Want to know more about Friends of Kootenay Lake’s Shore-spawning Kokanee Habitat Enhancement Project?
On August 25th between 10:00 – 10:45 am, join us for a virtual information session hosted by Program Manager Camille LeBlanc.
In this one hour session, you will learn why shorespawners are so important, what issues they are facing on Kootenay Lake and how FOKLSS and our team of advisors are working to enhance known spawning habitat.
The West Arm of Kootenay Lake is home to distinct species of Kokanee salmon. These shore-spawning Kokanee depend on the gravel shores of the West Arm to build their redds. Redds are fish nests composed of pea-sized gravel, where Kokanee lay their eggs to spawn. These genetically distinct Kokanee need the levels of the lake to stay constant to not have their eggs be left to dry and without a route to continue their development in the lake.
Friends of Kootenay Lake combined forces with volunteers, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources, and Rural Development (FLNRORD) Fisheries, Masse Environmental Consultants, and local contractors to protect this keystone species through the Kokanee Community Education and Habitat Restoration Project. The approach taken by Friends of Kootenay Lake included workshops, monitoring, and habitat creation.
A series of workshops were held at the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre hosted Joanne Siderius, Senior Naturalist of the Kokanee Creek Nature Centre, and Jeff Burrows Senior, Fish Biologist from Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resource Operations, where they spoke about who the shore spawning Kokanee are, their conservation and management, and what actions we can take to protect this important species.
Monitoring of shore spawning Kokanee is usually undertaken by FLNRORD, but knowledgeable volunteers and Friends of Kootenay Lake staff were able to work with the province to conduct the monitoring. This work was carried out thanks to a local volunteer who provided a boat, from where redds could be easily counted.
The next step of the Shore spawning Kokanee Community Education and Habitat Restoration Project involves the creation of habitat for spawning on the shoreline of the West Arm in the fall. The gravel being installed is the ideal size and shape for spawning Kokanee to dig their redds in. We hope to see an increase of shore spawning Kokanee on our site, and that enhanced habitat can support Kokanee egg development.
Program Manager Camille LeBlanc and volunteer survey boat driver Saxon Bowick monitoring spawning Kokanee in October 2019