Mystery solved: Trawlers spotted on Okanagan lakes part of fisheries study | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Mystery solved: Trawlers spotted on Okanagan lakes part of fisheries study

Rainbow trout are pictured in this undated file photo. Okanagan Nation Alliance is conducting day and nighttime fish surveys in Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos Lakes this month.
Image Credit: PIXABAY
March 17, 2021 - 6:30 AM

Residents overlooking several of the Okanagan’s larger lakes may see some unusual fishing activity over the next several days.

Several residents along the shore of Skaha Lake, south of Penticton, recently noticed what they thought to be strange activity. Several posted queries on social media after seeing a large boat hauling a net onboard late one evening last week.

Okanagan Nation Alliance fisheries manager Howie Wright says they are conducting limnological sampling during the daytime on Okanagan, Skaha and Osoyoos Lake.

Limnology is an ecological study that looks at the physical, chemical and biological properties of lakes, rivers and streams.

Wright says the fishery crews are collecting temperature and oxygen profiles of the lakes in addition to sampling for zooplankton.

They are also conducting a night time acoustic and trawl survey.

“They have equipment on board that’s basically a super fish finder that can track the targets," he says. "The boat surveys the lake to get a picture of the fish in the lake. That’s how we are able to get a count of the number of fish."

The boats are also equipped with large nets they use to trawl in order to pick up samples of the fish targeted in the survey.

In lakes where salmon have been re-introduced, the operations are also able to get a pre-smolt estimate of sockeye numbers before they leave the inland waters.

Wright says the studies are conducted in collaboration with federal and provincial governments.

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