Province hosts public meeting to present Kokanee recovery plan
Government biologists will present a comprehensive plan to guide the recovery of Kootenay Lake’s Kokanee stocks at a public meeting Thursday, June 16 at the Balfour Community Hall in Balfour the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said in a media release.
The media release said the Kootenay Lake Action Plan – which will be released on June 14, 2016 – was developed under the direction of an expert advisory committee and with the support of local First Nations, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the BC Wildlife Federation.
Last fall, Provincial biologists counted 18,000 spawning Kokanee in main body of Kootenay Lake and its tributaries, the lowest number since the annual count started in 1964.
Scientists estimate that the fish laid 4.26 million eggs, down from a high of 265 million eggs in 1981.
The Province has already taken a number of steps to address the kokanee decline, including:
- Changing fishing regulations to decrease kokanee harvest and increase Gerrard trout harvest.
- Initiating an aggressive kokanee re-building program. Last year, biologists planted 500,000 eggs in Kootenay Lake spawning channels and released an additional 95,000 fry in 2015. Biologists will release another 500,000 fry into the lake this spring.
- Initiating a study of kokanee across the Province to identify stocks genetically suitable for future recovery efforts.
- Continuing spawning channel operations, nutrient restoration and fish health testing.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m.