WELTZ: Much controvesry on Thompson River

Jeff Weltz explores some of the debate happening on the Thompson River

In last week’s column I wrote about our famous Thompson River. While noted as a one-of-a-kind fishery, it is also a river of much controversy.

At best the Thompson is open to fishing six months, at worst, three. Of those possible six months, a classified waters permit and steelhead licence are required to fish the last three months, even if you intend to release all your fish. The reason for these extra fees, is the dangerously low number of returning steelhead trout. One would think that these extra fees would be used to fund steelhead enhancement and restoration; they are not.

The topic of enhancing this fishery, with hatchery produced trout and steelhead, is the source of much-heated debate. One side consists of persons who live along and derive their income from the Thompson River. These folks would like to see enhancement, along with an expanded fishing season, since 60 per cent of their annual revenue is generated by sport fishermen. The other side is defiantly against enhancement, claiming that hatchery produced fish would pollute the

gene pool with weaker and less hardy fish, and create a substandard species, which would ruin this heritage fishery.

Somewhere between the rhetoric pandered by both sides is the answer. I personally believe that with all the science available today and success shown in other rivers, a workable middle ground can be found.

When it is, we will see the Thompson restored to all her former glory.

 

The Report

Our Lower Mainland lakes are fishing fair to slow. For wet (sinking) fly trout fishing try: Coachman, Zulu, Wooly Bugger, Dragonfly Nymph, Damsel Nymph, Sixpack, Doc Spratley, Pumpkinhead, or Baggy Shrimp. For evening dry (floating) fly trout fishing try: Tom Thumb, Irresistible, Royal Coachman, Renegade, Elk hair Caddis, Black Gnat, Griffith Gnat, or Lady McConnel. For kokanee try: Red Ibis, Double Trude, Blood Worm, San Juan Worm, Red Spratley, or Red Carey. For bass try: Zonker, Clouser’s Deep Minnow, Lefty’s Deceiver, Dolly Whacker, Big Black, Wooly Bugger, Foam Frog, Poppers, Chernobyl Ant, or Crayfish. For panfish try: Wooly Bugger, Micro Leach, Bucktail, Dolly Whacker, Bloodworm, Chironomid, Poppers, Turks Tarantula, Tom Thumb or Irresistible.

Fishing on our interior lakes is good. For wet fly fishing try: Chironomid, Halfback, 52 Buick, Pumpkinhead, Big Black, Micro Leach, Coachman, Green Spratley, Damsel nymph, Dragon nymph, Carey Special, Souboo, Sixpack, or Baggy Shrimp. For Dry fly fishing try: Lady McConnel, Black Gnat, Double Hackled Peacock, Griffith Gnat, Black Gnat, Elk Haired Caddis, Irresistible, Sofa Pillow, or Tom Thumb.

The Fraser is fishing slow for cutthroat, dolly varden, and spring. For cutthroat try: Rolled Muddler, Professor, Anderson Stone, Zulu, American Coachman, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Black Gnat, Chez Nymph, and Irresistible. For dolly varden try: Zonker, Eggo, Clouser’s Minnow, Big Black, or Dolly Whacker, in sizes 4 and 8. For spring try: lead-heading with size 4 to 2, Eggo, Big Black, Flat Black, Wooly Bugger, Kaufmann Stone, Squamish Poacher, or Red Spratley.

The Harrison is fair for cutthroat.

The Vedder is slow to fair for rainbow, and cutthroat. For rainbow try: Kaufmann Stone, Big Black, Black Gnat, Souboo, Zulu, Renegade, Tom Thumb, Chernobyl Ant, Foam Hopper, or Irresistible.

The Thompson closes Oct 1.