Lower Skeena/tribs late April/early May questions... - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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Lower Skeena/tribs late April/early May questions...

Hey all,

Been away from Speypages for a handful of months- I've sorta been bummed on fishing lately with low returns and high pressure. Feeling the need to self-regulated my impact and not be one of those pillaging the same pools day in day out, week after week. I've certainly done that in the past but I think it'd be cool if we all started self-regulating our impact more to give our fish a better chance. But, I digress. It's just fishing after all and meant for us to enjoy and share while also being responsible citizens and stewards as well

Anyways, I've been invited on a trip outside Haines Alaska for my first love (snowboarding) and I was contemplating bringing some fishing equipment along for my journey back home down the Cassier Hwy. I've never fished B.C. for steel and it's always been on my bucket list. Obviously most folks tend to prefer summer/fall, but I tend to prefer fewer people regardless of lesser odds.

So a few questions for a DIY trip if things line up:

First, for those who either live in the area or have experienced that time of year- How is/was the pressure?

Second, I assume (according to maps) wade access is fairly limited so I'm debating packing my watermaster. Are some of the lower Skeena tribs easy to float? For example, studying maps it looks as though 10-13km above the Kitsumkalum/Skeena confluence there are some decent rapids? I've heard of large logjams on the Kitimat as well. Any areas to avoid due to water hazards?

Lastly, and this might be best answered by locals but how has the winter-run been so far and/or spring-run predictions? 2019 looked to be rough for the entire year in the area. Also, how does the Terrace/Kitimat basin's look for snowpack?

Obviously I'm plying for some intel so feel free to private message me if you prefer, or just tell me to buzz off and maybe wish me luck...

Cheers!

Last edited by Cody Booth; 03-15-2020 at 10:22 AM.
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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 10:12 PM
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Skeena might be closed this year given what's happening with the Gitxan band now after the government is negotiating unceded lands...

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I'd rather be chasing mykiss or salar...
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-04-2020, 11:45 PM
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If they get title, BC Gov. would negotiate that there is no disruption on the territory, like railroad, fishing etc.
All previous closures in the last few years meant nothing and were part of FN negotiation tactics. I would not be surprised that part of fees ( like classified water ) Gov. collects will go to FN.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 11:08 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrx_canoe View Post
Skeena might be closed this year given what's happening with the Gitxan band now after the government is negotiating unceded lands...
Quote:
Originally Posted by bolen View Post
If they get title, BC Gov. would negotiate that there is no disruption on the territory, like railroad, fishing etc.
All previous closures in the last few years meant nothing and were part of FN negotiation tactics. I would not be surprised that part of fees ( like classified water ) Gov. collects will go to FN.
I've not seen any updated closures or regulation changes in the area for this time period. Are they typically updated on BC's freshwater fishing reg page and highlighted in "red"? I do see closures for some of the water I'm looking at for July 1 - Aug 31, which was updated in July 2019. Obviously its my responsibility to know the regs, but sometimes its tough to decipher these "foreign" websites. Thanks
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody Booth View Post
I've not seen any updated closures or regulation changes in the area for this time period. Are they typically updated on BC's freshwater fishing reg page and highlighted in "red"? I do see closures for some of the water I'm looking at for July 1 - Aug 31, which was updated in July 2019. Obviously its my responsibility to know the regs, but sometimes its tough to decipher these "foreign" websites. Thanks
I am a very long way from being an expert on this, but my interpretation is that any closure is likely to effect the fall steelhead season on the Skeena and tribs above Terrace, similar to last year. It sounded as though you'd be fishing below Terrace on the spring steelhead streams so I don't *think* this would impact your trip. But please don't take my word for it!

I was planning on fishing BC this fall, but I've not booked anything yet because the picture is so unclear. I'm good friends with the Bulkley but I wanted to experience the Kispiox, Morice and possibly that weird bit on the Babine you can drive to. Booking flights and then finding out I can't really fish half the water I wanted to would be a bit of a bummer. Not to mention the increase of pressure on the bits that are still open. So I'm keeping my powder dry for now and a weather eye out for any updates.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 02:44 PM
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Just to add, the official Gov notice is here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sp...eclaration.pdf

And a map of traditional territory here: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/sp..._fisheries.pdf
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-05-2020, 10:45 PM
The Skeena in the fall
 
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I’ll be on the Skeena Aug 30-Sept 8.
It will be open.
All the noise is about land claims and above all money.
No one is closing the Skeena for fishing because of FN issues
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-09-2020, 12:22 PM
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To give you some actual answers to help..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cody Booth View Post
Hey all,

First, for those who either live in the area or have experienced that time of year- How is/was the pressure?
It can be very busy, to quiet. Its very dependent on the year, the week you're there and where you're fishing. It's typically quieter then the fall, however if stuff blows out you'll get stuck fishing some stuff that may have more people around. There is less water to move people around to, as well.


Quote:
Second, I assume (according to maps) wade access is fairly limited so I'm debating packing my watermaster. Are some of the lower Skeena tribs easy to float? For example, studying maps it looks as though 10-13km above the Kitsumkalum/Skeena confluence there are some decent rapids? I've heard of large logjams on the Kitimat as well. Any areas to avoid due to water hazards?
Wade access can be limited, but you can walk in most places for some good runs.
You do not want to float the kalum in the canyon. It's not a rapid, its a canyon. There are two distinct portions of the Kalum upstream and downstream of it. You can only float the section upstream if you get access across private land to pull your boat out (not gonna happen).

For other access, go talk to Fish Tales in town, and make sure you ask for any logjams on the Kalum or Kitimat. There was a mean one on the kitimat the last few years that you cant see from the launch that was swamping boats.


Quote:
Lastly, and this might be best answered by locals but how has the winter-run been so far and/or spring-run predictions? 2019 looked to be rough for the entire year in the area. Also, is it true the Terrace/Kitimat basin's are experiencing a lower snowpack than normal (it's low up in Haines which could cancel my plans), but I'm more curious for spring runoff potential.

Cheers!

Too early to tell what the run is, but based on last fall, probably not great. Pretty much the trick with skeena is just going and hoping for good conditions. Can be the best run on record but if the water conditions are crap, the fishing will be marginal.

You can find snowpack info with some googling. Skeena/Nass is at 93% of normal..so pretty average snowpack year
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 08:32 PM
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There is an interesting read on the subject at https://steelheadvoices.com/?p=1957
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2020, 09:02 PM
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There is an interesting read on the subject at https://steelheadvoices.com/?p=1957

Bob Hooton should stop writing his notes as they are fool of anger and hate ( sounds familiar…….??)

Waste by FN happens time to time, this are extreme examples like an example of an angler not handing Steelhead properly.

For example, when being former head /biologist in BC i , he set up Morice Town recapture. So instead FN gill netting they are running 5-6 times a day a very short , SMALL MESH, net and swipe over small area is quick and short. All Steelhead are released.

The stress Steelhead experience is far smaller than fighting at the end of fly line. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and recapture is dome only doing day light and affects a small portion of Steelhead.

Now he does not like it............The alternative would be FN gill-netting everting as they have right to do so.

Every year he shows photos of gill-net boat run by FN in the mouth of Skeena. Every year there are 2-3 opinings for FN and typically only 2-4 boats participate each day.

For comparison, when Sockeye run is good ( have not been for the last 3 years) that are 5-8 commercial openings and each has 120-160 boats, spread from the mouth up to 3-5 km into the Pacific !!!!!!!!!!!!!!.

As we can see, any impact of FN ( 2-4 boats/ 2-3 openings) is marginal at best. Still Bob write about is as if is a major impact. Even if FN run few boats few times a season when Steelhead run is weak, they catch is proportional to Steelhead run intensity , so at best 1 Steelhead is landed per boat / per day.


Hate and anger of Bob crates that worst messaging one can get.

BTW, this type of proposal has been submitted by FN during the last several years.
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 10:36 AM
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 02:22 PM
The Skeena in the fall
 
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Interesting article.
The governance of the Gitxsan nation is confusing between elected chiefs and hereditary chiefs.
Suggest the position on sports fishing is really about who controls the land, the river, and the fish and who gets the money.
Recently we had federal and provincial reps negotiating a deal with the Gitxsan about a natural gas pipeline.
The details of the deal have not been made public.
Hopefully fish didn’t get traded off against the pipeline.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2020, 03:41 PM
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You should try living up here, it gets more confusing everyday. Especially when the the First Nation membership don't know what is going on with there own leadership. And most of them are just trying to get by like the rest of us. And everybody is trying to get there share of the resource, the fish. And they are suffering for it .
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2020, 01:31 AM
The Skeena in the fall
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fisher54 View Post
You should try living up here, it gets more confusing everyday. Especially when the the First Nation membership don't know what is going on with there own leadership. And most of them are just trying to get by like the rest of us. And everybody is trying to get there share of the resource, the fish. And they are suffering for it .
I lived in Terrace and spent lots of time around Kitwanga and the Hazeltons as well.
Got to know many Gitxsan over the years.
I have faith common sense will prevail over time and have faith the steelhead will survive too.
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-13-2020, 11:27 AM
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Hey Cody..an easy one day drift on a smaller trib. is the Morice River west of Houston.
The drift is fairly straight forward as far as navigation and water conditions.I drifted from Lamprey Creek Rec. Site to Owens Flats.However I discovered that that distance didnt allow for good fishing time.If one was to put in approximately half way between Lamprey and the junction of Morice WEST Forestry Service Rd. and Morice Forestry Service Rd.,I believe that would provide plenty of time to fish

hope this is usefull
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