1,250 trout released into Echo Lake. Don Daniels photo

1,250 trout released into Echo Lake. Don Daniels photo

Larger-than-normal trout have arrived at Echo Lake

By Don Daniels

The annual fall stocking of rainbow trout at Echo Lake was delayed by about two weeks this year but Tristan Robbins, hatchery manager in Duncan, confirmed that the trout would be arriving at Echo Lake Oct. 20 at around 3 p.m.

Chris Stone, fish culturist, had made a stop at Maple Lake to put in 2,500 catchable-size rainbow trout then made his way to Campbell River to stock Echo Lake. The truck arrived on time and the 1,250 trout were released through a gauntlet of flexible pipe and into water which was 14.9 degrees Celsius that day. When it comes time to open the truck tank, it only takes a few seconds for all the trout to be placed into their new home.

They will fend for themselves and this year the size of trout was between 225 and 260 grams in weight. I mentioned to Chris that the way the trout are transferred into the lake looks like a trout cannon. Close to shoreline a few trout go the wrong way and have to be directed into deeper water. But soon they are gone to be caught at a future date.

It takes about two weeks for the trout to settle in and start finding their own food in the form of snails, sticklebacks and other bugs below the surface of the water. Shore anglers can use worms below a float and those who have a pontoon boat or float tube can use a number of fly patterns ranging from leech and woolly worms to water beetles and chironomids. Now would be the ideal time to fish the logging road side of the lake and keep casting out where the deeper water is, about 30 feet off the bank.

The fishing social of the year is always the annual Chum Derby at Browns Bay Resort. This year, 380 anglers registered and winners were announced on the Sunday, Oct. 23. Saturday saw the wind come up but those out fishing got through the day, a vast majority got fish to the boat. Biggest chum was 14.8 lb caught by Pekka K. who picked up first prize, $4,000. Second place went to Dave B. with a chum 13.0 lb and won $3,000, third was Abby M. with a chum 12.8 lb and she won $2,000.

The derby wrapped up late Sunday afternoon at the tenting area where other prizes were drawn for and it’s truly what Campbell River is about: salmon fishing. A number of anglers show up from the mainland to take part in the event; some people just couldn’t make it so registration was a bit down but it’s a great way to spend a day or two at Browns Bay and take part in what people do here and that is go fishing.

With the recent rain which started Oct. 21, a number of fly anglers are fishing the beach area at Willow Point and some coho are being hooked; with more rain coming, the coho will start moving up along with the chums.

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