Port Renfrew Marina Report September 10/19

Our 22nd annual Labour Day Chinook Derby was held on August 31 and September 1, 2019.

Since mid July, anglers in Port Renfrew had enjoyed some of the best Chinook fishing we have seen in several years, but fishing tapered off a bit in the last week of August.

The event was once again well attended with 286 anglers participating and an exciting finish with several leader board changes before the final 1 PM final weigh in time on Sunday.

Glen Wilson held the lead at the end of fishing on Saturday with his 25 lb 2 oz chrome beauty.

Terry Van Wieren hooked and landed the eventual winning fish early Sunday morning but didn't weigh it in until 90 minutes before the final weigh in time. Glen Wilsons fish held up to capture 2nd place, while Bobby Johnson's 23 lb 13 oz Chinook took 3rd spot.

Thank you once again to the Lake Cowichan Kinsmen and Kinettes for looking after the catering, great job and well done guys. The Victoria band "Freeze Frame"played their dance music following the awards presentations which everyone enjoyed. Thank you once again for making the trip out to Renfrew as you have many times in the past.

Another big thank you goes out to Sharon Winters and all her volunteers for putting together another fantastic array of prizes. Sharon took on this job this year after assisting Tedi in previous derby's, well done Sharon.

As most of our regular clientele know, this annual event is our major fundraiser for salmon enhancement with a total of $9,600 being raised at this years derby. A special thank you goes out to all the businesses and individuals for their generous donations allowing this to happen. This is another example of the sport fishing community stepping up to raise funds for salmon enhancement. Thank you again to all derby participants for your continuing support for this event.


Labour Day Weekend Salmon Derby Winners Pictures



The 2019 Coho Derby will take place on September 28th and 29th. Fishing will take place on Saturday, September 28 from dawn until 6 PM, when weigh in closes. Fishing will take place on Sunday, September 29 from dawn until final weigh in time at 1 PM, after which the winner will be declared.

Fishing boundaries will be from San Juan Point to Bonilla Point.

The entrance fee will once again be $25.00 per rod with $5.00 from each entrance fee going directly to salmon enhancement.

$20.00 from each entrance fee will be paid to the WINNER. In the event of a tie, the first fish weighed in shall be declared the winner.

The BIG DIFFERENCE in this years Coho Derby is that it is for HATCHERY MARKED, FIN CLIPPED COHO ONLY. Unmarked Coho are not eligible in the derby.

Although not required, for those interested, there will be 2 side bets available. One side bet for $20 per boat and another for $50 per boat. Again these are not required for participation in the Coho Derby.

Port Renfrew Marina Report August 6/19

As most of you know, this has been a season where DFO has thrown us a few curves when it comes to Chinook retention.

First, after imposing a non retention of Chinook order on Area 20-1 until July 15, they hit us with an 80 cm slot size limit three days before the non retention order was to be lifted. Next on the afternoon of July 14, an order was imposed on 20-1 reducing the daily catch limit of Chinook from two per day to one. After being challenged on this latest last minute change, DFO did issue a "correction" to that notice and WE CURRENTLY HAVE A TWO PER DAY CATCH LIMIT.

During the period of the slot size limit, fishing was very good and in particular the cut pluggers did very well with a lot of bigger Chinooks during that time. We have reports of Chinooks with estimates of weights up to the low forty pound range and numerous fish in the thirties. Although there are still some fish in that range, we have been seeing lots of "cookie cutter" fish in the fifteen to twenty pound range in the last couple of weeks. Anchovies trolled behind flashers remains the most popular technique for catching these fish. Lately there has been lots of baitfish in our waters. We expect the good fishing to continue until the Labour Day weekend as it typically does.

The Swiftsure Bank Halibut fishery has remained consistent through the first one half of our season with lots of "chicken" halibut and also numerous larger fish in the forty to fifty pound range have been taken.

The Dungeness Crab fishery which was outstanding earlier this year, has dropped off lately with an abundance of female crabs being caught and released.

The Marina and Camp ground are currently quite busy with most of our sites with power and water occupied. Having said that, dry camping sites are always available along with daily and monthly moorage.

Our annual Labour Day weekend Derby takes place on August 31 and September 1 this year.

Hope to see you soon


Port Renfrew Marina Report June 24/19

To begin with, let me apologize for the delay in getting this update to you. We have been busy at the Marina this Spring with maintenance and other onsite upgrades which will hopefully improve the experience here for both campers and boaters.


As most of you know, the long awaited DFO fishing plan was announced and later posted a few weeks ago. Although the Port Renfrew area did end up having some restrictions placed on the early season Chinook fishery, we did fare better than the immediate area to the East, particularly Sooke and Victoria. A non retention of Chinook order is in place until July 15 after which anglers will be able to retain two Chinooks per day. Coho salmon are currently allowed to be retained as long as they are marked fish with the adipose fin removed with a limit of two fish per day.

Having said that, a catch and release Chinook fishery is  taking place here now. Generally we have seen spotty fishing results for the first six weeks of our season which started on May 1st. Fishing has noticeably improved since June 15 particularly for some of our die hard cut pluggers some of which have reported having hooked and released half a dozen Chinooks in a day. This trend is expected to improve as we are now seeing an abundance of bait fish in our area.

The early season Halibut fishery has generally been consistent on the days when the fishermen can get out to the grounds as we have seen our share of windy days since opening.  Lots af Hali's in the forty to sixty pound range have been taken by those who have endured the weather. Some of the local guides are now reporting good returns of smaller "chickens" from Swiftsure Bank recently. Fishing for Ling Cod and other rock fish has been slow so far, however one bit of good news here is that the area immediately to the East of San Juan Point which was closed last Summer to all fin fish angling, will now once again be open to ground fish angling. The Providence and Sombrio areas which  traditionally have been popular for Lings and ground fish are now open. Chinook fishing in that area will remain as non retention until August 1 when a one fish per day terminal fishery commences, followed by a two fish per day limit after the end of August.


Our campsite is now relatively full with our seasonal guests many of which have been coming for years however there are still unserviced sites available along with a few sites serviced with power and water. Our newly reconfigured launch ramp is now operational which we expect will speed up the launching and haul out times.

Camp fires are currently still permitted although with the dry weather conditions we have been experiencing, those regulations could change in the next few weeks.

 Thanks Rex!

Port Renfrew Marina Report April 18/19

Another season for Port Renfrew Marina is approaching very quickly. We welcome all our customers back for another great year of fishing and extend a welcome to any and all our new customers. We hope everyone will have a memorable summer at the marina. Please contact the marina to reaffirm your return for the season so your site will be kept for you.

There have been many changes made over the winter and more to come. The official opening this year is Wednesday May 1st. The marina will not be open before that date so be aware of times when you can enter to set up. Campsites have been moved or enlarged, fishing regulations have changed dramatically for this year and many other things will be changing or happening. There will also be some rate increases to some things, not all.

Please keep an eye out for another report detailing most of the changes to come in a weeks time and to get the info needed for the season. For info regarding when the marina is open or questions you may have please call Reid 250 483-1486 or Rex at 250 478-3674 or email at info@portrenfrewmarina.com


Port Renfrew Marina Report. Nov. 16/18

At Port Renfrew Marina we held our annual Labor Day Derby back on Sept 2 and 3, Labor Day weekend, as anyone who fishes out here knows. The goal was to raise funds for salmon enhancement and this year we donated to two great causes. One was Juan De Fuca Salmon Restoration Society and that donation was $10,000.00. The other organization was South Vancouver Islander Anglers Coalition to which we gave $5502.95.

See the email below sent to us from Mike Hicks who was instrumental in getting this initiative going.

Rex and Bud,

     Thank so much for starting us on our way with your huge donation. Thanks also for the referral to the Lake Cowichan Kinsmen Club.

Take Care


Below is a picture of our donation going to South Vancouver Islander Anglers Coalition to Glen Varney in the amount of $5502.95 in cash.

We are Port Renfrew Marina want to thank everyone who contributes to this derby each year, without individuals and businesses who generously donate goods or services this would not be possible and we thank all the people at the derby for opening their wallets and participating in our raffles and auctions! When you see what even a small group can accomplish it makes you appreciate and understand how important these events are. It sure makes all the effort to put these kind of events on worth it!!

Bud & Rex