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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My birthday is coming up and to reward myself for leaving fish where I have found them and also encouraging others to fish responsibly for many years, I will do something completely off the wall this year!

Being a Libra and knowing that some of the best fishing can happen on dates around my birthday I am in the mood to rebel, a mood that oft times shakes me when I see the crowds snagging fish in the usual places in September and through to Octember in BC.

It is entirely possible to fish some places that others do not or even consider as being rational places to go let alone wet a line. This is not to avoid the crowds of snaggers that deflower our magnificent fisheries but instead to learn again the wonderment that is found within the adventure. Seeing that the place(s) in question do not even exist within the Provincial regs the adventure of learning about their characteristics with sensitive catch and release technique intrigues me. Also having seen the head waters and electro-fished them and in the knowledge that they still produce fish begs the question;

Can they possibly still have anadromous returns of some of the best species that once ran in great numbers in all their fall time glory?

I will post the actual results and youtube vids of the current state of the streams in question if I survive the adventure.

I am certain that the ecological reserve area is closed but the rest seems to not even be considered be a river any longer within the Province of British Columbia fishing regulations. Therefore unless I am completely miss informed by the current provincial fishing synopsis of the regulations the river does not even exist any longer!

Within this imaginary river chances are there will be some Coho still with sea lice attached moving up to the West Branch and some even moving into the areas in the North East Branch where backhoes and loaders once used their spawning gravel for surfacing the roads to the cut blocks adjacent to the river basin back in the 1970's and 60's.

ALL IS NOT LOST on this imaginary, banished from the earth and forsaken river, as much of the watershed is still somewhat intact and it does not flush like the San Jaun toilet system does when the fall rains come. There are even runs that are not choked off by log jams that flow in a stream like fashion and can hold fish moving to the limited spawning gravel that is left for them to reproduce!

Much like other rivers our industriousness has not completely destroyed what once was and I intend as a birthday present to document and find what is left of these once magnificent West Coast river(s),

Photos and videos to follow for those who actually can understand where and why I am going fishing there!
 
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Discussion Starter #2
The scoop on what is going on this year on a forgotten river.

Rain two weeks ago brought a few coho to the spawning beds on the Klanawa, there are however no Chinook to be seen rolling whatsoever this year. There are some Chinook in other rivers like the Nitinat, the Sarita and a few other major streams however the drought this year has been very severe and the DFO decision to shut down all angling for them is an absolute necessity.

The good news is that angler reports of large numbers of coho and chum waiting to access the rivers are indeed happening. There are good numbers of fresh run coho showing up in the Sarita and the Pachena. The Coho in the Pachena are also being followed by good numbers of anadromous cutts this year as well so there is very good catch and release only fishing opportunities this year on the fly in these rivers:thumbup:



There are areas that could particularly benefit from in-stream restoration of rearing back channels on the Klanawa River. These are easy access areas that could provide reliable pools for summer rearing of large numbers of fish again. Spawning channels gravels and in-stream cover could realistically be re-established on both stems of this river.

One crucial area is centered around 48deg45min52 N 124deg55min09 where spawning gravel has been flushed from the main stem of the West Klanawa and could easily be re-established and the access to the back channels could be cleared and dug down to hold more rearing pool water during the summer.
This area is just below the Gorge creek junction.


The main stem is well established and will not move to the south in this case so the re-established back channels will tolerate small flow diversion without causing erosion and changes in the primary course of the flow as seen on the upper Cowichan River. Where a rearing channel was dug and part of the river was diverted.

Re-establishement of the key rearing habitat on the Klanawa should become a priority project as this river can and did produce large numbers of four principle species. Coho, Chum, Winter and Summer Run Steelhead, and Anadromous Cutthrout Trout. There were even fair numbers of anadromous char but these fish perhaps have become extincted and it might not be possible to return them to this habitat at all.

There are considerable areas in the entire watershed where experiments could be undertaken to shade pool waters on side hill streams that have become far too exposed and lack tall over-stream cover. This historic river could return to a good state of productivity as the river itself has not been subject to extreme blockage and the channels are fairly stable due to the terrain unlike other rivers with wide flood plains like the San Juan/ Gordon system that have been subject to forest cover denuding, road diversion and other insults.

The river is incredibly beautiful still and has a wonderful wilderness appeal it still is fairly stable and real measures to maintain the fishery need to proceed rather than just be a pie in the sky promise as they are now.
 

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Wow , calm looking water Reeman. What is it like when the rains hit ? This looks close to dead low.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wow , calm looking water Reeman. What is it like when the rains hit ? This looks close to dead low.
These pictures were taken on Sunday and the river is at about 40% average flow not as low as I have seen it by any means. I am sure during August the channel of the North fork were at sub-gravel flow levels but the West fork most likely did not go completely sub gravel like the upper San Juan did this year all the way to Chinook season. If the late fall rains are not too extreme then the Coho and Chum runs should be good. And there might be fair numbers of Winter Steelhead showing up in late November through to February.

In several back channels I observed and tried to film fair numbers of decent sized steelhead smolts and coho fry. I did not see any obvious chinook fry. The provincial government should do a survey again next year to establish whether or not any Chinook are left in this system and where the in-stream make up of the river is at. I only managed to get one on a short video shot though of one scooting by LOL. But in the back channels that did not go dry this summer there are still some fair numbers of fry waiting to be released by the winter rains.

In winter season the river will fill the channel much the same as other spate rivers. This river has a larger watershed than the Nitinat main stem and the lower channel is fortunately fairly stable. It is a productive river for a spate river. There is still a reasonable number of Winter Steelhead. It never did support large numbers of Chinook much the same as other similar rivers that are not moderated by lakes during the summer.

Like all spate rivers during extreme flood events the spawning beds do move, however the West Fork is still fairly stable so the rearing habitat should be carefully dealt with and where ever possible protected. I hesitate to use the word enhanced as we are fools to assume that we can do better than nature on streams like these. However carefully considered restoration of back channel rearing areas and work on in-stream cover in some areas should work well.
 
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