Presented By: Scott Silvestri Fisheries Biologist Region 1 Ministry of Environment, Fisheries Branch

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1 Small Lakes Management on Vancouver Island Presented By: Scott Silvestri Fisheries Biologist Region 1 Ministry of Environment, Fisheries Branch

2 2010 BCLSS Community Forum Presentation Agenda 1. Provincial fisheries management goals 2. General small lake information 3. Fish species on Vancouver Island 4. Fish stocking program 5. Lake assessments 6. Angler effort assessments 7. Lake classification system 8. Small lake fisheries management The finished product 9. Where to get this information

3 Provincial Fisheries Management Goals The Ministry of Environment has a mandate to provide angling opportunities for the general public while at the same time maintaining healthy and diverse native species and ecosystems Main Small Lakes Management Objectives (BC): AIM Governance GOALS Conservation Recreation PRIORITIES & ACTION PLANS Increase basic adult license sales by 30% (over ) 05) by 2015 Increase angler satisfaction and participation in small lakes fisheries Assess and report on fish and fishery conditions in hatchery and wild stock lakes Adopt a simplified base of regulations by way of an integrated t small lakes fisheries i management approach

4 General Small Lakes Information Provincial Definition: Any lake that is larger than 5 ha in size, but smaller than 1000 ha Province of BC: Small lakes support 70% of BC s freshwater angling activities bringing $350 million per annum Vancouver Island: 1,465 small lakes on Vancouver Island 424 have been fished since ,611 angling licence sales in Region 1 in 2007/08 90% of the lake anglers in Region 1 are VI residents

5 Rainbow Trout Fish Species on Vancouver Island Stocked in nearly 200 lakes historically and 64 presently Native rainbow trout were present throughout VI Cutthroat Trout Historically made up a large part of the stocking on Vancouver Island At the highest point, 117 lakes were stocked annually with Taylor CT. In 2009, 35 lakes were stocked with this strain Native cutthroat trout were historically present in about 330 lakes Dolly Varden Present mainly on northern VI Sea-run (anadromous), lake resident and stream resident forms Kokanee Most populations mature at less than 20 cm (8 ) and are not heavily fished

6 Fish Species on Vancouver Island Brown Trout Stocked by the Provincial Government e in 8 lakes ending in the mid 90s. Stocks persisting in Lois, Tadjiss, Rooney, McClure, Cameron and Cowichan Eastern Brook Trout Stocked sporadically by the Provincial Government in 16 lakes ending in the mid 30s except for Spectacle Lake which was stocked until The brook trout fishery in Spectacle Lake no longer exists Smallmouth Bass Stocked by Government (Federal/Provincial) in 12 lakes between 1900 and Since that time bass have been illegally introduced into at least 48 other lakes Other Illegal Introductions Pumpkinseed sunfish, largemouth bass, carp, brown bullheads and black bullheads (catfish), and yellow perch

7 Small Lake Fisheries Management - Fish Stocking Program The FRESHWATER FISHERIES SOCIETY of BC is responsible for all hatchery operations The MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT determines which lakes are stocked and with what Historical high of 171 lakes stocked in lakes stocked in 2009 Reduction in stocked lakes on private managed forest lands Increased # of catchables released into urban lakes

8 Fish Stocked In Small Lakes On Vancouver Island: RAINBOW TROUT Blackwater (AF3N) Fraser Valley (3N) Pennask (AF3N) CUTTHROAT TROUT Taylor (3N) NON-REPRODUCTIVE TREATMENTS: 3N Triploid AF3N All Female Triploid RELEASE SIZES: Fingerlings, Yearlings, Catchables (FV3N only)

9 Blackwater - BWAF3N Recommended for quality/above average and trophy fishery lakes Good growth rates Generally shoal feeders which makes them desirable to the fishery Have the ability to utilize forage fish in their diets (become piscivorous) at an early age Perform reasonably well in mixed species fisheries with a non-salmonid community BW strain has shown the greatest difference in survivals between 2N and 3N On Vancouver Island, assessments from indicated better growth and catchability of BW compared to TZ, however TZ survivals appeared better

10 Pennask AF3N Recommended for larger (>200 ha) quality/above average and trophy fishery lakes One of the longest and most prominent strains stocked in BC Ideally suited for highly productive monoculture lakes Good growth rates, especially after age 3 Better initial survivals than BWAF3N Survival of 2N appear better than 3N in year 1, however as they age, AF2N and 3N fish become more dominant Growth rates appear better for 2N than 3N in year 1, however by age 3+, AF and AF3N fish show a marked difference in size (due to 2N energy shift to maturation)

11 Fraser Valley 3N Recommended for community/urban and family fishery lakes The only domestic strain stocked in BC Extremely high growth rates, however initial low survivals unless released as CA Outperform BW and TZ in coastal oligotrophic lakes if stocked as CA Similar survivals between 2N and 3N More bold and aggressive than the wild strains, thus likely l to be caught more frequently due to increased movement in the lake

12 Taylor CT 3N Recommended for family or regional/average fishery lakes Captive broodstock Originates from Taylor River/Sproat Lake, Vancouver Island Native coastal cutthroat strain (non-anadromous anadromous) Hybridized to some extent with Taylor River rainbow trout Matures at a larger age than other Vancouver Island cutthroat stocks Used extensively to stock small lakes on Vancouver Island Usually stocked as yearlings

13 Small Lake Fisheries Management Lake Assessments How do we assess small lake performance: Fish Assessments: Gill Net Surveys (1 o ) Angling (2 o ) Fish survival Growth and age Natural recruitment Species p composition Stocking levels Water Quality Assessments: Water Quality Monitoring Temperature and oxygen TDS (lake productivity) PH Secchi depth Reliance/partnership with MoE-EQ EQ and lake stewardship programs for long term monitoring Quamichan Lake 1951,1972,1994,2004 Somenos Lake 1954,1972,1977,1978,1980,1985,1994,2005

14 Small Lake Fisheries Management Angler Effort Assessment Assessment of angler effort/use: Monitor license sales regionally and provincially Creel surveys to assess angler effort and use. Is generally completed on a select series of lakes (not broad based) Camera programs to document effort levels at specific lakes Mail-out questionnaires to document trends in effort and catch in regional small lakes. Normally completed on VI only and generally occurs every 4 years. For example, our target level of effort on a lake stocked with catchables is 1 angler day per catchable stocked. Use effort data to determine stocking rates.

15 Small Lake Fisheries Management Lake Classification Classification Catch Rate Average Fish Size Angler Effort Access Location Stocking Density (fish/ha) Species/ Strain Community / Urban Fishery High < 30 cm > 80 Good AD/ha/year (paved) Urban subject to availability FV3N Family Fishery High < 30 cm > 80 AD/ha/year Good (paved) Semi urban to semi rural Taylor CT 3N FV3N Regional / Average Fishery High Low < 30 cm to 40 cm > 80 AD/ha/year Mod. to good (gravel paved) Semi urban to rural Taylor CT 3N Quality / Above Average Mod. Low cm Fishery 40 Poor to Good Semi urban AD/ha/year (walk in to paved) to rural BWAF3N or PenAF3N Trophy Fishery Low Rb 20% > 50 cm, CT 20% > 40 cm < 20 AD/ha/year Poor to mod. (walk in to gravel) Semi rural to rural BWAF3N Wilderness Fishery Variable < 20 AD/ha/year Poor (walk in or plane) Rural N/A N/A

16 Small Lake Fisheries Management Putting it all together Quamichan Somenos Lake Class: Quality/Above-Average Average Community/Urban Angler Effort Declining Significant Decline Lake Assessment Stocking Plan Poor summer survival Poor summer survival due to WQ issues low effort 2000 BWAF3N Ye FV3N CA 1500 CT3N CA (Fall 2010)

17 Where can you get this information?

18

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