The latest survey shows fluctuating numbers for kokanee salmon populations in Okanagan lakes.
Kalamalka Lake had its highest return on record with 67-thousand this fall, largely dominated by shore spawning kokanee,
Okanagan Lake had over 182,500 spawners, which is close to the ten year average, with 154,000 of those shore-spawning, and the rest creek spawners.
The Wood Lake kokanee population continues to recover after poor conditions led to a significant increase in mortality rates in 2011.
Over 34,000 kokanee returned to the tributaries of Wood Lake to spawn this fall.
“Given the high number of returning kokanee, the ministry will continue to allow a fishery on Wood Lake from April 1 to Aug. 31, 2018. Ministry staff are working collaboratively with the District of Lake Country, Oceola Fish and Game Club, and the Okanagan Indian Band to improve spawning conditions in Middle Vernon Creek,” says a release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands ,and Natural Resource Operaitons
In Skaha Lake, kokanee and sockeye numbers totalled 32,000.
Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon found in all of the Okanagan main valley lakes. They represent a fishery resource and an important part of the natural ecosystem.
“The ministry and its partners will continue efforts to restore spawning and rearing habitats and ensure the long-term health of kokanee populations,” adds the release.