HomeFeaturesDeparture Bay & Nanaimo Harbour Open for Pink Salmon

Departure Bay & Nanaimo Harbour Open for Pink Salmon

Some good news today, as per fishery notice (FN0824), pink salmon are open in Departure Bay, and Nanaimo Harbour until September 30, 2019. The limit is 4 per day, but be advised that this area is limited to single barbless hooks.

The DFO is also advising that there be no interception of Chinook salmon or they will close the fishery. When generally targeting pink salmon, think small pink hoochies with short leaders (i.e. 24 in) and spoons. Also remember, foul hooking is also considered illegal. Think pink!

As a reminder, here’s some info on what to look for when fishing for ‘humpies’.

How to Identify Pink Salmon

  • Large spots on back
  • Smallest species
  • In freshwater, pronounced hump on male
  • Maturity: 2 years


  • Large oval spots on both lobes of tail
  • No silver on V-shaped tail

  • Mouth is white with black gum
  • No ‘teeth’ on tongue


Fishery notice released August 22, 2019 is as follows:

Effective immediately until 23:59 hours September 30, 2019, the daily limit for Pink Salmon is four (4) per day with zero (0) retention for other species of salmon in the following areas:

That portion of 17-13 in Departure Bay westerly of a line running from 49 degrees 12.600’N, 123 degrees 57.350’W near the Pacific Biological Station, to the light on Brandon Island 49 degrees 12.427’N and 123 degrees 57.571’W to the most westerly BC Ferry dock located at approximately 49 degrees 11.672’N and 123 degrees 57.372’W.

That portion of 17-14 in Nanaimo Harbour shoreward of a line from the end of the most southerly dock located at the Nanaimo Yacht Club (49 degrees 10.614’N and 123 degrees 56.336’W) to the Pedestrian Fishing Pier (Crab Dock) located at Swy-a-lana Lagoon (49 10.264’N and 123 56.051’W).

Note: The area open for Pink Salmon retention reverts to a fin-fish closure from October 1 to October 25, 2019.

Regulations for this area are for a single barbless hook (hook having a single point) with a 15 mm or less hook to shank measurement.

Anglers are further reminded of the following:

– This opening is for Pink Salmon ONLY, and it is important that fishers follow the rules for this fishery to avoid interception of Chinook salmon. If there is interception or the rules are not followed this fishery will be closed on short notice.

– Reminder of fishing ethics that intentionally (wilfully) foul-hooking fish or attempting to foul hook fish is illegal and that non-compliance may result in closure. (Foul hook is defined as: hooking a fish in any part of its body other than the mouth).

Disclaimer: Charts presented are not for navigational purposes, there are provided as visuals and based on the DFO waypoints.


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