Drought brings angling closures to Okanagan

Effective immediately, recreational fishing has been closed in most areas of the South Okanagan.

This applies to all streams in Management Units 8-1 through 8-15 and Management Units 8-21 through 8-23, which are located in the regions around Christina Lake, Grand Forks, Osoyoos, Oliver, Penticton, Keremeos, Princeton, Summerland, Peachland, Kelowna, Vernon, and Cherryville. These closures will remain until Sept. 15, 2021.

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 Southern Interior has experienced drier than normal conditions in 2021 with early snowmelt and low flow rates. Several streams are already in Drought Levels 3-4. The river forecast centre is projecting continuing conditions across the short-range outlook.

Water temperature is highly correlated to ambient air temperature; 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.

The Thompson-Okanagan Fish and Wildlife Branch recommends anglers avoid waterbodies where surface water temperatures exceed 20 C.

Anglers are encouraged to report fish kills to their local Fish and Wildlife office or RAPP 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.

For more information on Thompson-Okanagan angling closures, contact Tara White, senior fisheries biologist at 778 622-6839 or Tara.White@gov.bc.ca (mailto:Tara.White@gov.bc.ca).