The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program is looking forward to a big spring, with most boat ramps now open as we move into the final months of the program, which has been extended until May 31, 2022. We also celebrate the latest winners of our $1,000 monthly prize draws, Nick Green of Riondel and Mike Jeffery of Kootenay Lake’s east shore.

Nick Green comes from a family of keen fisherman, who spend lots of time on the lake. They have been participating in the program since it launched, and his father Fred won a prize last year. As our December winner, Nick chose gift certificates from Main Jet Motorsports in Nelson and Crawford Bay Market in Crawford Bay.

Our January winner is Mike Jeffery, who is active in the Kootenays conservation community. In 2014, Mike and his wife Ivy, along with other community members, started the Eastshore Freshwater Habitat Society (EFHS) to help protect and remediate all rivers, creeks, streams and lakes on the East Shore that are tributaries to Kootenay Lake. For Mike, the Kootenay lake Angler Incentive Program is as essential part of returning the lake to its former glory. “We have the potential to make Kootenay Lake special again, but lots of work is needed,” he said. “The commitment of those participating in the angler incentive program is terrific to see!”

Mike has selected gift certificates from Crawford Bay Market and Gill & Gift in Balfour. This isn’t the first time Mike has been in the news. Last summer, he was hailed in media for saving a very upset skunk whose head was trapped in a tin can!

The Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program inspires anglers to get out fishing and enjoy the outdoors. Anglers are encouraged to harvest rainbow and bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and then turn in the heads to local depots to enter a monthly draw for a prize worth $1,000. There will also be a terrific grand prize awarded at the end of the program – a $15,000 fishing boat from Jones Boys Boats in Ainsworth.

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 (FLNRORD), and several local merchants from around Kootenay Lake.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD), recently held a public discussion on Kootenay Lake, where they confirmed that kokanee are currently in a “predator pit”, due to the abundance of Gerrard rainbow and bull trout

The Ministry urges anglers to continue to participate in this program and harvest all of their catch within daily quota limits to reinforce improved juvenile kokanee survival and continue to support low in-lake survival for the youngest kokanee.

More info on the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program:  bcwf.bc.ca/kootenay-lake-angler-incentive-program/

BC Wildlife Federation