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Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery

Wood Lake Kokanee Show Signs of Recovery
Wood Lake kokanee may not be large fish, but in terms of economic and social impact, the fishery is huge: worth an estimated $1 million a year—all put at peril when the kokanee population crashed in the fall of 2011. Dubbed “one of the last remaining high-effort kokanee fisheries in Canada,” it’s a highly-accessible fishery that yields a large annual harvest and provides year-round angling opportunities for people of all skill levels, notes Hillary Ward, Fisheries Stock Assessment Specialist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. She says conservatively it supports more than 15,000 angler days a year and more than $1 million in direct expenditures related to angling. Because it’s vitally important to restore the kokanee numbers in this small Central Okanagan Lake, the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, a BC environmental granting organization, is funding a plan to figure out what caused the problems and how to resolve them. Since 2012, HCTF has put nearly a quarter million dollars into the problem, and that expenditure has nearly doubled with contributions from other sources, in a project that is a collaboration of the Ministry, the Oceola Fish and Game Club, the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the District...
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Fishing in the City

Fishing in the City
Watch a video about this FFSBC program designed to get BC's urban residents fishing. HCTF funds the Fishing in the City program as part of  project # 0-353.  
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Video: Urban Lakes Infrastructure Program

Video: Urban Lakes Infrastructure Program
Fishing with Rod just uploaded this video about the Vancouver Island Urban Lake Fishery Development & Improvement Program . HCTF CEO Brian Springinotic explains how this project created docks, boat ramps and trails to increase accessibility to fishing on lakes near urban centres.    The program was made possible through partnerships between HCTF, the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, and regional & local governments. You can view locations and images of infrastructure completed under this program on our interactive map . If you’re on Vancouver Island this summer, why not check them out for yourself? Fishing is a great way to get outdoors, de-stress and spend quality time with family and friends. Better yet, each BC freshwater fishing licence purchase contributes to great conservation and angling development projects like this one.  
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Monsters of the Deep

Monsters of the Deep
“So what do you think lives down there?” It’s my first question to government biologist Lee Williston about the eerily deep waters of Quesnel Lake . Williston has just told me that the maximum depth recorded here is an astounding 523 metres, making it the third deepest lake in North America and the deepest fjord lake in the world. “Probably not much,” he replies, dashing my hopes of a Quesnel Lake Monster story. “But there are definitely some big fish in these waters. People have landed rainbows here in the twenty pound range.” Like the legendary Gerrards of Kootenay Lake, Williston explains that Quesnel Lake rainbow trout are a genetically unique, late-maturing strain that gets big by feeding on kokanee. The result is the largest wild sport fishery in the Cariboo, and one of the few places left on the continent where you can fish for trophy rainbows in a pristine wilderness setting. “Fishing on Quesnel, it's possible to see a black bear, grizzly and moose all in one afternoon,” says Williston. “There's a whole host of iconic B.C. wildlife living in the watershed. It really is the complete wilderness experience.” Still, the lake’s remote location hasn’t made it immune...
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Elk Lake Enhancement Project

Elk Lake Enhancement Project
On Vancouver Island, a local angling club is taking the lead in a project to improve fish habitat conditions at a popular urban lake. The Victoria Golden Rods and Reels (VGRR)'s Elk Lake Enhancement proposal is one of 116 projects recently approved by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation . VGRR received a $5,000 seed grant to support the creation of a plan that will address the lake's declining water quality, a problem which has impacted fish and wildlife, along with a broad spectrum of recreational users. Concerns around Elk Lake's water quality were most recently publicized in January , when the lake’s annual polar bear swim had to be relocated due to the presence of a toxic algal bloom. The blue-green surface scum was confirmed to be cyanobacteria, a photosynthetic bacterium that thrives in conditions where excess nutrients are present in the water. Blooms of cyanobacteria have been an ongoing problem in Elk Lake, where phosphorous levels have been elevated through residential and agricultural development of the surrounding land. Since 2009, the lake has seen at least four such blooms, which can cause serious illness or even death in humans, pets, and wildlife. Though the events tend to be short-lived,...
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