Local kids win big and support Kootenay Lake conservation!

Several local kids won great prizes in the October kids’ derby draw of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program (KLAIP). Kids submitted trout heads from Rainbow or Bull trout that they caught on the main body of Kootenay Lake and were eligible to win Pelican Magna kayaks, Kokanee Mountain Zipline Tour packages, or fishing equipment.

Ty Walker of Fruitvale (pictured), who fishes with his grandfather, won a kid-sized kayak. Lemon Wyttig of Wynndel also won a kayak. Other winning kids are currently being contacted.

The reason for the KLAIP is to support the return to a healthier predator-prey balance in the lake. The KLAIP encourages anglers to get out fishing to help reduce the over-abundant Rainbow and Bull trout, promoting a healthier balance between the endangered prey fish, kokanee, and their predators, the trout.

Gerrard Rainbow and Bull trout populations have increased so much in Kootenay Lake that their predation had forced kokanee to near extinction; consequently, the predators have decreased in size and condition significantly.

By fishing for the predatory trout on the main body of Kootenay Lake, kids who participate in the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program are supporting local conservation efforts while spending time outdoors with family and friends.

Gordie Grunerud, President of the West Arm Outdoors Club (WAOC), the local club managing the KLAIP, says: “It has been nice to see families out on the lake, enjoying the recreational fishery. I’m sure a seed has been sown for a lifelong participation in the sport.”

The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program (KLAIP) has been extended to May 2022 with monthly prizes and grand prize draws for Kootenay Lake fishers. Anglers of all ages are encouraged to harvest Rainbow and Bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and then turn in the heads to one of four depots to enter monthly draws for prizes worth $1,000, and final grand prize draws.

The next grand prize draw for a Polaris Sportsman Quad and the 3-night-stay for 2 at Coastal Springs Float Lodge will be early November. Trout heads must be submitted by October 31 to be eligible.

In spring 2022, there will be another grand prize draw for a 2021 Marlon boat package with outboard and trailer.

The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program is managed by the local West Arm Outdoors Club with support from B.C. Wildlife Federation, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNORD), Jones Boys Boats of Woodbury Creek and several local merchants from around Kootenay Lake.

More information on the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program: https://bcwf.bc.ca/kootenay-lake-angler-incentive-program/

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