The spring weather gets everyone excited to head outdoors and enjoy time with the family. Even more exciting is a chance to win an 18’ Kingfisher boat prize package worth $50,000! The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program runs until June 1, 2021 and the grand prize draw will take place early June. Anyone with a freshwater fishing licence can enter the draw!
Anglers 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: Crawford Bay Market, Gill and Gift, Jones Boys Marina, Woodbury Resort and Wynndel Foods and Outdoor Gear. The incentive program encourages anglers to catch and retain rainbow and bull trout while giving the juvenile kokanee a chance to grow.
Allan Mather was the lucky winner of the March $1,000 monthly prize in gift certificates from local business from around Kootenay Lake. Allan fishes on the lake twice a week and shared that there has definitely been a decline in the size and number of fish biting on his lures.
The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program is designed to help the iconic kokanee salmon population recover after their collapse in 2013. Conservationists have been trying to reverse the decline by conducting kokanee egg plants and fry release for the past five years. The high in-lake abundance of rainbow and bull trout is suppressing the survival of the kokanee, the primary food source of these predators. This innovative citizen science program helps relieve the predator pit and assists the ministry to obtain biological data.
The incentive program is supported by the local West Arm Outdoors Club, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club, BC Wildlife Federation, Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Province of B.C. The goal is to increase rainbow and bull trout retention from 50 percent of fish caught to 90 percent. The program’s target level for additional retention will not create conservation issues for the trout and will help the kokanee recover.
West Arm Club President Gord Grunerud said, “The sports fishery on Kootenay Lake was once renowned for its stock of large Gerrard rainbow trout and kokanee salmon. We want to get back to a robust sports fishery in our region. Our goal with this incentive program is to restore a balance in predator/prey relationships to allow kokanee abundance to increase.”
Learn more about the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program.