The waters off Qualicum Beach was crowded with fish boats Saturday as seiners, gillneters and even a few trollers did their best to get their share of returning Chum salmon.
Department of Fisheries and Oceans resource management co-ordinator for Strait of Georgia salmon, Andrea Goruk said the fishery was opened on Nov. 6 and 7 and included fish returning to the Puntledge, Little Qualicum and Big Qualicum rivers.
“The preliminary catch number for seiners on the weekend was about 300,000 Chum,” she said. “It was a good catch.”
It was so good, in fact, the DFO granted gillnetters an extension to the opening.
“The extension was granted because we had good escapement and they are catching fish and they had a few bad weather days,” she said. “There really wasn’t any reason not to.”
Goruk said the results of the fishery were encouraging.
“It’s looking very good,” she said. “We hit the escapement target on the Puntledge and we met the target on the Big Qualicum. We’re still doing assessments on the Little Qualicum, but it’s looking very positive there as well.”
That, she said, was welcome news in light of the history of the two local waterways.
“The Big and Little Qualicum rivers hadn’t done that well in past years, so it’s nice to see they are getting lots of fish.”
• There’s a particular challenge involved in coming up with a really good meal in the cramped, pitching and rocking galley on a small sailboat. However, that challenge may get a little easier, thanks to a new book released this week.
Meals Ahoy! is written by chef Kelly Kelsick and is designed specifically to help boaters create gourmet, easy to prepare meals while at sea.
Inspired by the author’s many trips across the Pacific Ocean, Meals Ahoy! is a cookbook designed to show that cooking in a boat can be as easy as cooking at home.
From Pacific sushi to spicy shrimp cocktail and Salt Spring Island blue cheese toast, Kelly makes it clear that long-distance boaters don’t have to settle for second best at the meal table when the waves start to rock and roll.