Okanagan Lake Sticky

Discussion in '2015 Freshwater Fishing Reports' started by Fisher_dude, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. Fisher_dude

    Fisher_dude Active Member

    If the saltwater section can have stickied threads for bodies of water, why cant we? My last thread about Ok Lake was 13 pages long and had over 8500 views. I think that deserves its own sticky. With the lake temps finally starting to drop, more and more people will be heading out over the fall and winter to try their best. I will be trying to get out this week sometime to mix in a bit of hunting and fishing on the east side of the lake.
  2. Dan

    Dan Member

    Usually a pm to a staff member(moderator or admin) is the best and fastest way to get this done, hope that helps and good luck out there, stay safe !!!
  3. hud52

    hud52 Member

    So tell me, do any of the Sockeye jumping at OK Falls make it through Lake Skaha and into Okanagan Lake? I was taking in the wine festival last week and saw a ton of fish jumping at OK Falls (the dam) trying to make their way further up the system. Just curious.
  4. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    Yes, a few do get over the level control weir at Penticton and into Okanagan. There are longterm plans to open the entire system for free passage of fish, right now the priority is to get the new Penticton sockeye hatchery built and operating. The biologists from the US power utilities that fund this stuff are well aware of the enormous potential of the Okanagan for salmon habitat. It's the best chance to restore the Columbia sockeye runs.
  5. Fisher_dude

    Fisher_dude Active Member

  6. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    Anyone been out fishing Okanagan lake recently water temp is about perfect at 55degree

    J-GLOBAL Well-Known Member

    Heading up to VERNON from the LML this weekend. Would like to put my canoe in on a smaller lake and go for a paddle, dragging flies &/or flatfish.

    Any suggestions on which lakes in the area would be most appropriate?

  8. hud52

    hud52 Member

  9. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    What I like is that much of the ONA fisheries research, the new hatchery and its operation budget for the next 49 years are funded by American utilities money, not Canadian tax dollars.
  10. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    Wow that's great didn't know that, I was wondering who was paying the bill for the 3 or 4 trucks and 3 boats I see everyday!!
  11. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    The dams on the Columbia kill fish, about 7% of everything trying to go downstream is shredded in the turbines - at each and every dam. The US federal govt has forced hydro operators to spend money to mitigate the losses. Much of it is in the form of hatcheries in WA, hydro pays to build and staff the facilities, state fisheries employees actually do the operations work. Sockeye has been a problem for them, they raise fish no problem but habitat for fry post-release is less than optimum so return rates have been poor. Up here though, Skaha Lake has proved to be excellent habitat for sockeye fry and return rates for hatchery fish are well above wild fish. Good enough that the ONA program will now become the largest sockeye operation in the Columbia Basin, two of the public hydro utilities have already shut down their remaining sockeye activities and are funding the ONA operation instead.

    Up to now they have been running a 500,000 egg trial program from the DFO hatchery in Lumby but that is set to jump in a big way. The new Penticton hatchery has a 5 million egg capacity and can be expanded to 8 million fairly easily. Osoyoos Lake in August will be a real hot spot from 2019 onward!
  12. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    That's great info. I can't wait tell they get the sockeye fry into Okanagan lake that will be a great food sources for the rainbows. Your going to see some nice trout come out of Osoyoos lake with all the feed!!
  13. UkeeDreamin

    UkeeDreamin Well-Known Member

    Many aren't so optimistic about the reintro of sockeye fry into Okanagan Lake given all the signs of a system in serious imbalance - primarily due to the failed mysid introduction and the impact of all the irrigation impoundments on all the tribs, which disrupt the flow of nutrients into Okanagan Lake (i.e trapped in the sediments behind the many irrigation dam structures). According to the Okanagan Lake Action Plan, the nutrient imbalance has caused a dramatic decrease in the productivity of the lake, which is compounded by the fact the mysids are a major competitor for groceries with juvenile trout and kokanee while not being bioavailable as prey to larger fish due to their diurnal migration to the depths when the sun's up. Net effect is a reduction in both the total numbers and average size of kokanee in the lake over the past couple of decades. When both size and numbers go down at the same time, red flags go up. If you throw millions of additional hatchery sockeye fry into the competitive mix without addressing the base productivity of the lake, it's just more mouths competing for very limited groceries.

    Not dissimilar to Russia and Alaska pumping billions of hatchery chum and pink fry into the North Pacific during a cycle of lower ocean productivity - as we've all seen it doesn't bode well for the wild stocks competing for the limited food supply.

    Unfortunately not as simple as just building a hatchery and pumping out fry when you're dealing with aquatic ecosystems. I, along with many others, would argue that the successes being witnessed in the Okanagan d/s of McIntyre Dam and in Osoyoos Lake are primarily due to the development of the "Fish/Water Management Tool" that directs the management of flows and lake levels, not hatchery enhancement. Prior to this tool the Ministry took a flood risk averse approach that did two things - scoured alevins out of redds in the early spring and caused a thermocline "crunch" in the ultra-warm Osoyoos Lake (sockeye/kokanee fry only rear in the North basin of Osoyoos Lake and even there the small window of water cool enough but with enough oxygen gets so small it is the limiting factor for number of fry the lake produces). Since the tool has been used redd scour hasn't occurred and the lakes carrying capacity/survival of fry to smolt has risen dramatically. Development of this tool was funded by the Douglas County Public Utility, in partnership with ONA, as part of their Endangered Species Act obligations, as referenced by sly karma above.

    Anyway, good things are happening due to the ESA's requirement the US public utilities spend dollars to recover endangered Columbia salmon stocks and, due to the great work by ONA, they see that they can get great bang for their buck north of the border.

  14. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    Well I know that the trout fishing is very good in osoyoos lake. And I hope that one day Okanagan lake gets good again.
  15. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    Ukee is spot on, the change in lake level management practices with the adoption of the new software tool in 05/06 is considered by the biologists to be the single biggest factor in the sudden success of the Okanagan sockeye program. The returns had been unremarkable prior to that. Much of ONA's resources at the moment are turned toward habitat and water quality now that the low-lying fruit has been picked. There is considerable motivation - backed by resources - south of the border to see success in the Canadian sockeye program, you'd be surprised how many US biologists and fisheries managers have a keen professional interest in this valley. Hats off to the ONA for initiating the programs and stimulating interest where it matters.
  16. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    Check out this hog on Okanagan lake. Don't know the guy but he fishing in the peachland area nice bow forsure!!

  17. fshnfnatic

    fshnfnatic Well-Known Member

    Wow,thats a hog! Gotta be a Gerard strain for sure.Love the coloring.That would make an awesome skin mount.
  18. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    Not sure about that. I live here but to the best of my knowlwedge there is no planting of rainbows in Okanagan lake. There have always been some big ones. I just am unclear if they are Gerrards.
  19. JAC

    JAC Well-Known Member

    They are kamloops rainbows there are no gerrards in Okanagan lake. They don't stick the lake but I wish they did. If the Kokanee continue to improve so will the bows.
  20. Fisher_dude

    Fisher_dude Active Member

    The mission creek rainbows are Kokanee killers.

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