01 Oct Keep an eye out for Kokanee spawning on the shoreline!
A reminder to keep an eye out for redds on the shoreline, as Kokanee are spawning between September and October
On September 27th FOKLSS went to a known spawning site of shore spawning Kokanee, right at the time when they had begun to spawn and monitoring programs by local fish biologists were set to begin. We were lucky enough to catch some Kokanee spawning and swimming around some newly constructed redds (gravel nests) in the video below.
This genetically distinct population of Kokanee are known to dig their redds at various sites along the West arm of Kootenay Lake. They favour sites that have groundwater upwellings that provide a lot of oxygen, as well as fluvial sites that have an abundance of pea sized gravel. Kokanee deposits their eggs in gravel that females dig with their tails about 2 meters from the shore, at an elevation slightly below the low watermark.
Because of their proximity to land these sites are often at risk of disturbance, either by boats docking, humans or dogs walking on them and dewatering due to low water levels. Therefore it is important for those of us who use the lake or even have a shoreline property to know how to identify redds and help protect them from preventable interference.
It can be hard to determine what is a redd what is a gravel pile but with the help a retired fisheries staff member, we now have a better idea of what to look for when watching out for redds.
Redds are identified by round, clean deposists of gravel. The lack of algae on the rocks indicates that they have been disturbed by Kokanee digging with their tails. The photo below shows an example of what they may look like from the shoreline. Although redds aren’t always this obvious. In the video above our retired fisheries guide identified at least 8 redds at the site. Can you spot anymore?
If you are out on the shoreline during spawning season, please contact the report a shore spawner hot line at #250- 354-6333.
Let them know where you saw the redd and take a photo of the site. This will help those of us working to gather data on shore spawners and raise awareness of their presence on the shoreline.
Consider donating today to help support FOKLSS Shore spawning Kokanee Education and Restoration Program
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or know of any shore spawner sites on the lake.