Anglers in the Kootenays are being asked to fish in the morning and early afternoon to protect fish from the effects of warm water later in the day.
The ministry is reducing recreational fishing activities for several areas in the Kootenay region, according to a news release.
From July 31 until Sept. 10, angling in these areas will be closed from 2 p.m. until midnight. To ensure people have an opportunity to fish, these closures will be in effect only for the times when the water temperature is at its highest.
This order applies to Michel Creek, Morrissey Creek, Lizard Creek, Coal Creek, Sand Creek and the lower St. Mary’s River, as well as streams listed in Management Units 4-3 to 4-9. These waterways are located throughout the Kootenays, near Grand Forks, Fernie, Sparwood and Cranbrook.
Water temperatures in these systems are peaking at approximately 20 C in the afternoon to evening. Angling fish at these elevated temperatures has been demonstrated to have harmful, and sometimes lethal, effects on fish, and any fish released after being caught will have difficulty recovering, the release stated.
The closures are supported by the Okanagan Nation Alliance, Ktunaxa Nation Council and the Kootenay Fisheries Regional Advisory Team.
If the temperatures cool sufficiently in the coming weeks, this order may be rescinded.
If anglers come across fish kills they can report them to their local Fish and Wildlife office or RAPP (Report All Poachers And Polluters) line (1 877 952-7277) and refer to the online version of the Freshwater Fishing Regulation Synopsis for angler alerts and potential in-season fishery closures.
Learn More about fishing regulations and restrictions for the Kootenays and provincewide at www.gov.bc.ca/fishingregulations