Officials are investigating what caused the deaths of more than one thousand kokanee salmon in Okanagan Lake.
The fish washed-up on the shores in the northern half of the lake over the last week.
The Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations Ministry says samples from the die-off are being tested by the provincial animal health centre for disease, with the results expected in the next two weeks.
“At this point, the die-off is not severe enough to have a significant effect on Okanagan Lake’s overall kokanee population. Last year, biologists counted more than 180,000 spawning kokanee on the lake, which was considered equivalent to the average return over the past 10 years,” says a ministry release.
Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon, and are second only to rainbow trout as the most popular game fish in BC.
The fish are threatened by several factors, including interactions with introduced species, climatic variability and habitat loss.