High daytime temperatures across the Kootenay region are behind a new provincial order that anglers can fish only in the morning and early afternoon on most streams.
The Ministry of Forests B.C. Fishing Regulations says there is “No Fishing” in rivers and streams across southeastern B.C. between 2 p.m and midnight, effective Wednesday, August 2.
Note: the order does not include the mainstem of the Columbia River near Trail and Castlegar or the Kootenay River.
The in-season regulation change applies to all other streams in Management Units 4-3 to 4-9 (Fernie to Rossland), including the Salmo River, Beaver Creek and Pend d’Oreille River and their tributaries in the West Kootenay, and Michel Creek, Morrissey Creek, Lizard Creek, Coal Creek, Sand Creek and the lower St. Mary’s River in the East Kootenay.
Water temperatures are peaking at approximately 20 C in the afternoon to evening. Angling in those elevated water temperatures can have harmful and sometimes lethal effects on fish and any released into warm waters after being caught can have difficulty recovering.
If river temperature cools over the coming weeks, the order may be rescinded, but will remain in effect until further notice.
The closures are supported by the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Kootenay Fisheries Regional Advisory Team.
The province is asking anglers to report fish kills to their local Fish and Wildlife office or RAPP (Report All Poachers And Polluters) line (1 877 952-7277).
The online version of the Freshwater Fishing Regulation Synopsis is also a resource for angler alerts and potential in-season fishery closures.