Osoyoos sockeye

Discussion in '2017 Freshwater Fishing Reports' started by sly_karma, Jul 25, 2018.

  1. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    No word yet on an opening for sockeye on Osoyoos Lake. Almost 150,000 counted over Wells Dam now, the bulk of those are Okanagan fish. The 2014 run was over 500,000, not a good result for the dominant year.
  2. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    I was waiting for this. Does it only happen every four years as well?
  3. Big Green Machine

    Big Green Machine Well-Known Member

    Sockeye come back every year, but 2014 was a big year, enough for an opening. Hasn’t been an opening for two years if I recall correctly.
    Rain City likes this.
  4. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Isn't this a man made fishery though?
  5. california

    california Well-Known Member

    No, there was historic run of these fish that were almost wiped out by the dams and water mismanagement. Historically there are accounts of Chinook, coho and steelhead as well in the Okanagan valley. By the mid 1990s only a small remnant run was left. It has since been built back up, but as BGM says the last recreational opening was 2014.
    Rain City likes this.
  6. Big Green Machine

    Big Green Machine Well-Known Member

    Like California said, the Columbia River system, Osoyoos Lake being a trib, had prolific runs of Salmon. There are pictures of 50-60 pound Chinook caught in the Salmo River, a trib of the Pend O’Reille river, a trib of the Columbia. Damn dams. There have been sightings of summer run steelhead in the OK River.
    Rain City likes this.
  7. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    crazy I had no idea. Thanks guys
  8. california

    california Well-Known Member

    Here is a pic of one we caught in 2014. They aren't very big and are usually a bit coloured up but the flesh was still very red like you expect from a sockeye. My parents had a place up there on the lake, and had a ski boat with no downriggers or even rod holders. Put an 6 or 8 ounce weight down with a little hot spot flasher and a small pink hootchie, the kids held the rods. We didn't have any problem getting them. Not much of a fight with those little sockeye, the weight and flasher.

    Attached Files:

  9. UkeeDreamin

    UkeeDreamin Well-Known Member

    Red flesh, yes. Still marbled with fat like they are at the coast, not even close. Still, the population is doing much better since the Douglas county P.U.D. funded the development of the “Fish/Water Management Tool” and DFO and the ONA convinced Provincial Water Management staff that they didn’t have to release water in February and wash out redds to avoid spring flooding and you didn’t have to save all summer flows for irrigation such that Osoyoos Lake (where all the Okanagan sockeye fry rear for one year) goes anoxic every summer, killing all the fry.

    There is also some hatchery enhancement, via the ONA run hatchery on Shingle Ck, which releases up to 5 million fry annually into Shingle Ck above Skaha Lake. This location addresses an ONA priority to reintroduce sockeye into the larger Okanagan basin (upstream of McIntyre Dam/McIntyre bluff, which may or may not have been a historic upstream barrier) as well as to reduce the impact and interactions of hatchery fish with the wild spawning and rearing population.


    wildmanyeah likes this.
  10. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    OK now in English ;)
  11. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    There was a good opening in 2016 as well, was extended from 2 weeks to 4 due to strong returns.

    There are a few steelhead around in the Okanagan system too. There's even a guide working the river south of Omak for catch and release steelhead angling. The ONA hatchery has plans to start programs for chinook and steelhead as well, could begin this year.
  12. UkeeDreamin

    UkeeDreamin Well-Known Member

    Douglas County Public Utility District runs a dam on the Columbia and, due to their impacts on US listed endangered species must spend big $’s on their recovery and have spent a good deal in Canada with the Okanagan Nation Alliance - funding the FWMT, hatchery and stream restoration/enhancement.

    The Fish/Water Mgmt Tool is a computer model that guides water storage and release from Okanagan Lake and has ended the practice of large releases in Feb/early March that historically scoured most Ok sockeye alevins out of their redds before they were fully developed. It also stopped the practice of hoarding all summer flows for irrigation releases, a practice that routinely led to Osoyoos Lake, known as the warmest lake in Canada, warming so much the warm surface layer extended down to the thermocline where the deep, cold, oxygen depleted water zone begins. Basically sockeye fry live in the thermocline and the lower portion of the upper layer except when foraging for plankton in the morning and evening. When the lake warms such that the entire upper layer is 20+C down to the oxygen free zone, sockeye fry die. Anoxic is a term for water with no oxygen. Hot water over 20C can’t hold much O2, the deep cold water doesn’t mix with the air to dissolve any O2 and aquatic veg doesn’t grow below 20-30ft in most lakes so no O2 produced in the deep zone via photosynthesis. When the top layer (epilimnion) thermocline and deep zone (hypolimnion) hold no O2, the lake is considered “Anoxic” - which literally means no oxygen.


    Alex_c, Seagirt, ILHG and 3 others like this.
  13. california

    california Well-Known Member

    Sockeye returns over Wells dam are 146,000 so far vs only 39,000 at this time last year, and vs the ten year average of 190,000 so its possible there could be openings on the lake.
    Rain City likes this.
  14. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    You... You're good. :)
  15. wildmanyeah

    wildmanyeah Crew Member

    FN0687-RECREATIONAL - Salmon - Region 8 - Osoyoos Lake - Sockeye Retention - Effective August 3, 2018

    Osoyoos Lake

    Effective 00:01 hours August 3, 2018 until one hour after sunset on August 13,
    2018 during daylight hours only, in the portion of Osoyoos Lake north of the
    bridge at HWY 3 (North Basin), you may retain two (2) sockeye per day.

    A review of in season information on sockeye abundance, harvest and
    environmental conditions in Osoyoos Lake will be conducted on August 13, 2018
    to determine duration of the fishery.

    On July 27, 2018 Department staff met with the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Mid
    Fraser Thompson Okanagan Sport Fish Advisory Committee to discuss fishery
    planning for Okanagan Sockeye. A collaborative fishing plan has been agreed too
    and implemented starting August 3, 2018.

    The aggregate daily limit for all species of Pacific Salmon (other than
    kokanee) from tidal and non-tidal waters combined is four (4).

    Fishing for salmon is permitted during daylight hours only.

    VO No. 2018-RFQ-396; 2018-RCT-395


    No Fishing for anadromous Salmon in Skaha Lake. Kokanee and Sockeye are present
    in Skaha Lake, which vary in size, it is recommended to release Oncorhynchus
    nerka over 50cm.

    Single barbless hooks are required when fishing for salmon in non-tidal waters
    of British Columbia.

    Sport anglers are encouraged to participate in the Salmon Sport Head Recovery
    program by labelling and submitting heads from adipose fin-clipped Chinook and
    Coho salmon. Recovery of coded-wire tags provides critical information for
    coast-wide stock assessment. Contact the Salmon Sport Head Recovery Program
    toll free at (866) 483-9994 for further information.

    If you're going fishing for salmon in non-tidal (fresh) waters, you need a Non-
    Tidal Angling Licence, issued by the Province of British Columbia. Visit the
    provincial website to buy your licence. Licences are available to B.C.
    residents and non-residents. Fees may vary and are listed online.

    Did you witness suspicious fishing activity or a violation? If so, please call
    the Fisheries and Ocean Canada 24-hour toll free Observe, Record, Report line
    at (800) 465-4336 or the British Columbia's toll-free RAPP line (Report All
    Poachers and Polluters) at 1-877-952-RAPP (7277).

    For the 24 hour recorded opening and closure line, call toll free at
    1-(866)431-FISH (3474).


    Dale Michie, DFO Kamloops Tel: 250-851-4946

    Fisheries & Oceans Operations Center - FN0687
    Sent August 1, 2018 at 1503
  16. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member

    hittin the lake on thurs early morning! cant wait to slay
    Rain City likes this.
  17. Big Green Machine

    Big Green Machine Well-Known Member

    Fish are on the smaller side this year and it’s taking folks longer to get their limits but if you are there on vacation and have your boat, it’s a fun fishery.
    kingblazer84 likes this.
  18. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member

    Well boys we limited out (4) fish total, lost 6 and had a blast doing it! Landed 5 in the boat

    Left Kelowna at 4:30am by the time we got to the lake (6:30am) it already had 40+ boats fishing it hard lol, once we launched headed out and setup our gear we found out what was working for us was a 3” squirt pink hoochie with a moonjelly red racer flasher with 14” leader. Ended up leaving at 12:30pm.

    Depth was at 56’ the whole day and it was on almost the whole time we were there. I must say it’s a pretty fun fisherie and I would def do it again!

    All fish were 4lbs
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  19. kingblazer84

    kingblazer84 Well-Known Member

    The fisherie is extended boys get out there! Starting Friday 5am they are opening up sockeye for an undisclosed amount of time!
  20. sly_karma

    sly_karma Well-Known Member

    It's a fun fishery for sure. People fishing from literally everything from canoes to cabin cruisers. Early in the month I was out there with the 6 am crowd, beats the heat and also get off the lake before the rental places open and let loose a bunch of yahoos on PWCs and wake boats that think it's ok to run at high speed through the fishing fleet. Despite the number of boats there's plenty of room, fist shaking and close encounters of the coastal kind were not an issue for me. Most people know they don't know much about sockeye fishing so they are pretty relaxed, just having fun. There's no tide to wait for or battle against and the winds are generally light. Pretty surreal to be there in almost-desert with vineyards and orchards all around, fishing for salmon.
    Oly1 likes this.

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