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Kokanee spawning numbers on the increase in the Okanagan

PENTICTON – Kokanee numbers for valley bottom Okanagan lakes are increasing according to counts done this fall.

The provincial government reports the Wood Lake kokanee population continues to show signs of recovery after poor in-lake conditions caused a significant increase in mortality in 2011.

This year, more than 20,000 kokanee spawned in Middle Vernon Creek which is the main tributary of Wood Lake.

That’s more than double the number from previous years and allows for a Wood Lake sport fishery from April 1 to August 31 in 2016.

The results from the routine spawner surveys of Okanagan main valley shorelines and lake tributaries show:

* Okanagan Lake kokanee spawners totalled 336,500, an increase from 80,500 last year and the highest return since annual counts began in1992. This large return was mostly due to an increase in shore spawning kokanee. Stream-spawning kokanee totalled 31,500 and shore-spawning kokanee totalled 305,000 fish.

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* In Kalamalka Lake, kokanee numbers totalled 36,500 which is well above the 10 year average return of 20,000.

Kokanee are land-locked sockeye salmon found in all of the Okanagan main valley lakes.

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