The Alberni Valley bills itself as "the salmon capital of the world" on a welcome sign at the outskirts of town.

In 2010, Port Alberni was awarded the title of Canada's "Ultimate Fishing Town" in a contest by the World Fishing Network, a television network devoted to fishing.

Fishing Hotspots and Guided Outings

Fish with rod and reel from Victoria Quay, Sproat Lake, and the banks of the Stamp and Somass rivers. Visitors can launch boats and clean their catches at the Clutesi Haven Marina (at the foot of town next to the Somass). Or they can use a local merchant (i.e. St. Jean's Cannery & Smokehouse, among others) to prep, package, and ship fish back home.

Another option: Embark on an ocean or river adventure with one of the area's many charter operators as far west as Bamfield and Barkley Sound on the open Pacific. Halibut and sockeye runs begin in June and July. Larger (up to 40lb/18kilo) chinook reach the Alberni Inlet in August and the river systems a month later. Coho fishing peaks in late August just in time for the town's annual salmon derby and festival on the Labour Day weekend.

Charter Operators & Fishing Gear

Best spots to track down a pro guide with saltwater in their veins and a powerboat at their disposal are the info racks at the Visitor Centre and the town's leading outfitter, Gone Fishin' (5069 Johnston Road). The staff at the latter are experts on local fish hotspots. The store carries salt and freshwater fishing gear along with licences and bait.

Leading operators include: