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.

Tofino Fishing Report - December 2016

Tofino Fishing Report - December 2016

I carefully lift my left foot from it’s secure position and allow the nagging current of the river to carry it further downstream. The felt sole of my wading boot bounces along the tops of the boulders at the bottom of the unseen depths, blindly searching for the next foothold. Once firmly in place, the right leg follows same and I reestablish my balance within the rivers rhythm.

With my left hand I strip the running line in, coiling it in my fingers, and sweep the rod through a practiced, calculated motion. On the forward cast the rod arcs and the wonderful physics of inertia send a long and accurate line across the river. I enjoy the simple beauty of this effort, admiring how the bright, colourful line forms a loop and carries the fly to land in a likely spot within the braided currents where fish are known to hold. The fly settles, sinks, and begins it’s swing across the river, probing unchecked depths for the promise of another fish.

While I wait patiently for a bite to come the rhythms of this wild place envelope me. The river is an instrument of boundless composition. When coupled with the sounds of the forest, it’s creatures, and the weather that moves above a great symphony of wilderness provides an invigorating soundtrack for much needed meditation.

Life on the Edge

Life on the Edge

Tofino’s Unique Coastal Wolves Carve Out a Living

As one of Canada’s premier tourism destinations, we are partly dependent on wildlife. Wolves are no doubt a highlight of a visitor’s wildlife experience in Clayoquot Sound. Not only do wolves hold deep ecological and intrinsic value, but for a community like Tofino, they also hold economic value. We as community members and business owners have a responsibility to ensure their survival. Wolves are revered by First Nations and are emblematic of kinship, and the “wild”. The howl of a wolf below a full, west coast moon, is as unforgettable as the call of a lion in Africa; yet, for decades, wolves have been persecuted from every angle. It is time to adapt our behaviors and perspectives in order to coexist with wolves.
 
This year we have had 16 days with wolf sightings, so far. We have seen wolves swim the channel, scout the shoreline, call for their mates, eat a bear carcass and confront a sow with her cubs. This is as it should be--rare and spectacular!
 
Clayoquot Sound has had its fair share of human-wildlife conflicts and the summer of 2016 was no exception. These are most often “human problems” as we increase pressures on animal habitat. Human-food habituated wolves living on Vargas Island, just north of Tofino, had learned to break into kayak hatches in search of food. While it had been an accepted practice to store food in hatches, it was apparent this had to change.
 

Tofino Fishing Report – November 2016

Tofino Fishing Report – November 2016

It’s been a wet, wild headlong slog into fall this season thanks to a more traditional return to La Nina weather patterns. A constant parade of southeasterly gales has buffeted our coast, negating any real chances of a foray or two offshore in hopes of landing a late season salmon or halibut. While offshore saltwater fishing hasn’t been an option for the past while, these storms have brought a steady supply of rain to our local watersheds and that has created fantastic conditions for freshwater fishing.

The rivers are literally teeming with fish this November. Most of the chinook and coho salmon are now well on their way to finishing their spawning run, but several river systems have excellent runs of chum salmon that are still fresh from the ocean and eager to test anglers skill on fly or light tackle. Chum salmon offer fantastic sport and should be considered one of the hardest fighting fish in our local rivers. Often topping twenty pounds, these magnificently coloured fish will pounce on a fly or spoon swung through the depths of a favourite pool. Anglers targeting chums are well advised to use fifteen or twenty pound test leaders as these fish are dogged fighters and sport a mouth full of nasty choppers that are quite adept at sawing through light lines.