Earlier this month the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. stocked several local lakes with almost full-grown and sterilized rainbow trout that can be caught and kept by anglers with up to date fishing licenses.
All told, 500 fish were released in Logger’s Lake, 200 in Nita Lake, 500 in Alpha Lake and 1,000 in Lost Lake. The benefit of adding sterilized fish is that they focus their energies on eating rather than reproducing, and grow faster and larger than wild natural fish in local lakes.
As well, the society is looking at the possibility of adding 750 sterilized cutthroat trout to Showh Lake in September. The Showh Lakes were originally barren, but were stocked for the first time in the early 1990s with Rainbow trout. However, because the fish didn’t grow as planned stocking was discontinued. It’s hoped that cutthroat trout, which have thrived in other Whistler Lakes by feeding on smaller fish like stickleback, will have more success.
The goal of the program is to become self-sufficient, with fees collected from recreational fishing licences covering the cost of stocking programs.
Whistler fish and wildlife technician Vesna Young says the Whistler Angling Club and Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group were consulted before stocking lakes. Many stocked lakes in the region, like Logger’s Lake, had no natural fish before stocking programs, while others like Alta Lake have been stocked since the 1920s and many of the natural fish in local waterways are likely offspring from past stocking programs.
At this point nobody is exactly sure what the natural fish population looked like when Myrtle Philip and family set up a fishing lodge on Alta Lake in 1914.
More information about stocking programs, including the stocking history of lakes and an explanation on how fish are sterilized — it involves subjecting the eggs to water pressures around 9,000 pounds per square inch — can be found at www.gofishbc.com.
For the Record
In a June 5 story headlined “Thanks for all the fish”, the author didn’t correctly identify the parties involved. Vesna Young is the fish and wildlife technician for the Resort Municipality of Whistler, while the trout stocking program is part of a provincial program administered by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. The Whistler Fisheries Stewardship Group is not directly involved in stocking, its mandate is creating and preserving habitat for wild fish.