Okanagan Fisheries Foundation

 

I recently received an email from Matt Hanson who is a fishing guide in the Kelowna area.  He and some other anglers has just started up the a/m Foundation and would like others in our area to be aware of it.  The following is the mail Matt sent to me and reprinted with his permission:

 

Hi Sherm

First off let me say I love your website and the focus you bring to our local fisheries! The posts are informative and a great resource for local anglers.

I noticed that you have had a few reports of late from keen Kalamalka Lake Laker fisherman and I wanted to get your opinion as well as voice mine, as to the current state of Lake Trout fishery at Kalamalka Lake and the fishery as a whole. Both myself and Rod Hennig (another local fishing guide in Kelowna that your probably aware of) have noticed a sharp decline in both the overall size and frequency of catch rates of Lake Trout in Kalamalka in the last 3-5 years that seem to coincide with a lot of more anecdotal stories of big fish (important spawning fish of 10-30+ pound plus) being taken out of the system by anglers. What is most concerning about this is the growing evidence as to the fragility of Lake Trout as a species (see a recent BC Outdoors article) due to slower growth and spawning rates, sensitivity to temp change, barotrauma and catch and release techniques and the genuine need to regulate around these things in order to conserve their numbers and ensure long term sustainability. Although deemed an invasive by Fisheries due to their introduction (by fisheries around 1970) myself and many others believe these Lake Trout represent a valuable trophy fishery that is being overlooked and requires more appropriate regulation and better management. As does Kalamalka Lake as a whole, as demonstrated by the dismal recent Kokanee count, despite the presence of some bigger Kokanee the entire fishery seems to be in decline, much like Wood Lake.

Some passionate fishing friends and I have just formed a group called the Okanagan Fisheries Foundation (OFF) a privately funded NPO with which we hope to help promote, protect and preserve our local fisheries (particularly the big lake fisheries and their tributaries that form the core of the Okanagan Valley Water Shed) by lobbying local & provincial government, raising funds and providing manpower and money for enhancement projects and education for recreational anglers and the public at large. We aim to work with both local fish and game clubs, government bodies, native bands and local environmental groups to help achieve common goals related to the restoration and/or conservation of these fisheries for the economic and ecological benefit of the entire Okanagan Valley.

I'd love your opinion on all of the above and any input you might have as to who else to contact and/or look to work with.

Thanks!

Mat Hanson
Love 2 Fish Charters
www.fishkelowna.ca
250-718-7566