Hundreds of thousands of kokanee counted in the Okanagan

The province counted 182,500 kokanee in Lake Okanagan this fall.

“Stream-spawning kokanee totalled 28,500 and shore-spawning kokanee totalled 154,000 fish,” according to biologists working for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

Elsewhere in the valley, 67,000 kokanee were counted in Kalamalka Lake, the highest return on record, and the run was largely dominated by shore-spawning kokanee. Down at Skaha Lake, kokanee and sockeye numbers totalled 32,000.

Over at Wood Lake, where kokanee were facing high rates mortality six years ago, 34,000 of the fish were counted. With such a high number recorded, the Ministry is allowing a fishery to continue operating on the lake.

Spawning conditions in the Middle Vernon Creek need improvement, so the Ministry is working in collaboration with the District of Lake Country, Oceola Fish and Game Club, and the Okanagan Indian Band to increase numbers.

“Kokanee are landlocked sockeye salmon found in all of the Okanagan main valley lakes. They represent a fishery resource and an important part of the natural ecosystem. The ministry and its partners will continue efforts to restore spawning and rearing habitats and ensure the long-term health of kokanee populations.”

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