliwack/vedder river in 86'? I believe the last year you could retain wild steelheads was in 1977, could someone refresh this thought?
 

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Wow...130,000 coho return? That's impressive. And I thought 40,000 return sounded good! I did a Pro-D Day at the hatchery today, with Lyn, staff, and she confirmed that the run sits at about 40,000 coho returns per year. Sure doesn't seem like it though. No coho for me yet this year. The hatchery sure has a whack of them now though.
 
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This year if you haven't hit it right its been shitty. There are fish around for about 1-2 days after each rain then after that its extremely slim pickins because they are in the Chilliwack or the hatchery. It should always be stacked with coho. Sad state of affairs
 

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Nope I was not killing any wild steelhead only hatchery fish back in 1986. As my memory recalled MOE implemented catch and release started around 1982 on Chilliwack/Vedder river system due to low returns. The only fishes I caught back in the early 80's on Vedder systems were big Whitefishs up to 3lbs and Bull trouts/ Dolly Vardens. After the systems went catch and release the meat fisherman thinned out and thats where I began to learn my skill in catching abundant of wild steelheads.

Now days, I spend most steelhead season fishing Q.C.Island flows. Up there it brings back memories of good' old days of Vedder with plenty of steelies to catch. :thumbup:


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The glory days hey buddy I was 15 I do remember hearing plenty of stories how they abundantly stocked some local rivers for all our tourism that year, at 15 I was chasing around girls!! :happy: and not overly concerned about the coho. However now that I'm old, fat and hate women thanks to my x wife, it sure would be nice to see again sometime soon!! It's too bad it takes world class events to keep our local rivers abundantly stocked.
 
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