The province of British Columbia has conducted an expert panel to examine the steep decline in fish stocks and recreational fishery in Kootenay Lake.
As a world-class recreational fishing destination, the Kootenay Lakes have seen significant negative impacts due to the ongoing crisis.
The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has met the province’s acknowledgement of the issue with approval.
BCWF President George Wilson said, “The panel has addressed what can be done immediately by instituting short-term measures aimed at increasing kokanee populations while temporarily decreasing predator populations … a number of regulation changes were also supported, including complete non-harvest of
kokanee and increased harvest of smaller Gerrard rainbow trout.”
BCWF, however, raised concerns regarding the province’s long-term goals, highlighting the necessity for producing as many small kokanee as possible, as the species is a primary food source for the Kootenay Lakes Gerrard rainbow trout — an internationally renowned species for their large size that draws in
anglers worldwide to the Kootenay Lakes.
“The BCWF is a solution-based conservation organization and we implore the Minister of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations to make a clear, unequivocal statement that management of Kootenay and Arrow Lakes is aimed at producing large size trout. Such a statement would go a long way to easing our concerns about how these lakes are to be managed into the future,” said Wilson.
For more information on the BCWF — the province’s oldest conservation organization — visit www.bcwf.bc.ca.