January 3, 1950 – August 12, 2021
Douglas Shigeru Kimoto was born in St. Michael’s hospital in Toronto on January 3rd, 1950. The Kimoto’s returned back to the west coast (after the ban on the Japanese Canadians was lifted) and settled in Spring Cove, at the mouth of Ucluelet inlet, in January of 1951.
In his early childhood days Doug and his older brother Gord, and their cousins walked a boardwalk from Spring Cove to the elementary school. Doug was an exceptional student and often got straight A’s.
Even from an early age, he was in love with fishing, commercial fishing “Ever since I could stand on an apple box in the stern” he said. Dougie (aka “Oddjob”) started to skipper his father Tommy’s boat the “La Perouse” in his mid twenties, and was a member of a local trolling group known as the Queen’s Cowboys. He spent almost 60 years of his life dedicated to commercial salmon trolling and his family’s livelihood.
However, his passion and love for fishing salmon went far beyond operating a commercial fishing vessel. He was a tireless advocate for the salmon trolling industry and for salmon enhancement.
Doug was a co-founder of the West Coast Sustainability Association in the early nineties promoting cooperation between indigenous and non-indigenous fishermen. He was a board member of the West Coast Aquatic – a board that was created in 2001, in good part due to his tireless effort.
For over twenty years he fought for the rights of the west coast troller to exist by promoting cooperation at the local level, based on respect for all members of the community, despite the government of Canada’s efforts to destroy his fishery.
Although he hated traveling to the city, he went out to meet with Joyce Murray, a senior Liberal cabinet minister to petition for the Pacific Salmon Treaty money to be given to the troller/fishermen who had taken the brunt of the reductions from that treaty deal. The remainder of that money is still sitting in a bank in Ottawa.
Doug spent 35 years on the board of Thornton Creek Enhancement society and single handedly ran the DFO Public Improvement Project (PIP) in the Ucluelet area, putting gravel in local creeks. Just last year he received an award for his years of service on this front. Despite his livelihood being re-allocated to other users over the last twenty years, Dougie never stopped trying to rebuild the salmon in the local streams of Barklay and Clayoquot Sound.
It was not uncommon to see Dougie appear on the local news or in the Westerly News talking about trolling and voicing his concerns about the restricted openings and his concerns for the state of the salmon resource and its management. Over the past decade Dougie sold his beautiful spring salmon fillets directly to local restaurants in Ucluelet and Tofino. There’s a great picture of him in the Sobo Cookbook.
Doug passed away peacefully in his sleep at 8pm on Thursday, August 12th. He was comfortable in his own home surrounded by a loving family.
Doug is survived by his mother, Mary Kimoto, and his three nephews, Katsumi Kimoto (wife Jiali, daughter Mari Jin and son Ryu,) Akio Kimoto (wife Soowon, daughters Keira and Mila) and Masaru Evans-Kimoto. He was predeceased by his father, Tommy Kimoto, & older brother, Gordon Kimoto.
Doug did not wish to have a memorial service. Close friends and members of the community are welcome to visit Mary and family at their home to pay their respects and share fond memories of Dougie, over the next couple of months (please call ahead).
The family would very much like to thank the community of Ucluelet, close friends & neighbours, the at-home nurses, and the doctors & staff of Tofino General Hospital.
The Kimoto Family would appreciate a donation be made to the Tofino General Hospital in lieu of sending flowers.
A special heartfelt thank you goes out to Max Collin, and his mother, Rina Collin, for the exceptional care they’ve provided to both Doug and Mary.Obituary
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