Cowichan River

Discussion in 'Freshwater Fishing Forum' started by golfpro, Dec 30, 2011.

  1. golfpro

    golfpro Member

    Drifted on Wednesday from Stoltz to Vimy and just below Sandy's launch a tree fell accross the river. For those who drifted last year its down in the same spot. Not sure if its still there but boaters be aware. Had to pull the raft around on the gravel.
  2. chevyshaulass

    chevyshaulass Active Member

    thanks for the heads up.
  3. Hyde-N-Seek

    Hyde-N-Seek Member

    Thanks for the report Golfpro, much appreciated :) I think it's a matter of time before the river changes it's course in that area. I won't be surprise if the river eventually cuts the entire bend off and just runs straight through. It's sad considered that area used to one of the best in the river :( Spent many hours there.

  4. eastside

    eastside Member

    We drifted last week and noticed that large tree. Thought it would not be too long before it would be in the river, did not think it would be this soon. Good thing is it is visible from a reasonable distance upriver and one can take appropriate action. Thanks for the heads up. Don't want to be on the list of boats that have been sunk on the Cowie.
  5. onefish

    onefish Member

    Thanks Eastside : )
    Lots of changes once again on the river. Lots of gravel movement around the area of the downed tree also.
  6. Any chance it's going to move anytime soon with the river up like it is? Could a guy get a saw on it?
  7. chevyshaulass

    chevyshaulass Active Member

    ive been told the tree didnt stick long before the high water swung it out of the way.
  8. There's a large cedar tree spanning river above Skutz about 2 km above pull out. You can slide around it now but as the water drops might become difficult. It looks like it should come out pritty easy in the next high water.
  9. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    When was the last year there was a hatchery program for steelhead on the cow?? Is the only reason it was ever stopped funding??
  10. Evenweight

    Evenweight Member

    from what I understand the hatchery fish were there for a put and take fishery and angler such as my self were not keeping the hatchery fish.

  11. adrianna3

    adrianna3 Active Member

    That's what I heard too. People weren't killing the fish.

  12. winephart

    winephart Member

    The Program was deemed as not being cost effective by the Provincial Government. They did a rather bogus creel survey and maintained that less than 30 Hatchery fish were being caught (caught not necessarily Killed) per year by recreational anglers. They hired 3 contract workers to complete the survey over 2 seasons. One fellow was from the nanaimo area and worked his butt off hiking into various spots to interview beach Anglers. The other 2 workers were 2 young girls who weren't wild about bushwacking. They would cruise the parking lot at Sandy Pool and Stoltz Pool hoping to run into anglers. They were quite pleasant but didn't appear keen on working much.

    Long and the short of it is that they claimed that less than 30 fish per year were caught and the brood stock required was 30m wild steelhead. The Chichan Hatchery Steelhead program was never popular with the department head. Some claim that the cancellation was a retirement gift for him. Don't know, hope not! Fact is that drift boat fishermen and pontoon boat fishermen were pretty well ignored . Ther are lots of driftboat fishermen who routinely hooked 30 hatchery fish on their own each year. Last year, I took 8 hatchs from the bank and another 6 from the pontoon.

    I would love to see a return of the program but I doubt it will happen. It has made it really difficult for some of the local guides and may contribute to some poaching.
  13. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info.... I'm new to steelheading but it sure seems like there are lots of anglers, which you'd think would mean a decent amount of support for enhancement. The cowichan wild steelhead are in a stable condition from what I gather but other east coast rivers are in shambles are they not?? Is there progress being made to get these systems back on track??
  14. Blackleech

    Blackleech Member

    Shutting down the hatchery program on the Cowichan was the best thing they ever did IMHO. Hatcheries produce inferior steelhead that spawn with wild fish and mess with the genetics of the wild population. Over time, all of the steelhead in the system will show evidence of inbreeding and the success of the steelhead population becomes dependent on the hatchery. On rivers like the Stamp, the steelhead are so inbred that they would be gone in just a few spawning cycles without the hatchery. The Cowichan still has a relatively healthy wild steelhead population and should be managed as such.
  15. hambone

    hambone Well-Known Member

    Keeping a strong wild strain is completely understandable but what about other rivers like the Nanaimo, Englishman and so on. Are they pretty much a lost cause without a hatchery program being put in place??
  16. sawbill

    sawbill Member

    During those bogus creel yrs we were landing 50 to 100 steelhead per yr per person, with 3 people sampling. Hatchery fish = 17% of catch. Reported maybe 2 fish. He wouldnt except other data. Put my 10 on my license during those yrs easily from the bank.
  17. Fishtofino

    Fishtofino Well-Known Member

    There are no Steelhead in the Cowichan..............move on.

  18. Cut Plug

    Cut Plug Active Member


    Blackleech, I'm confused.

    The Cowichan has had a hatchery program on it for over 20 yrs. Wouldn't the genetics of the fish already be screwed up? Or are the current wild ones just too smart and superior to breed with the inferior, weak, small stupid hatchery ones until some time in the future when hatchery fish may be in the system again? Would the "new" hatchery fish be in some way stealthier and be better able to fool (seduce?) their unsuspecting, pure (well, kind of) wild fish in to breeding with them and thereby destroying the gene pool?

    Help me out here 'casue what you're saying just doesn't make sense.

  19. Fishmyster

    Fishmyster Active Member

    Wild fish nazi-ism, gotta love it! Don't let the inferior race reproduce! lol
  20. winephart

    winephart Member

    Yeah the Cowie had a long time Hatchery program. But they only used wild fish as brood stock and only released hatchery smolts in the river from Skutz falls down. Hence the mid to lower river got the returns.

    Yes there is probably a 20 year history of hatchery and wild interbreeding in the river below skutz. Eggs were fertilized and hatchedin the hatchery and held for about 6 months before being released into the river they then spent about a year in the river before going to sea. During that time they had to learn how to compete for food or they died. They had to learn how to avoid predators or they died. They had to avoid all the dorks fishing the lower river with worms for "hatchery rainbow trout" or else, you guessed it they died. If that sounds like natural selection , it is albeit shortened by 6 months over in river bred steelhead.

    I love that term wild-fish nazi-ism.

    If we only want wild stock salmonids in the Cowichan then we should start by getting rid of all the Brown Trout. They are an invasive species that was introduced in the 20's and 30's. We should get rid of all the Chinook as they have been augmented with strains of NitNat fish and Chemainous river fish. Also we all know that they have been heavily enhanced via the hatchery. Coho have been hatchery enhanced and may not be quite as pure as we'd like. So naturally the Coho must go too. So that only leaves our glorious strain of wild Cowichan Steelhead, and sadly they must go to as somewhere in their history they have probably coexisted with some of those filthy hatchery fish.

    Careful what you ask for.

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