August 31, 2015 - 4:30 PM
KELOWNA – Lovers of the lure will notice some new signs at several major boat launches in Kelowna.
The signs, which are presently at launches at Sutherland Park, Water Street, Queensway, Cook Road and Cedar Creek, list the native and introduced species in the lake as well as encourage people to practice responsible fishing.
“The concept for the project came from a distinct lack of signage related directly to fishing on Okanagan Lake and an apparent lack of awareness about the fishery from the general public,” Mat Hanson of the Okanagan Fisheries Foundation says in a media release. “It seems that over time some residents and visitors to Kelowna have developed somewhat of a ‘water park mentality’ when it comes to the lake and overlook the fact that the lake is an ecosystem, spawning habitat and home to numerous fish species both indigenous and non-indigenous."
Hanson says the recreational, cultural and economic value of this fishery is significant and has the potential to be a great contributor to our community.
The 2015 drought in B.C. combined with the abundance of wildfires in the province have created a collapse in many fisheries.
The signs list the daily quota of each species present in the lake as well as other restrictions.
“Creating public awareness on environmental issues requires strengthening partnerships between various organizations on multiple levels,” he says.
The Okanagan Fisheries Foundation who spearheaded the initiative have partnered with the Okanagan Nation Alliance, B.C. Fish and Wildlife, Okanagan Salmon Community Initiative, the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resources and the City of Kelowna to erect the signs.
“This signage is the first step in a continued effort on behalf of this collaborative initiative to create awareness around the fishery in Okanagan Lake, and advocate for the potential of rejuvenating previously extirpated salmon species to Okanagan Lake,” Hanson says. “We look forward to the day when these signs on Okanagan Lake are updated to read, Sockeye, Chinook, Steelhead, and Coho.”
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— This story was corrected at 4:30 p.m., Wednesday, Sep. 2, 2015 to clarify the project was initiated by the Okanagan Fisheries Foundation.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015