Gerrard spawn a record breaker

For the second consecutive year the daily peak count of Gerrard rainbow trout at the main spawning site in the Lardeau River hit a record high.

This photo was taken from a small blimp tethered to the ground. The white sticks are measuring markers which gives you an idea of how big the fish are (the pipes are one metre long).

For the second consecutive year the daily peak count of Gerrard rainbow trout at the main spawning site in the Lardeau River hit a record high.

Nearly 1,000 spawning Gerrards were observed on May 13 — the highest since record keeping began at the site in 1960.

“We were pleased with Gerrard numbers at the outlet of Trout Lake — this year reaching a daily peak of 995 spawners — especially since it comes on the heels of last year’s then-record high of 725,” said Jeff Burrows, regional senior fisheries biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations.

“It suggests that the Gerrard population in Kootenay Lake is doing very well, possibly better than at any other time in the past century.”

The monitoring of the Gerrard spawners and spawning habitat is supported by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation. It is one way biologists use to calculate the total Gerrard spawning run each year, this year estimated to be approximately 2,500 fish.

One reason for the strong returns is the nutrient restoration program in Kootenay Lake. Although nutrients have been added to the North Arm since the early 1990s, South Arm additions are relatively new, starting in full in 2005.

The program is coordinated by the ministry with funding for the North Arm from the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program and BC Hydro due to the impacts of Duncan dam, and from Kootenai Tribe of Idaho and Bonneville Power Administration in the South Arm due to impacts of Libby dam in the United States.

“We know that nutrient additions are providing a good food source for kokanee, and therefore on up the food chain to Gerrard rainbow trout,” said senior compensation program fisheries biologist James Baxter. “And that good food source for kokanee is clearly required given the high output of kokanee fry from Meadow Creek spawning channel these last few years.”

The kokanee spawning channel is jointly operated by ministry and compensation program.

“And there are other reasons that contribute to a strong Gerrard run” added Burrows.

“Changes in fishing regulations — going to barbless hooks and a decrease in daily quotas has improved trout survival; and a spike in parasites that was observed a couple of years ago discouraged some harvest. And finally, Mobbs Creek, one of the tributaries of the Lardeau River inundated the spawning area with sediment in 2000, 2001, and 2002.

“This likely reduced juvenile Gerrard numbers at the time and later as they grew and recruited to the fishery, but now we are seeing more abundant recent generations bounce back and larger fish returning to the main spawning area and naturally showing up in the lake fishery.”

While a record high daily peak count was recorded, the run itself was much later than  typical due to the cold late spring. Traditionally the peak count is around Mother’s Day but this year it occurred on May 13. In 2010 the peak count was recorded more than two weeks earlier in April.

 

Just Posted

Cottonwood Lake group applauds RDCK purchase but wants to buy more

Purchased forest covers 33 per cent of land to be logged

Slocan Valley to be ‘lit up’ with high-speed internet in 12 months

125 kilometres of fibre-optic cable to be laid from Nakusp to Playmor Junction

LETTERS: In support of student climate strikers

From readers Tia Leschke and Sharon Inkpen

Kootenay Musical Theatre Society ready to make a deal with the Devil

The new group will put on an original show in October at the Capitol Theatre

Mueller finds no Trump collusion, leaves obstruction open

But while Mueller fully ruled out criminal collusion, he was more circumspect on presidential obstruction of justice

BC woman beseeches town for nude beach

“They may enjoy a surf and then walk around naked and just be free.”

Ice climbers scale Canada’s tallest waterfall on Vancouver Island

Ice climbers Chris Jensen, Will Gadd and Peter Hoang made history

New Coast Guard ship crashes into breakwater in Victoria

‘It is fairly unprecedented that it would happen’

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Fundraising campaign launched for man caught in SilverStar avalanche

In only two days, the GoFundMe surpassed its $15,000 goal

B.C. doctor reprimanded for accessing medical records without consent

Doctor admits to accessing records of the woman carrying his child

Video service to compete with Netflix, Amazon expected from Apple on Monday

The iPhone has long been Apple’s marquee product and main money maker, but sales are starting to decline

Edmonton judge to rule on whether Omar Khadr’s sentence has expired

Canada’s top court ruled punishment handed Khadr for alleged acts committed in Afghanistan when he was 15 was to be a youth sentence

Most Read