Chris Stone herds up stocked trout into deeper water at Echo Lake during 2019 stocking program. Don Daniels photo

Vancouver Island spring lake stocking to go ahead

Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. seasonal trout stocking on private land temporarily halted

A number of Vancouver Island lakes usually stocked each spring with catchable-sized trout came close to losing out as Mosaic Forest Management and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development continued access negotiations.

But the two parties came to an agreement March 25 and the stocking program will proceed.

In short, Mosaic had not yet given road access approval for Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (FFSBC) trucks to deliver the trout to Echo, Beavertail, Hawthorn, Helldiver, Kissinger, Lois, Loon, Rhododendrons, Wolf, Rheinhart, Reginald, Wowo, Ninim, Tadjiss and Rowbotham Lakes.

That put FFSBC in a difficult position.

“We can only keep a certain number of fish at the hatchery, so the fish that were grown for these lakes will be released into other lakes in the area,” said a statement from FFSBC Monday. “We have made the time sensitivity of the spring stocking clear to Mosaic and the Ministry, so they are aware of this.”

The FFSBC acts as a contractor to the MFLNRORD which manages the lakes in B.C. and decides what lakes are stocked.

“We are currently working with the Government of British Columbia on a fish stocking agreement for lakes on private lands managed by Mosaic Forest Management,” said a release on the Mosaic website. “Public access to these lakes remains open where access can be provided safely and in coordination with weather and operational conditions.

“Each year, Mosaic Forest Management works with MFLNRORD, and the FFSBC, to stock trout in lakes on private forest lands managed by Mosaic. The initiative benefits recreational fishing, as well as research and conservation of freshwater fish on Vancouver Island.”

The FFSBC released the good news this week.

“We just received word that a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed between the Ministry and Mosaic, and the access will be restored for stocking this spring,” says the release. “Stocking of those lakes will begin next week. You can check the stocking reports on our website for the latest updates on which lakes were stocked at”

A short example of stockings in 2019 were Reginald Lake – 600 rainbow, Spider Lake – 8,250 rainbow, Thetis Lake – 4,000 rainbow, Wolf Lake – 2,500 cutthroat, and Wowo Lake – 500 rainbow.

Each year the FFSBC stocks more than 800 lakes and rivers in B.C.

The stocked species include rainbow and cutthroat trout, eastern brook trout, char, kokanee and steelhead.

Of a unique key importance is the stocking of catchable-sized trout. This has an immediate impact on local fishing-tourism participation.

The Society has only been stocking B.C. waterbodies since 2003, but their records include data for all releases over the years. Meaning fishing sleuths can have a fairly good idea of what lakes could be turned on for their planned outing by accessing the FFSBC web site.

And how popular are the stocking programs? The FFSBC delays any announcement of stockings to the public because it creates too much angling pressure all at once.

Literally, some anglers will follow the stocking trucks to the lakes.

However, the FFSBC will provide that stocking information after the fish have been allowed to settle into their new habitat. And after crews get back into the office after their hectic stocking runs. That usually takes a couple of days or so.

Anglers are reminded to look at the life stage in the stocking record because not all stockings are of catchable size. Fry, fingerling and yearling-sized fish usually take a year or more after release before they are ready to give you a good tussle.

The FFSBC website also has information about origin and habitat preferences – and fishing tips – for the species they stock.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Weekly RCMP update: Bike thefts and persistent driving while prohibited

Campbell River RCMP detachment seeing bicycle theft as an ongoing concern

Over 21 Campbell River tourism businesses benefit from resiliency program

Vancouver Island Tourism Resiliency Program is helping businesses pivot and adapt to the COVID-19 imposed changes in industry

NIC online marine training accessed by mariners across the country

NIC was among the first post-secondary schools to receive approval for digital marine courses

Search for missing hiker suspended once again

Search for Laurence Philippsen was revived over the weekend after new information was received

NIC practical nursing students hone skills on pandemic’s front line

‘It also has become clear that this is my thing,’ – NIC practical nursing student Breanna Patterson

Recent surge in COVID-19 cases not unexpected amid Phase Three of reopening: B.C.’s top doc

Keep circles small, wear masks and be aware of symptoms, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

B.C. NDP changing WorkSafeBC regulations to respond to COVID-19

Employers say reclassifying coronavirus could be ‘ruinous’

Baby raccoon rescued from 10-foot deep drainage pipe on Vancouver Island

‘Its cries were loud, pitiful and heartbreaking,’ Saanich animal control officer says

Statistical flaws led to B.C. wolf cull which didn’t save endangered caribou as estimated

Study finds statistical flaws in an influential 2019 report supporting a wolf cull

Windows broken, racist graffiti left on Okanagan home

Family says nothing like this has happened since they moved to Summerland in 1980s

Beloved Island woman dies at 106

Dorothy Adair adored by the many people she met in Chemainus in two short years

Man arrested for allegedly pushing unsuspecting seniors, jumping on cars at Parksville mall

Cops arrest man after ‘aggressive incident’ at Wembley Mall in Parksville

Most Read