Haida Gwaii salmon fishing

Catch and Release Practices in Haida Gwaii

The most thrilling part of fishing is that great battle between man and fish. It can sometimes even take an hour—or more—to get that salmon out of the water, if you’ve got a monster Tyee on the other end.

But what happens once you’ve brought it into the boat?

At Escott Sportfishing, though our guests retain a good number of their catches, we also practice a lot of catch and release. Whether that’s because a Tyee deserves to live another day and spread its monster genes, or the salmon you’ve brought in is too small to keep (less than 45 cm for Chinook and 30 cm for Coho), or you’ve already reached your day’s quota of fish (four per person), there are many reasons for putting the day’s catches back into the waters of Haida Gwaii.

When you choose Escott for your Haida Gwaii fishing trip, you can rest assured our guides will make sure the fish are put back into their watery home in the safest manner possible.

There are a few ways we do this.

First off, we always use barbless hooks. This is actually required by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, as it ensures the salmon sustains minimal damage, since these hooks are easy to remove.

The next order of business is getting the salmon back into the water as quickly as possible. Because although we’re big fans of our Grady White boats, the fish are less so. There’s always time to get a photo op in—to make sure no one can doubt the tale of the Chinook you caught that was this big—but we try to keep handling of the fish to a minimum, making sure to keep both human hands and the fish’s body wet.

After all the snapshots are taken and your angling legacy is documented, we put the salmon back into the water. After a few moments held under the surface, letting water flow through its gills, the fish will be revived back into the fighter that took so much effort to reel in in the first place.

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