Installing kokanee shore spawner egg tubes in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. Photo: Submitted

Installing kokanee shore spawner egg tubes in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake. Photo: Submitted

Kokanee shore spawner eggs buried for tracking, observation

Friends of Kootenay Lake project is located at McDonald’s Landing Regional Park.

Submitted by the Friends of Kootenay Lake

On Nov. 6, Friends of Kootenay Lake, in partnership with the fish and wildlife branch of the B.C. forests ministry, installed egg capsules along the shoreline at the Shore Spawning Kokanee Restoration site at McDonald’s Landing Regional Park.

This marks a major milestone, as the Shore Spawning Kokanee Habitat Restoration project officially wraps up for the winter months.

Egg capsules, or egg tubes, are perforated plastic containers in which fish eggs are placed to allow for the observation of egg development. FoKLSS filled 10 egg capsules with kokanee eggs and buried them at varying elevations at the recently restored shore spawning site.

Eggs were counted, weighed, and placed in the perforated capsules with temperature data loggers. These loggers will track water temperature and accumulated thermal units over time to determine egg development and groundwater influence. Capsules were then capped, labelled, flagged, and brought to the water’s edge for installation.

With the help of a team of volunteers, including two volunteer divers, the egg tubes were buried along the shoreline at varying depths. The egg capsules will sit beneath the substrate over the duration of the winter while the eggs develop into fry.

Capsules will be retrieved in the spring of 2021 when we will assess egg to fry survival within each tube. The results of the spring assessment will provide insight into how spawning substrate, water depth and groundwater infiltration influence egg development and fry survival of shore spawning kokanee salmon.

If you see orange flagging and colorful piping in the water at McDonald’s Landing, please leave them in the water and try not to disturb the area. We hope to recover all installed equipment next spring.

We could not have completed this work without the support of our amazing volunteers and our funders, Fortis BC, Columbia Basin Trust, Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program, Regional District of Central Kootenay and Public Conservation Assistance Fund.

If you would like to know more about this project, contact Friends of Kootenay Lake at info@friendsofkootenaylake.ca.