Higher daytime river temperatures across the Kootenay region are behind a new provincial order that anglers fish only in the mornings and early afternoons.
The Ministry of Forests is closing several rivers and waterways to fishing between 2 p.m and midnight from July 31 – Sept. 10 in order to protect fish species.
The order applies to Michel Creek, Morrissey Creek, Lizard Creek, Coal Creek, Sand Creek and the lower St. Mary’s River, as well as streams listed in Management Units 4-3 to 4-9, according to the province.
These waterways are located throughout the Kootenays, near Grand Forks, Fernie, Sparwood and Cranbrook.
Water temperatures are peaking at approximately 20 C in the afternoon to evening. Angling finish in those elevated water temperatures can have harmful and sometimes lethal effects on fish and any fish released into warm waters after being caught can have difficulty recovering.
The closures are supported by the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Kootenay Fisheries Regional Advisory Team.
If river temperature cools over the coming weeks, the order may be rescinded.
The province is asking anglers to report fish kills to their local Fish and Wildlife office or RAPP (Report All Poachers And Polluters) line (1 877 952-7277). The online version of the Freshwater Fishing Regulation Synopsis is also a resource for angler alerts and potential in-season fishery closures.