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Kokanee numbers look promising for spring

Spawning kokanee salmon.
Image Credit: Wikipedia
January 10, 2014 - 12:13 PM

OKANAGAN - A survey of kokanee numbers in Okanagan lakes during the fall of 2013 showed varying results though anglers won't be disappointed this season.

The survey, prepared by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations showed Kalamalka Lake stood out with excellent spawner numbers and exceptional average size for the land-locked salmon. The ministry reported some fish caught by anglers approached world record levels.

Wood Lake however showed low returns because of poor lake conditions in 2011 resulting in significant mortality. There was a slight rebound in 2012, but it'll be awhile before numbers reach historic highs. As a result, the spring 2014 opening will be brief, from April 15 - May 31, with no fishing permitted for the remainder of the year.

The ministry numbers are as follows:

* Okanagan Lake kokanee spawners totalled 126,000. This is a small increase from the poor returns in 2012, but still below average.
* In Kalamalka Lake, kokanee numbers totalled 45,000, which is the highest return since 1994.
* Skaha Lake's total kokanee count is estimated at 18,000, which is the lowest return since 2001.
* Wood Lake kokanee that spawn in Middle Vernon Creek totalled 2,900, counted via a spawner fence set up for this purpose. In addition, standard visual surveys of the Wood Lake shoreline indicated 850 kokanee spawning along the shoreline areas. Totalled, this represents a slight improvement over 2012's result of 2,300 but still very low.

A more substantial kokanee run is expected in 2015.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
InfoTel News Ltd

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