Biologists sampling for burbot recovery on Kootenay Lake

The population has been in recovery since 2009

Submitted

Fish biologists are catching and releasing burbot on Kootenay Lake until June 7 as part of recovery efforts for the Lower Kootenay burbot population.

The annual spring trapping program allows biologists to monitor and re-evaluate lake population targets. Traps are set in shallow waters along the shorelines of the main body and upper west arm of Kootenay Lake.

The traps are marked with numbered, orange buoys labelled “fish research,” approximately 0.46 metres (1.5 feet) in diameter. These buoys should not be confused with the main lake buoys, approximately 0.91 metres (3 feet) in diameter, which mark anchored telemetry receivers used to track tagged fish movements.

The Lower Kootenay burbot population was once a popular sport and subsistence fishery in Kootenay Lake and Kootenay River, as well as throughout its range in Idaho and Montana. The population was recognized to be at risk of local extinction during the mid-1990s and was provincially red listed in 2004.

The ministry is collaborating on recovery efforts with international partners, including the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Idaho Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the University of Idaho.

Since 2009, as part of the Lower Kootenay burbot recovery program, fertilized eggs from Moyie Lake have been successfully raised in a hatchery in Idaho and released back into Kootenay Lake and Kootenay River. In 2018, the recovery team confirmed the first case of successful in-river spawning. As of 2019, the river population surpassed the target of 17,500 adults. This prompted Idaho Fish and Game to open the burbot fishery in the U.S. portion of Kootenay River in 2019.

Provincial biologists are closely monitoring and evaluating the establishment and growth of the population and will consider a river fishery in the future if the population remains stable. The current population target for Kootenay Lake is 20,000 adult burbot by 2028, which will involve releasing approximately 60,000 juveniles per year.

Just Posted

Council OKs Rosemont disc golf for one-year trial

Course will be installed in Art Gibbon Park

PHOTOS: Nelson honours veterans on Remembrance Day 2019

Residents laid a record 125 wreaths at the cenotaph

BCTF rejects mediator’s recommendations for settlement

Negotiations between B.C. teachers and the province will continue

Nelson Leafs atop league after splitting weekend games

The Leafs lost in Spokane but won in Fernie

Night of Grief and Mystery coming to Capitol Theatre

Gregory Hoskins and Stephen Jenkinson bring their unique show to Nelson on Tuesday.

VIDEO: Hong Kong police shoot protester, man set on fire

It was the second protester shot since the demonstrations began in early June

Sportsnet fires Don Cherry after negative comments about immigrants

Don Cherry had said immigrants don’t wear poppies like other Canadians do

Trudeau’s new cabinet: Gender parity because it’s 2019? Or due to competence?

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will soon appoint his new cabinet

Canada among three G20 countries least likely to hit emissions targets

It says Canada, South Korea and Australia are the farthest off

Conservatives’ Scheer wants Trudeau to open Parliament Nov. 25

That’s five days after Justin Trudeau is scheduled to swear in a new cabinet

Last remaining Centurion tank from the Korean War makes its journey ‘home’ to B.C.

Tank arrives in B.C. the day before Remembrance Day after a more than 4,500-kilometre transfer

‘Your vehicle burns a lot of fuel:’ Victoria drivers wake up to angry notes

‘This handbill was left on your vehicle because your vehicle burns a lot of fuel,’ notes read

Canadians mark Remembrance Day this morning

This year exactly 101 years to the day after the end of the First World War

Devils strike early, hang on for 2-1 win over Canucks

Vancouver now 0-8-3 in last 11 games versus New Jersey

Most Read