The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program (KLAIP) is a local fish restoration initiative that has recently been extended to May 2022 with monthly prizes and grand prize draws for Kootenay Lake fishers.
The next grand prize draw for a Polaris Sportsman Quad and the 3-night-stay for 2 at Coastal Springs Float Lodge will be early November. Trout heads must be submitted by October 31 to be eligible.
In spring 2022, there will be another grand prize draw for a 2021 Marlon boat package with outboard and trailer.
The KLAIP is a citizen science initiative that encourages anglers of all ages to get out fishing to help reduce the over-abundant Rainbow and Bull trout, promoting a healthier balance between the endangered prey fish, kokanee, and their predators, the trout.
Anglers are encouraged to harvest Rainbow and Bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and then turn in the heads to one of four depots to enter monthly draws for prizes worth $1,000, and final grand prize draws.
In September, Kale Stanchuk of Trail won the $1000 monthly prize draw of two gift certificates. Stanchuk recently bought a boat from Jones Boys, ones of the local businesses and depots supporting the KLAIP. The prize certificates will help fit out his new boat.
The reason for the KLAIP is to support the main Kootenay Lake fishery's return to a healthier predator-prey balance.
In 2018, Gerrard Rainbow and Bull trout (predator) populations had increased so much their predation had forced kokanee (prey) to near extinction; consequently, the predators have decreased in size and condition significantly.
“Based on early returns of kokanee to the spawning channel, it is apparent that the KLAIP alone is not reducing the predator species enough to allow the kokanee numbers to increase," said KLAIP, Gordon Grunerud.
"The West Arm Outdoors Club has appealed to the FLNRORD Ministry to be more proactive and utilize the many science-based options available to correct the predator-prey balance. The KLAIP helps, but relying on reducing the predator population with a fishing rod is only part of the solution in such a large lake.”
The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program is managed by the local West Arm Outdoors Club with support from B.C. Wildlife Federation, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNORD), Jones Boys Boats of Woodbury Creek and several local merchants from around Kootenay Lake. More information on the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program: https://bcwf.bc.ca/kootenay-lake-angler-incentive-program/ About the B.C. Wildlife Federation:
The B.C. Wildlife Federation is British Columbia’s leading conservation organization. As a province-wide member-driven charitable organization, with over 43,000 members and more than 100 member clubs, our organization represents the interests of all British Columbians who aim to protect, enhance and promote the wise use of the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.