An angler gets a few last casts in on July 22 before the Kettle River closes to fishing for a month, between July 25 and Aug. 25. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

An angler gets a few last casts in on July 22 before the Kettle River closes to fishing for a month, between July 25 and Aug. 25. (Jensen Edwards/Grand Forks Gazette)

Kettle River closed to fishing until Aug. 25 to protect fish

The closure came into effect on Saturday, July 24

Kettle River anglers need to reel in their lines for the season. As of July 25, the river is closed to fishing.

The annual month-long closure is meant to protect the river’s rainbow trout through August, when their habitat is at its most stressful, thanks to low water levels and high heat. Anglers can cast their lines into the river again after Aug. 25.

The West Kettle also closes for fishing on Aug. 1 and reopens after Aug. 30. The Granby, meanwhile, is open to anglers but baited and barbed hooks are banned through October.

Specific waterway fishing regulations can be found on the province’s website. Okanagan-area (which includes the Boundary) regulations can be found here.

People looking to continue fishing can participate in the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program, which launched in June. The BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) is asking anglers to harvest their catch of rainbow and bull trout, then turn in the heads to one of four depots, and be entered into a monthly draw for prizes valued at $1,000.

All entries will then go into the Grand Prize draw in June 2021, for a chance to win an 18-foot Kingfisher boat equipped with a 115-horsepower Yamaha engine from Jones Boys Boats.

For decades, anglers have been encouraged to practice catch-and-release, especially for the large, prime spawning Gerrards on Kootenay Lake. The catch and keep credo will be a departure for many, but is necessary given the current state of fish populations in the lake, said West Arm Club president Gord Grunerud.

The program is intended to help foster a recovery of the lake’s kokanee salmon population.

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