Plan on doing some fishing in the Okanagan?
Better make new plans, because fishing in in B.C.’s wine country has been severely curtailed.
On Wednesday, the Ministry of Forests and Lands announced that effectively immediately, recreational fishing has been closed in most areas of the Okanagan.
‘Never seen a crisis like this’: Sask. cattle ranchers facing setbacks due to drought
According to the ministry, the ban applies to all streams in the regions around Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton, Keremeos, Princeton, Summerland, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon and Cherryville.
The ministry says the closures will remain in effect until Sept. 15.
“Low water conditions combined with higher than normal water temperatures are creating difficult conditions for fish, particularly those released after being caught, such as bull trout,” the ministry said in a press release.
It added that B.C.’s Southern Interior has been experiencing drier-than-normal conditions this year, courtesy of early snowmelt, little rainfall and low flow rates.
B.C. government declares level 3 drought for the Okanagan
“Several streams are already in Drought Levels 3-4,” said the ministry. “The River Forecast Centre is projecting continuing conditions across the short-range outlook.”
The ministry says water temperature is highly correlated to ambient air temperature, and that many water bodies are currently recording water temperatures of 25-30 C.
“Temperatures in this range are stressful for fish and any released after being caught will have difficulty recovering,” said the ministry.
The Thompson-Okanagan Fish and Wildlife Branch recommends anglers avoid waterbodies where surface water temperatures exceed 20 C.
Water conservation: Okanagan residents challenged to ‘make water work’
Also, anglers are being encouraged to report fish kills to their local Fish and Wildlife office or RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277.
More information about the angling closures can be viewed on the provincial government website.
© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.