Fishing in Courtenay’s Puntledge River is a telltale sign of autumn.
On a sunny Thursday afternoon, fishers were scattered around the river on both sides of the Condensory Bridge.
According to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Puntledge was once renowned by sports fishermen for its “two vigorous races of chinook salmon.” The Puntledge River Hatchery boasted summer and fall runs, as well as significant numbers of other salmon species and steelhead trout. The hatchery was constructed to save these chinook from extinction, and to rebuild other species to healthy levels. Recently, strong Puntledge River chum returns have attracted large numbers of recreational fishers from across Vancouver Island.
The Puntledge River Hatchery hosts an open house from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20.
For salmon limits, openings and closures, visit bit.ly/2lscXY7
Photos by Scott Stanfield