Catch of the day at Echo Lake. Photo by Don Daniels

Catch of the day at Echo Lake. Photo by Don Daniels

New arrival of trout offer anglers fun on shore or from a boat

By Don Daniels

Already in the month of March a number of catchable-sized Fraser Valley Rainbow trout have made their way into lakes to the south of Campbell River.

This is a busy time of year for staff at the trout hatchery in Duncan to get fish to the new homes around the province. Como, Diver, Maple and Spider have received the new trout and the truck will be headed to Campbell River-area lakes very soon. Echo, Beavertail, Reginald are local lakes that get stocked and there are lakes around Gold River that will receive hatchery-raised trout.

Hatchery manager Tristan Robbins will advise me when the truck will arrive to stock the lakes around Campbell River.

When the trout enter the lake, they head off into the deeper water and it takes them a few days, maybe even a week, to adjust to their new environment, settle in and go after various bugs and yes, fishing flies, bait or lures.

At Echo you can fish from shore at the day use area and you can fish from a small boat or kayak around the shoreline and throw out a lure. During the next few months fishing can be very good, then will taper off during the summer when water temperature will keep the trout in deeper water. Fly anglers do well early morning and late evening.

I get a chance to fish Echo on a regular basis and I have seen trout caught about 14 inches, and the odd lunker is reported, but I have yet to see it. The day use area is ideal to get a spot and settle into an afternoon of getting the kids out fishing.

From now until March 31, you can fish with last year’s licence and then the annual renewal is due April 1.

Once you turn 65, the resident licence will cost $5 and 100 per cent of the revenue goes to Fisheries Society of BC and Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.

Cowichan Lake has a number of tagged trout and if caught and/or released, the tag can be clipped off. Call the number and receive $100. Anglers can catch and release a tagged trout but clip off the tag or if you keep the trout, call the number!

The high-reward tag has tracking information for Fisheries to track movement along with other information.

Since we are still dealing with COVID-19, remember to keep groups to a minimum and travel restrictions are still in place.

We are getting longer daylight hours but temperatures still haven’t warmed up that much but things will turn and the trout action will pick up in weeks to come.

Local rivers will be fished at the end of April and the local stocked lakes will pick up by mid-April.

Whether you spin or fly fish, you can spread your wings on the water and avoid any contact with other anglers outside your bubble.