Fish Monitoring

In order to utilize radio telemetry, Streamkeepers have tagged 30 adult rainbow trout, to determine spawning locations and migratory patterns.  Based on these findings, we’ve conducted redd counts (spawning counts) over the years at the “Gravel Pit Bridge” site in an attempt to link spawning production with population productivity.

Prior monitoring of the rainbow trout population had begun in the mid-1980s in response to a significant decline in the population. The Slocan River was then closed to fishing in an attempt to re-establish fish stocks. By the mid ‘90s the population responded to this closure, and the river was once again opened to angling  but only to catch and release. The population continued to increase over the next decade and has now stabilized with only small variations from year to year.

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rainbow trout (photo: public domain)

Using ortho photos accompanied by ground checks, an Aquatic Habitat Inventory was conducted for all of the Slocan River with a special emphasis on side channels, an attribute linked to trout productivity and that has been compromised over the years by land development. This habitat was indeed under-represented in the Slocan River, and a number of sites were determined to be prime candidates for restoration.

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adult bull trout (photo: public domain)

Subsequent to the 2013 Fuel Spill in Lemon Creek:

As a result of a substantial fuel spill in Lemon Creek in 2013, we conducted two years of bull-trout redd counts on the creek. Annually we see bull trout in the “Lemon Pool” in the fall at the time of our snorkel surveys and previous studies and local knowledge indicted that, at one time, the bull-trout population in Lemon Creek was significant. While juvenile bull trout were observed in Lemon Creek, redds and adult fish observed through snorkel floating were very low. (We have also observed that spawning habitat was very limited compared to that of the past.  This may be the result of a number of significant flood years that altered spawning habitat significantly.)

 

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photo: Gregoire Lamoureux
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