Kyuquot Beach House 2024 Fishing Outlook

The short version of this outlook is that fishing should be productive in the waters around Kyuquot in 2024. It always seems to be that way, even though some years are better than others, but there are some data driven factors that support this optimistic thought. The managing authority, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), in early January released its own preliminary Salmon Outlook, with stocks categorized on a scale of 1 (poor) to 4 (abundant). For the stocks of salmon important to the recreational fishery in Areas 26/126, all are predicted to be abundant, or nearly so.

Most important are chinook salmon, with returns to the major enhanced rivers on the west coast of Vancouver Island (Conuma River in Nootka Sound, Robertson Creek/Stamp River in Barclay Sound and the Nitinat) all identified as a category 4. These stocks provide a large majority of the catch along the shoreline near Kyuquot and it’s worth noting that, for the third year in a row, in 2023 Beach House boats didn’t head offshore at all for salmon fishing. There was simply no need to, a savings of travel time with generally greater comfort fishing closer to home.

Particularly in the past half dozen years, Beach House boats have specialized in fishing for coho with light gear, mostly fishing with surface flies. Once the coho move to the inshore rocks where the juvenile herring congregate, this provides an opportunity to have about the most fun imaginable with a rod in hand, watching these fish swirl behind the fly before it gets hammered. For 2024 the WCVI coho stock aggregate is rated as a category 3 (average to near abundant) which once again will allow for the retention of wild coho inside the management surfline; hatchery origin coho, identified by a missing adipose fin will be open for retention everywhere.

Halibut are managed under treaty with the US in the northeast Pacific Ocean and in late January the International Pacific Halibut Commission ( ) held its annual meeting. Based on data from stock assessment surveys conducted throughout their range in 2023, the decision was made to reduce harvest coastwide by 4.5%, however this should have little practical effect on sport fishing for these prized fish in Kyuquot in the season ahead. The 2012 year class saw the largest spawn in some years before or since and these fish are now 25 – 30 pounds, making up a substantial portion of the overall halibut abundance. Fishing should be good!

There are no forecasts associated with the other fish anglers at the Beach House like to target – lingcod. While it is true that the near shore rockpiles were a little less productive in 2023 compared to previous years, we found good numbers of lingcod trolling on the surrounding gravel banks. What could account for this distribution shift remains an unknown but one way or another the prospects for catching these tasty fish are good.

Underpinning this productive fishing is an abundance of different bait. In recent years the WCVI herring stock, that which spawns along the shore line there in the spring, has been on the upswing, meaning that by early summer there are large schools of juvenile herring scattered along the rocks. Often these are accompanied by juvenile needlefish, a once dominant local baitfish that is in recovery mode following the effects of the “blob” warm water event about ten years ago. And most noticeably once again in 2023 was the persistent presence of opal squid in the shallows close to town – and boy-oh-boy, do chinook love these critters! From early July into mid-August and based on squid abundance, there was consistent chinook fishing in shallow water close to home, doesn’t get much better than that!

All the signs point to another great summer season of fishing near Kyuquot in 2024, hopefully you will choose to join the Beach House crew!