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Rivers in the Kootenays almost open for fishing once again

Starting June 14th, people will once again be able to fish rivers and streams in the area. While fishing is open all year, rivers in the Kootenay region are always closed from the start of April to mid-June.

According to Reiker Krenz, a B.C. Conservation Officer in Cranbrook, spring is when Cutthroat and Rainbow Trout spawn and it is important that the yearly spawn is not disturbed, to ensure a healthy population of fish.

“While they’re spawning, the rivers are closed for fishing and when they’re finished spawning, that’s when the rivers open up,” said Krenz. “During that time, most of the rivers are very high as well, so they are not the most desirable to fish anyway, but to protect the spawning trout is the biggest reason why they are closed.”

Fishers in the area should also be aware of changes to the Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.

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Krenz said changes to the regulations are made by lawmakers and biologists, with updates often being added because of new information regarding certain fish populations.

“Many lakes in B.C. are stocked with trout from hatcheries, but the ones like in St. Mary Lake are not stocked,” said Krenz. “I know many rivers have restrictions on retention of trout, because those are wild fish. I would assume that played into the reduction of the retention quota for cutthroat trout on the St. Mary’s.”

The synopsis is updated every two years by the B.C. Government and this year multiple provincial and Kootenay specific regulations have been changed.

  • Provincial
    • Upon officer request, electronic licences are now accepted
    • Paper licences will still be required when retaining:
      • Hatchery Steelhead, Chinook, Shuswap Lake Char or Rainbow Trout, or Kootenay Lake Rainbow Trout
  • Region 4 – Kootenay
    • Burton Creek/Caribou Creek
      • Simplification of water-specific closures
    • Pend d’Oreille River
      • New unlimited daily quota of Walleye
        • Previous daily quota was zero
        • New daily quota is unlimited
    • St. Mary Lake
      • Can no longer retain Cutthroat Trout
        • Previous daily quota was five
        • New daily quota is zero
    • Kootenay Lake, Upper West Arm
      • Allows retention of Kokanee
        • Only from April 1st to April 3rd and from July 1st to July 2st
    • Region-wide
      • Amendment to the regional daily quota regulation
        • Previous daily quota was 15 fish of any size
        • New daily quota is 15 fish, but no more than five fish over 30 cm
  • Region 8 – Okanagan
    • Christina Lake
      • Removal of the barbless hook regulation
        • Barbed hooks are now permitted on Christina Lake
    • Garnet Lake
      • No fishing year-round
    • Kalamalka Lake
      • Increased retention for Kokanee
        • New daily quota is five
        • Previous daily quota was twoa
    • Tuc-el-nuit, Gallagher, Wood, Arlington 1, 2, and 3, Kalamalka, and Little Pinaus Lakes
      • Daily quota of Perch is now 20 fish for all lakes
      • Daily quota of on Tuc-el-nuit and Gallagher Lakes is now 8 Bass fish
    • Spukunne, Leonard, Kentucky SE Pothole, Haggkvist, Garrison, Fly Fish 1 and 2 Lakes
      • Removal of water-specific regulations
      • Reverts to regional regulations

MORE: Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis (B.C. Government)


*** Story by Josiah Spyker ***

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