Fishing forum > Amdromedous King Salmon in Chile, in BC?

Author Topic: Amdromedous King Salmon in Chile, in BC?
patagonia robert

It's winter so I hope you don't mind me asking a question to your members about their salmon knowledge. I own a fly fishing lodge in the Chilean Patagonia, in a region that reminds me a lot of the B.C. coast. King Salmon were introduced in our primarily fishery the Rio Yelcho a little over a decade ago. These fish come into the fresh water from December through February in small numbers like steelhead. Then they run in numbers to spawn in early March through mid to late April. (by the way the average size of the fish are incredible. Last year we had about a dozen die hard fly-fishers drop their six weights for a conventional salmon rod and about a third of them landed a fish in the 50 lb. class) My (American) guides from Alaska say they have never seen anything like this before, and scratch their heads. I am curious if this is a complete anomaly, or has anyone noted such an occurance in isolated situations?
fisher 696

It seems to me that you have an introduced species that won't have the same natural predation as it's long distance cousins. The average size around here would be about 25 lbs. My biggest spring, AKA king, has been 53 lbs. This size of fish is becoming rare. With the declining stocks and all the other natural factors, we may lose our fishery. It's nice to see that they won't be extinct all together, although it makes for a looooong cast if we want to catch them.

If you keep killing fish that size you'll soon have none left, Chinook are notorious for dieing after being caught in fresh water even if released as gently as possible.
Eastern Fisherman

It's possible you're seeing such large salmon due to how they have adapted to these rivers. In some parts of BC salmon will stay in the ocean for an extra year or two in comparison to the "norm" and as a result go from the typical 25-30lb adult to a huge 50-75lbs. In some area like River's Inlet in BC this happens more often, and you see a greater amount of 50lb+ fish. It's similar to how you get "jack" Chinook, the little guys that return a year or two early and tend to be about half or less than the regular mature fish.
patagonia robert

Thank you for the thoughts and observations. To my knowledge, there is no one studying these fish. I have an American expatriate neighbor that has lived on the river long before the salmon were introduced and he has slowly observed the kings over the last dozen years become viable. The last three years the fish numbers have increased markedly. I'm no salmon biologist, but our lodge does have the ear of people that can create law/policy regarding the fish. Now there is just simply a fishing season with catch limits. I certainly would like to do all that Chaiten Lodge can to preserve this fishery. If you have knowledge to offer or contacts you could forward our information to that would be great. If advice comes from a person with initials after their name, the Chileans tend to at least listen. Anyone can contact me at

A Silver Salmon P.S.: According to Chilean biologist and locals, this same river has a silver salmon run, too. The fish run in September just like in the North. They changed hemispheres but kept their old clock. Our guides have never seem one in the river, and the fish are taken only by a couple of locals for food as allowed by Chilean Law. There is currently no sport fishing season for the silver salmon in this region.

Fishing forum > Amdromedous King Salmon in Chile, in BC?


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