Fred Green of Riondel (pictured) makes his own polar bear fur flies and fishes many summer evenings. Ivan Hale of Proctor fishes whenever he can – every day if he could. Mark and Aren Cej of Calgary fish with their grandfather (pictured). Wyatt Luedtke of Cumberland is an avid fisher and would like to work in fishing and hunting when he’s older.
All of these people have helped local conservation efforts this summer, fishing for trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and winning prizes as part of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program. The program is running a kids’ derby this summer and monthly adult draws of $1000 in prizes.
On winning the July $1000 draw from the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program, Fred Green talked about how to encourage kids to get out and fish more. He remembered a fishing derby for northern pikeminnows when he was a kid.
Fred says, “The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program is a good thing because it encourages people and kids out fishing and derbies help balance fish stocks.” On winning a kid’s kayak for the kids’ derby, Ivan Hale said he would tell his friends to join “because you win pretty cool stuff for fishing.” Mark and Aren Cej won fishing packages from the kids’ derby and got to spend time outdoors with their grandfather. The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program inspires anglers of all ages to get out fishing and enjoy the outdoors. 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 draw for a prize worth $1,000, and a final grand prize draw. This year there is also a summer kids derby with kids needing to submit their trout heads by the end of September to be eligible to win kid-sized kayaks, fishing packages and zip line adventure packages.
The grand prizes for this year’s 16+ program include a Marlon boat package Jones Boys Boats, a Polaris Sportsman Quad from Main Jet Motorsports, and a 3-night saltwater fishing package for two at Coastal Springs Float Lodge.
Gordie Grunerud, President of the West Arm Outdoors Club, the club managing the program, says: “The Kootenay Lake Incentive Program has been extended for a second year because of the success of the program in helping Kokanee salmon recover. The program encourages anglers of all ages to get outdoors and to participate in a fisheries Kokanee conservation program aimed at re-establishing the predator-prey balance in the main body of Kootenay Lake by reducing the predators – rainbow and bull trout. Together with the Kokanee closure, it is hoped the prey species will recover to historic levels while supporting anglers, outdoor sports, and local business.”
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
Pictured: Fred Green
Pictured: Mark and Aren Cej with their grandfather