Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program - Year 3

Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program - Year 3

Year 3 of the program has launched, with exciting new prizes

The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program inspires anglers to get back out on the water and enjoy the outdoors while fishing. Anglers are encouraged to harvest rainbow and bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and then turn in the heads to local depots to enter a monthly or grand prize.

The success of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program demonstrated that this citizen-science program had a meaningful impact on the conservation goals for Kootenay Lake and therefore, has received funding for a third year!

“This program reduced rainbow trout and bull trout abundance faster than any other recovery action implemented to date.  In the absence of these predators, kokanee will likely have a better opportunity to survive to maturity and reproduce. We anticipate this last year has made significant steps towards the goal of recovering kokanee and the Kootenay Lake trophy trout fishery.” –Molly Teather, Fish Biologist, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development B.C.

The goal is to increase rainbow and bull trout retention from 50 percent of the fish caught to 90 percent. The trout are suppressing the survival of the kokanee, the primary food source of these predators. Encouraging anglers to catch and retain Kootenay Lake trout will give the juvenile kokanee a chance to grow.

Win a Prize Every Month! 

Every month, submit a fish head for your chance to win $1000 in gift certificates from local businesses.

Each main lake harvested rainbow trout or bull trout head returned to a depot is eligible for a draw ticket which will be entered in the monthly draw. Two prizes each valued at $500 will be awarded monthly, beginning June 31st, 2022

All draw tickets will be entered into the grand prize draw in June 2023. The date of the grand prize draw will be announced well in advance.

To enter, anglers must bring an intact fish head (or full fish for Woodbury tissue sample) to one of four return depos: Balfour Gill & Gift Gas Station, Woodbury Resort, Crawford Bay Market, or Wynndell Foods & Outdoor Gear.

Fishing Regulations on Kootenay Lake

  • Bull trout daily quota = 3 any size
  • Rainbow trout daily quota = 5 (only two over 50 cm)
  • Rainbow trout >50 = annual quota of 10
  • Bull and rainbow trout quotas are separate (combined daily quota = 8)

Please note: You are required to purchase a Kootenay Lake Conservation Surcharge Stamp if you plan to harvest any rainbow trout over 50 cm long.

Monthly Draw Winners & News

Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program Q&A

Why is there a need for an Angler Incentive Program that targets rainbow trout and bull trout on Kootenay Lake?

Adult kokanee populations in Kootenay Lake have collapsed in the past five years. Recent data show some improvements (e.g., 2019 spawner numbers doubled 2018, and are projected to rise even higher in fall 2020); however, survival estimates for the youngest kokanee in the lake remain low. Predator (i.e., rainbow trout and bull trout) consumption of kokanee still outstrips kokanee supply in Kootenay Lake. Now is a critical time to reinforce previous kokanee recovery actions, and angler harvest will have the biggest positive impact for kokanee recovery on Kootenay Lake.

What are the goals of the Angler Incentive Program?

The target of the program is to increase rainbow trout and bull trout harvest in the Main Body of Kootenay Lake from the 2015-2019 average harvest of 50% of fish that anglers land, to 90% harvest, and to increase fishing effort by 10%. This would yield increases of an additional ~1,400 bull trout and ~3,100 rainbow trout harvested in one year. These are notable increases from the ~4,000 rainbow trout and ~1,900 bull trout harvested annually in 2017-2019 in Kootenay Lake. This level of additional harvest will save ~6.5 tonnes of kokanee from being consumed and translate into faster recovery as more kokanee will survive to spawn, providing more kokanee eggs for the next generation.

Will the additional harvest from the Angler Incentive Program result in population conservation issues for rainbow trout and bull trout?

No, the total exploitation rate (i.e., the % harvest of the total adult population) for both rainbow trout and bull trout is predicted to be 15% with the additional harvest from the program. Since these fish populations saturate their spawning habitat at substantially reduced abundances than their current abundance, we do not expect that this additional exploitation from the program will reduce the number of juveniles produced in the next generation.

Who can participate?

Anyone can participate.

What are the Fishing Regulations for bull trout and rainbow trout on the main body of Kootenay Lake?

The regulations are as follows:

  • Bull trout daily quota = 3 any size
  • Rainbow trout daily quota = 5 (2 over 50 cm)
  • Rainbow trout >50cm = annual quota of 10
  • Bull and rainbow trout quotas are separate (combined daily quota = 8)

Barbed hooks are permitted.

Please note: You are required to purchase a Kootenay Lake Conservation Surcharge Stamp if you plan on harvesting any rainbow trout over 50 cm in length.

Can I submit rainbow trout and bull trout that I harvested from the West Arm of Kootenay Lake? What about the Duncan River?

Fish that are caught in the West Arm do not qualify for the draw. Bull trout harvested from the Duncan River do qualify for the draw. Please ensure that the rainbow trout and bull trout that you submit into the draw were caught only in the Main Body of Kootenay Lake, or bull trout from the Duncan River. We will be collecting fish samples from all draw entries, and Ministry fish biologists will verify the eligibility of fish which draw winners submit, and may genetically test fish, to confirm eligibility.

What are the Fishing Regulations for bull trout and rainbow trout on the Duncan River?

The regulations are as follows:

 

  • Rainbow trout release
  • Bull trout daily quota = 2 any size
  • Bull trout release November 1- March 31
  • No fishing downstream of Duncan Dam to the confluence of the Duncan River and Lardeau River
How do I submit a fish into the draw?

After angling, return home and remove and place the fish heads that you wish to submit into the draw separately into bags. When you are ready, return the fish heads to any of the Angler Incentive Program depots (see locations below). Please bring the bagged heads into the depot and approach the depot attendant for further instruction.

When do I need to submit the fish heads to the depots to be eligible for the draw?

You can submit fish heads anytime. Please note that you will only be eligible for the monthly draw during the month that you submit the fish head (i.e., if you submit the fish head in July 2022, you will be eligible for the July 2022 monthly draw). In addition, that draw card will also get entered into the grand prize draw.

Where can I go to submit fish samples for the draw?

You can submit fish heads to:

  • Balfour (Gill and Gift) Gas Station (450 Ferry Landing Road, Balfour)
  • Crawford Bay Market (16050 B.C. Highway 3A, Crawford Bay)
  • Woodbury Resort and Marina (4112 B.C. Highway 31, Woodbury)
  • Wynndel Foods and Outdoors (5128 B.C. Highway 3A, Wynndel).
When does the Angler Incentive Program begin? When does it end?
Year 3 of the program begins on June 1, 2022, and will end on May 31, 2022.
Where can I look for program updates?

The B.C. Wildlife Federation’s website.

When are the draws for the prizes?

We will award a monthly prize on the first of every month, starting July 1st, 2022. The Polaris Side by Side will be drawn in early November 2022, and the Ford F-150 Tremor will be drawn in June 2023.

What are the prizes?

The monthly prizes are gift certificates to different local businesses valued at $1,000 each. The two grand prizes are a Polaris Side by Side and a Ford F-150 Tremor. 

If I win a monthly prize, am I still eligible to win the grand prize?

Yes, if you win a monthly prize, your ticket will go back into the draw for the grand prize.

Rules of the Draw

Anyone can enter the draw with a freshwater fishing licence. Sample cards, available at participating depots, must be included with heads or fish. Cards must be filled out completely, indicating angler number, Youth (if under 16) or First Nations, draw ticket number and signature.

Rules of the Draw:
  1. All provincial fishing regulations must be adhered to.
  2. Entrants must fill out the angler incentive draw card completely including signature.
  3. The angler number must be submitted on draw cards, not the licence number.
  4. Youths under the age of 16 may enter the draw by indicating “Youth” in lieu of angler number.
  5. B.C. First Nations members simply enter “First Nation” in lieu of an angler number.
  6. Only rainbow trout or bull trout caught in the main lake body of Kootenay Lake are eligible. Fish caught in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake are not eligible.
  7. Each main lake harvested rainbow trout or bull trout can be entered in the draw.
  8. To enter, anglers must bring an intact fish head (or full fish for Woodbury tissue sample) to one of five return depo’s.
  9. Fish may be entered at the Balfour Gill & Gift Gas Station, Woodbury Resort, Crawford Bay Market, or Wynndell Foods & Outdoor Gear.
  10. Only fish caught while recreational angling are eligible. Fish captured during fishing for scientific purposes or other are not eligible for draw.
  11. The draw winners will be required to answer a skill testing question.
  12. Each main lake harvested rainbow trout or bull trout head returned to a depot is eligible for a draw ticket which will be entered in the monthly draw. Two prizes each valued at $500 will be awarded monthly, beginning June 31st, 2022.
  13. The draw will take place on the first day of each month and the winner will be posted on BCWF website.
  14. Unclaimed prizes after thirty days will result in a second draw.
  15. All draw cards will be entered into the grand prize draw in June 2023. The date of the grand prize draw will be announced well in advice.
  16. The fish(s) caught by draw winners may be tested for DNA to confirm the fish was caught from the main part of Kootenay Lake.

This program is sponsored by: