New fishing regulations near Revelstoke

Submitted by the North Columbia Environmental Society
Recent reports in the media have identified some minor changes to the fishing regulations near Revelstoke. The following will hopefully help to explain the current limitations that have been put in place to conserve populations.
In the past the Illecillewaet River was closed all year round below Albert Canyon except for a whitefish season from 1 February to 15 April. The whitefish season was not heavily used by local anglers but there have been reports of individuals using this season as an illegal opportunity to angle for other species in the river.
The closing of the whitefish season will help to manage illegal angling.
Angling has not been allowed from the Revelstoke Dam downstream to the Highway Bridge since the dam was built. This closure was to protect fish that congregated in this area and were vulnerable to overharvest, especially when the dam was releasing minimal water and when the Arrow Reservoir was not backed up to partially flood the area.
In recent years there has been increasing pressures on the fish populations in the river section of the Arrow Reservoir from the Highway Bridge downstream to Drimmie Creek (12 Mile). Pressure is especially high during the winter and spring periods when the Arrow Reservoir is low and the flows from the Revelstoke dam are low. Fish are forced into small pools along the banks of the river where they are easily caught. The number of shore anglers has increased over the past few years and concern for conservation of the populations is rising.
The river is now closed from the Revelstoke Dam downstream to the powerlines that cross the river near the Downie Timber log yard. This extended area of closure will reduce the impact of harvest on the populations of fish that hold in pools near the wing dam, the boat ramp, ball parks, and mouth of the Tum Tum.
Bull trout (aka Dolly) are a species of concern and management strategies have been in place for many years to protect this species; however, populations remain relatively low. Bull trout are especially susceptible to catch during the early spring period as they come out of winter dormancy. The new regulations allow for catch and keep of only one bull trout per day and it must be over 60 centimeters in length. All other bull trout must be released.
A maximum combination of 2 trout/char (Rainbow trout/ Bull Trout) may be harvested in the Upper Arrow Lake Drawdown Zone per day (Powerline at Downie Timber to Powerline at Akolkolex River). Only one of these fish can be a rainbow over 50 centimeters in length.
So, on one day only one bull trout (over 60 cm) and one Rainbow Trout (over 50 cm) can be harvested or two rainbows (less than 50 cm) can be harvested.
Kokanee harvest is allowed to a maximum of 5 fish per day in the Upper Arrow Reservoir but no kokanee can be caught in streams.
Anglers must also remember that only single barbless hooks can be used in any stream in the Kootenay Region (when there are open seasons) and also in the Upper Arrow Reservoir area from Revelstoke to the Akolkolex River.
For those without boats or wanting to angle close to Revelstoke, the change in the fishing regulations should not be a limitation on fishing opportunities. There are many locations along Lake Revelstoke where shore angling is possible. The smaller lakes in the area also provide for opportunities to fish from the shore. Lakes where rainbow trout can be caught include Echo Lake, Williamson’s Lake, Beaver Lake, and Begbie Lake.
Please remember that everyone over the age of 16 must purchase a fishing licence.
Last year’s licence expired on the 31 March.
The Freshwater Fishing Regulations provide all of the details needed to angle the waters near Revelstoke while maintaining legal methods. Regulations are in place to help conserve populations while providing the opportunity to harvest at a sustainable lev
A printable version of the Regulations can be obtained at the following site:
Illegal angling should be reported to the RAPP line (Report All Poachers and Polluters)
1-877-952- 7277 – Cell dial – #7277
Finally, remember that without conservation there will be no fish or fishing opportunities for future generations.