Anglers can find refuge from new fishing restrictions on Kootenay streams by casting on the Columbia River.
The Ministry of Forests B.C. Fishing Regulations in-season changes, says there is “No Fishing” in rivers and streams across southeastern B.C. between 2 p.m and midnight, effective Wednesday, August 2.
However, the mainstem of the Columbia River that flows from the Hugh Keenleyside Dam to the U.S. border is still open to fishing all day long. The Columbia is exempt from the provincial order that anglers can fish only in the morning and early afternoon on most streams. The order does not include the Columbia River near Trail or the Kootenay River.
The in-season regulation change applies to all other streams in Management Units 4-3 to 4-9 (Fernie to Rossland), including the Salmo River, Beaver Creek and Pend d’Oreille River and their tributaries in the West Kootenay.
In the East Kootenay, the closure applies to Michel Creek, Morrissey Creek, Lizard Creek, Coal Creek, Sand Creek and the lower St. Mary’s River.
According to the BC Ministry of Forests, water temperatures are peaking at approximately 20 C in the afternoon to evening. Angling in those elevated water temperatures can have harmful and sometimes lethal effects on fish and any released into warm waters after being caught can have difficulty recovering.
The Columbia River is a free-flowing tailwater fishery, much larger than the smaller Kootenay streams; and while temperatures do increase, the Columbia offers very deep, protected and cooler waters for the various species of fish to find respite.
More information on regulations, and a link to the online version of the Freshwater Fishing Regulation Synopsis for our region can be found on our Columbia River Fishing Regulations page..