Tofino Fishing Report – March 2017

Tofino Fishing Report – March 2017

Jenny Mustard, my young and boundlessly energetic golden retriever, is eyeballing me in exasperation as I type this report. She’s perched on a nearby cushion, head thrown over the back of the couch, moaning and barking in the direction of the woods outside as if to say “Dad, it’s a nice day out there. Please get off the stupid computer and lets go outside and fish.”

Jenny Mustard has proven herself to be a dependable fishing companion over the past year since she made the journey over the Rocky Mountains, across the Salish Sea and down the emerald river valleys to Tofino. She’s mastered the art of saltwater fishing since she arrived on the coast, and includes trolling, jigging, and hauling traps for crabs and prawns in her repertoire. She will chastise me with her growling and barking if the action is slow, and closely inspect all manner of species to ensure their quality and quantity when we indeed manage a catch. Her watchful eye comes in handy when sea lions and whales are about, though thankfully she has firmly given up jumping overboard in pursuit of them - particularly when the boat is running at full speed...

Guardians of the Coast: An evening with Chris Darimont

Guardians of the Coast: An evening with Chris Darimont

Join us for a memorable evening rich with stories, science, and stunning images. This passionate talk will celebrate all who safeguard our precious coast. Chris Darimont will guide us into the Great Bear Rainforest - where cedar trees date to the Middle Ages, black bears can be white, and wolves are considered marine mammals. Be inspired by powerful alliances of people, led by Indigenous communities, who have stood tall against habitat destruction, Big Oil, and trophy hunting in the GBR. Lessons learned there could help us tackle new threats now facing other areas of our priceless coast.

Gray Whales – A Magnificent Journey

Gray Whales – A Magnificent Journey

The Tla-o-qui-aht word for whale is Ihtuup. “Ih” means “really big” and “tuup” means “animal” or “creature”. Very soon we will be welcoming back a “REALLY BIG CREATURE”, our migrating Gray Whales! After wintering in the warm water lagoons of Baja California, Mexico, 18 to 24,000 whales will pass our BC shores towards the summer feeding grounds of the Bering, Chuckchi and Beaufort Seas. This 15-20,000 km round-trip migration is one of the longest known mammalian migrations.

Here in Tofino, we are fortunate to enjoy them within 5-km of shore and in shallow waters. Not all whales complete the migration north and instead spend their summer feeding in our local waters. These are what we fondly refer to as our “summer residents”. Gray Whales mostly feed in shallow areas using their baleen to strain out small invertebrates from the soft muddy bottom. Gray Whales can also be seen during summer months feeding on herring eggs and larvae found in eel grass beds.

Tofino Fishing Report – February 2017

Tofino Fishing Report – February 2017

Most of Canada begrudgingly feeds their wood stoves, scrapes their windshields free of ice, and chews Robaxacet for breakfast after long mornings of shovelling snow in February.  I pity my fellow countrymen for having to endure such an inhospitable existence at this time of year.  The promise of fishing in most places across our northern homeland in the dead of winter means slogging through knee-deep snow drifts and chiseling the door open on an ice fishing shack to auger through seven inches of snow and ice.  Brrrrrrr…you can have it I say.  

Here in Tofino we’re pretty fortunate (some would say lucky) to have more milder winter temperatures to enjoy.  It might be wet and windy, but it’s a rare day indeed when I can’t pull on my rain gear and head out to enjoy one of the many winter fisheries that we have available within striking distance of town.  

Most visitors are surprised when I tell them that our saltwater salmon fishing is fantastic during February.  One look offshore from one of our many beaches towards tumultuous, white-capped seas often raises an eyebrow or two, but once I tell them that all of our winter salmon fishing happens in calm, protected inshore waters free from open ocean swells their faces usually brighten....

 

Orca Communities in a Fragile Environment

Orca Communities in a Fragile Environment

Orca communities form different species or ecotypes, each with unique acoustic behaviors, feeding habits and prey preferences. Occasionally, the range of these different orca overlaps but they never interbreed and they rarely interact. Orca are top predators and unfortunately they accumulate pollutants that are transferred through the food web which become stored in their blubber and can be passed along to nursing young.

In the northern hemisphere we have three ecotypes: Offshores, Transient Orca, and Resident Orca.