| Gulf Islands
St. Mary Lake,
near the north end of Saltspring
Island, is an anomaly. There are few freshwater lakes on any of
the Gulf Islands, and St. Mary Lake is large enough to hold the rest
of them put together.
Mary Lake Salt Spring Island
Stocked with trout and smallmouth bass, the St. Mary Lake is reached
from a small beach and boat launch at the junction of Upper and Lower
Ganges Roads and Vesuvius Bay Road. Powerboats are not permitted on
the lake, except those with electric motors.
Owing to the strength of the tidal currents coursing through Active
Pass between Mayne Island
and Galiano Island, there
are plenty of nutrients in the water to attract marine life. Salmon
feed in these waters, although in recent years the large chinook have
all but disappeared. It's not as easy to purchase fresh seafood on
the islands as you might imagine. Most islanders do their own crabbing
and shrimping, but at Horton Bay on Mayne Island, you may find
such delicacies for sale.
the availability is seasonal, stop by the federal dock between 4pm
and 6pm and look for a vendor selling seafood. For more information
on fishing in the waters of Active Pass around Mayne and Galiano Islands
there are two marine services in Miners Bay on Mayne Island; and you
can chat to the folks at the Corner Store, in Sturdies Bay on Galiano
East Point Regional Park on Saturna Island
is a good place to spin cast for salmon that feed in back eddies created
by the swirling currents. One of the best places to begin a boating
fishing trip in the Gulf Islands is from Silva Bay at the south
end of Gabriola Island. The
nearby Flat Top Islands are a guaranteed hotspot to mooch for
salmon. It's hard to keep a secret. You can tell where the fish are
biting by looking to see where boats are congregating.
The waters around Quadra Island
have yielded some of the largest salmon ever caught on BC's west coast.
Although much of the activity is centred in nearby Campbell
River on Vancouver Island, there's plenty of action around Quadra,
particularly at Quathiaski Cove, where the ferry linking Quadra Island
and Campbell River docks.
Boaters must be extremely cautious in the waters of Discovery Passage.
Anglers congregate in the waters off Cape Mudge, Copper Bluffs, April
Point, and at the entrance to Quathiaski Cove around Grouse Island.
Good fishing is also found in the protected waters around Rebecca
Spit Marine Provincial Park, where a popular public boat ramp
Inland on Quadra
Island, Main Lake Provincial Park encompasses
six freshwater lakes. Cutthroat trout are numerous in Village Bay
Lake, Mine Lake, and Main Lake, which are connected
by narrow, shallow marshes navigable by canoes and dinghies only.
Other lakes can be reached via rough, user-created portage routes.
A sandy bottom boat launch is available for small boats. A 7.5kw (10hp)
restriction is in place on Main Lake and Mine Lake, as well as outside
the park on Village Bay Lake. An electric-motors-only restriction
is in place on Little Main Lake, Stramberg and Clear Lake.
Parks Ranger Boat, Main Lake, Quadra Island
The wealth of
the salmon fishery in Discovery Passage between Campbell River and
Quadra Island is so legendary that a special ritual has grown up
around it over the past century. Called tyee fishing, this method
has stringent requirements, but success buys instant membership
in the exclusive Tyee Club of BC, the oldest fishing club
in BC. Tyee is the appellation given a chinook (king) salmon when
its weight exceeds 30 pounds (13.5 kg). Anglers must abide by regulations
that stipulate a minimum catch weight of 30 pounds, hooked with
an artificial single-hook lure fastened to a maximum 20-pound (9-kg)
test line. Oh, and you have to be in a rowboat. Considering the
size of an average tyee, make sure it's a big rowboat! The official
weigh-in station is at the Tyee Club House beside the boat launch
on Tyee Spit, east of Hwy 19 on Spit Road in Campbell River. The
rowing season is open between August 15 and September 15, and at
first light and last light the Tyee Pool is filled with rowboats
quietly stalking the prized Tyee.