BC Fishing Reports banner

1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
There are some seriously low tides coming this long weekend, with predictions at Pt Atkinson of 3.24 ft, 2.89 ft and 2.85 ft for Sat, Sun and Mon respectively. This is going to cause some major problems for those who launch at the Barrowtown Pump Station on the Sumas and I suppose for Dewdney too. Yesterday, the low tide at Atkinson was 5.71ft and coupled with the low water coming out of the Vedder, resulted in a few prop boats either aground in the Sumas or paddling through sections. A further drop in tide is going to expose alot of mud flats on the Sumas, particularly that stretch by the pilings, coming out of the 'ditch' from the pump station, down to the railway bridge and then again from the rock wall to the mouth. Even with 2 feet or so of water, there are some seriously big logs lurking that will give you a rude awakening, if you don't know where they are. The worst and most dangerous section is going to be from the pilings to where the Sumas meets the water coming out of the Vedder Canal. You're going to have to 'pour the coals' to it to get over the mud bar until the water deepens near the Canal. Trouble is, if you stay to the right you're going to run smack dab into a big mud flat waiting just around the corner and if you stay to the left in the deeper water, you won't have a chance to see mom and pop in their little tin boat coming around the bend.

I have a couple of questions that hopefully someone can answer:
1. Having fished the Sumas for almost 50 years, you'd think I'd remember but I suppose old age and/or too much Crown Royal is taking its toll. I know that high tide on the Sumas is 3.5 to 4 hours after Pt Atkinson, depending on Fraser water levels. Does anyone know how many hours after the Pt Atkinson prediction is low water on the Sumas? I'm thinking its about 6 hours but I'd love to confirm that to see what kind of 'window' I have for getting out and getting back in before we hit low water bottom (literally).
2. I haven't launched at Dewdney for a few years but is there still that drop-off, off the ramp at low water? That is really tough on trailer axles if you are retrieving a big boat.

Finally, a word of warning. I, like everyone else, have seen a huge change in the number and type of boats that are launching at Barrowtown. The number of big jet boats increases, almost exponentially, every year. I hate to say it but too many operate their boats with little regard to the smaller car toppers using the same waterway. Even at very low water and IF you know the river, a jet can make it downstream to the Fraser ok but YOU'RE NOT ALONE. Even 12 foot car toppers are going to use the deeper sections to avoid going aground and by deeper sections, I am talking 1-2 feet in many places and there is precious little room to pass, even at low speed. There is a huge potential for either a collision or swamping.

I've experienced it from both ends, in my jet boat and also in my car topper. I fully appreciate the need for speed in shallow water with a big boat but there are few places, at very low water levels, to slow right down when over taking or passing a smaller boat. You are responsible for your wake and I've seen too many jet boats blow right by a small craft, with little regard for their safety. Even at high water, I always slow right down when passing a car topper..not just for safety but its courtesy. On the other hand, I can't count the times I've been in the same places with my little boat and get the %$^%&^ scared out of me by some neophyte who thinks he's God's gift to jet boat operators as he blows right by uncomfortably close. I know I won't be around anywhere near low water this coming weekend and I suggest anyone with a big jet boat stay away as well, for the safety of smaller craft. I can almost guarantee that if you don't run aground (which is quite likely), you run the risk of collision.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
419 Posts
There are some observations of mine:

-Steveston <> N.Westminster - river distance ~22km,;
tide time difference - -40min-75min;
Tide hight difference - 0.7-0.9 m

Based on the magnitude of tidal fade I'd be very curious how far upstream on Fraser the tides could be a factor?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Tidal influence i.e. the intrusion of salt water up the Fraser stops around New West but the effect of the tide entering the river, slows the Fraser discharge down and tributary streams such as Dewdney Slough and the Sumas River see an infusion of Fraser water displaced by the tidal influence further downstream. A high tide in the ocean will easily raise the level of the Sumas 3 to 4 feet. Likewise, a low tide in the ocean 'sucks' out more Fraser water and with it, water from tributary streams.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
745 Posts
Tidal influence i.e. the intrusion of salt water up the Fraser stops around New West but the effect of the tide entering the river, slows the Fraser discharge down and tributary streams such as Dewdney Slough and the Sumas River see an infusion of Fraser water displaced by the tidal influence further downstream. A high tide in the ocean will easily raise the level of the Sumas 3 to 4 feet. Likewise, a low tide in the ocean 'sucks' out more Fraser water and with it, water from tributary streams.
Very well put! This is the best way I have heard it explained....:cheers:

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
415 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Well I suppose it never hurts to post, just to see yourself talk. I googled the problem and finally came up with this gem, off a canoe paddling blog no less:
1) The HWs in the Pitt River typically occur 1-2 hours after HW at Point
Atkinson.
2) The LLWs (the lower of the two low waters in a day) typically occur 3-4
hours after LLW at Point Atkinson.
This info was right from the Hydrographic Service.

High tide at the Sumas is close to 4 hours after Atkinson and roughly 2 hours after the Pitt. The lower low tide (which is the bad one this weekend) is
3-4 hours later at the Pitt than Atkinson which makes it 5-6 hours later at the Sumas. I thought it was about 6 so guess I still have a few marbles left in the old cranium...and here I thought about laying off the Crown..whew!

Anyways..still pay attention to the tides to be safe.
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top