Freshwater Fish

Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Island, BC
Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Island, BC, photo by Bud Logan

Big Mouth Bass

Big Mouth Bass, Vancouver Island, BCBig Mouth Bass is a native fish species in eastern North America but is an invasive species in BC. They are becoming a major problem in lakes and rivers throughout the province. This fish is to blame for the declines and local extinctions of several small prey fish. Read More….



Brown Trout

Brown Trout, Vancouver Island, BCThe brown trout is closely related to the salmon with the same long, narrow, compressed body and long head. Torpedo shaped and meant for speed. A rounded snout and a pronounced hook develop on the lower jaw in mature males. Read More….





Crayfish, Vancouver Island, BCCrayfish have two pairs of sensory antennae and a pair of eyes on movable stalks. The appendages of the thorax include four pairs of walking legs which, as well as walking, are used to probe cracks and crevices between rocks looking for food. Crayfish also own one pair of claw-bearing legs, which extends in front of its body while moving. Read More….



Cutthroat Trout

Cutthroat Trout, Vancouver Island, BCThe cutthroat has a short conical head with a somewhat pointed to rounded snout and a rather large mouth with well-developed teeth on both jaws. One of the main color characteristics is two orange to red lines in the skin folds of each side of the lower jaw. Read More….



Dolly Varden

Dolly Varden Trout, Vancouver Island, BCOften confused with trout, Dolly Varden is really a char. To tell a char from a trout, look at their spots, char have light spots on a dark body, while trout have dark spots on a light body. Dolly Varden usually spent a portion of their lives at sea, but some may choose to remain in freshwater if they have access to a large, productive lake or river. Read More….



Freshwater Mussels

Freshwater Mussels, Vancouver Island, BCFreshwater Mussels are quite sedentary and do not move very far during their adult lives. But these humble creatures can ascend waterfalls when they are newborns. The young attach to unwitting fish that carry them to new places in a watershed, over waterfalls, across lakes, and up and down rivers. They can live for more than 100 years. Read More….



Freshwater Perch

Freshwater Perch, Vancouver Island, BCPerch grow slowly but can live for nine or 10 years. Fresh Water Perch can be found in many lakes on Vancouver Island. Dougan Lake on Southern Vancouver Island is loaded with these fish, if you stick your toes in, the little minnow perch will come right up and nibble on them. Read More….




Leeches, Vancouver Island, BCHistory portrays leeches as blood-sucking creatures with a lousy reputation. But if you trace their roots back to medieval times when leeches were used for medicinal purposes, a practice that is still in use today, you will see that they have not always been thought of as demon creatures. Read More….



Rainbow Trout

Rainbow Trout, Vancouver Island, BCThe pacific northwest region has an abundance of rainbow trout in its rivers and lakes. I have fished over most of the coast over the years and I find that the rainbow trout is by far the best fighter of them all. They like fast-running cold streams. Read More….




Small Mouth Bass

Smallmouth Bass, Vancouver Island, BCThe Small Mouth Bass is a freshwater fish that is found in the lakes and rivers of southern Vancouver Island but is very uncommon on the North Island. They are quite pretty. These bass are warm-water fish species, usually found in rocky and sandy areas of lakes and rivers in moderately shallow water and near rocks of shoals or submerged logs. Read More….



Steelhead Trout

Steelhead Trout, Vancouver Island, BCThe steelhead has the same general appearance as other rainbow trout, particularly when young. The adult has a streamlined, torpedo-like body shape. When fresh from the sea, they are usually very bright silver. As they approach spawning a pink to red lateral line appears that extends over the gill covers then gradually they darken to a dull grey or brown. Read More….



Brown Trout, Vancouver Island, BC
Brown Trout, Vancouver Island, BC.

Vancouver Island has many lakes and rivers, and they all have fish. Some like Cameron lake have lunkers that can reach 7 kilos in weight. Some Island rivers like the salmon and gold river have steelhead runs that contain fish that can weigh as much as 16 kilos. The Cowichan River has brown trout that can reach up to 6 kilos. Most of the rivers and lakes have fish more in the range of 30 to 40 cm in length. So grab your rod, put on your boots, and try your luck, the fresh air will do you good.

Most good fishing areas have campsites that are available, some are full campgrounds with fire pits, tables, and boat launches, others can be very rustic. But camping is fun at any of them.

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