British Columbia

North Shore anglers warned about river hazards after heavy rainfall

Fire officials and longtime fishermen are concerned tourists and new anglers often aren't aware of the dangers of fishing on the Capilano river after a heavy rainfall.

Warning comes following 2nd rescue from the Capilano River in less than a year at the same spot

A group of anglers on the banks of the lower Capilano River Thursday afternoon. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

North Shore first responders are warning recreational anglers of increased dangers along the area's rivers, following a week of heavy rainfall.

It comes after a late night rescue Wednesday involving a group of anglers on the Capilano River.

Acting Deputy Fire Chief Brian Hutchinson said it's the second time this year someone has been rescued from that location on the river, near the Highway 1 overpass.

"The individuals found themselves in a precarious situation," he said.

"They made a really good decision to stay put and seek assistance, as opposed to trying to deal with the situation on their own."

Local anglers concerned

Dave Steele at Highwater Tackle in North Vancouver said this time of year is popular for salmon fishing on the North Shore

"What everybody waits for is those first few fall rains where the rivers come up," said Steele, who has run a tackle shop in North Vancouver for over 30 years.

"The salmon that are waiting at the mouths of these rivers will enter the rivers and provide some great angling opportunities."

According to Steele, while most local fishers know about the dangers of fishing around the river, some tourists and new anglers often aren't aware of fluctuating water levels and the hazardous terrain.

"Capilano's a very volatile river ... so it can rise very quickly," he said.

Dave Steele said spring and coho salmon often make their way upstream on the North Shore this time of year. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

'You have to respect water'

Steele also said he personally knew people who lost their lives on the river while fishing.

"Young anglers new to the sport were crossing the river in areas that were very dangerous," he said.

"You had a lot of ... gravel being taken from under your feet."

Steele also said anglers shouldn't rely solely on their gear. He believes common sense is the solution.

"Again, you're looking downstream and you say to yourself, if I go in the water, what's the worst that can happen to me," he said.

"You have to respect water, whether it be on a river or in the ocean."

Steele said he often sees out-of-town guests and new anglers ill-prepared for fishing on the North Shore. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

More rain in forecast

The B.C. River Forecast Centre has a high streamflow advisory in place this week for Vancouver Island and the Central Coast.

It also includes the North Shore Mountains, Howe Sound and the Lower Fraser Valley.

The B.C. River Forecast Centre is urging caution around creeks and streams in the Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast regions, on the North Shore and the lower Fraser Valley. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)