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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was up at a very small, unnamed lake (no I'm not trying to keep the lake to myself; it is shown in the Backroads Mapbook) south of Doreen Lake near Winfield, BC. It is usually a great lake to fish and does not get much angling pressure. A good day is anywhere between 5-10 fish to the boat and ranging in size from 14-23 inches. The sonar lights up all over the lake marking fish on the shoals, along the drop offs and even in the deepest part of the lake down the middle. Last week, it was like the fish suddenly disappeared. We didn't see a single fish on the finder and we only hooked a couple of fish. The lake turned over quite some time ago and prior to this day, everything was good. So, where did the fish go?

1. Poached?
2. Hiding? If so, why?
3. Spawning somewhere?
 

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I doubt it was cold enough last winter to kill any fish off!!!
i believe it has more to do with the levels off the lake at the time of the ice coming on. when the lakes are lower than normal and freeze up they are more prone to winter kill, as long as it is cold enough to freeze for the winter any lake could winter kill.
 

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I doubt it was cold enough last winter to kill any fish off!!!
Winter Kill

Winter kill occurs in frozen lakes and ponds where the exchange of gases between the water below the ice and the air above is not enough to maintain oxygen levels that support fish.

During the winter, oxygen normally enters the water of a frozen lake through inlet water streams, cracks in the ice, and slow diffusion through the ice. A thick snow cover on a lake can reduce the amount of oxygen passing through the ice.

Fish and other aquatic plants and animals use oxygen throughout the winter. Despite this steady use, if lakes are deep enough, they may contain a sufficient volume of water to maintain oxygen above lethal levels. But in shallow lakes where the water volume is low, winter kill will occur.

Depending on the length of the winter, the amount of snow cover, the amount of fresh water entering the lake, and the number of fish and other life in the lake, winter kill may occur only every few years. Like summer kill, it may only occur in certain shallow areas of the lake where fish are unable to escape to deeper and more oxygen-rich water.

Summer and winter kills are normal occurrences in some lakes. Winter kill especially occurs in many regularly trout-stocked water bodies. In some cases artificial aeration during the winter helps prevent the die-offs.

Cold is not what causes winterkill.
 

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I recently watched a large trout in the Princeton area cruise back & forth in the shallows, then completely stop in less than a foot of water about 3 feet from shore for 15-20 seconds before moving on....Perhaps the fish just rest by structure or are in another part of the lake where they feel more comfortable? Would a group of trout show on a 'finder if they were not moving?...........Ortho
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hey guys, I doubt is was winterkill as we fished the same lake a week earlier and caughts lots of fish and saw lots of fish.

It is the same lake a few kms south of Fly Fish 1.

I wonder if they moved into a stream or something.
 

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That might be an explanation...if there's a natural spawning stream, they might have moved in there to spawn. That scenario wouldn't mean that all of the fish in the lake would disappear though...there should be plenty of immature ones left cruising around.
 

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Maybe they just saw you coming!​
I was going to say that.

Other possibilities:
Transponder not aligned properly or had something (algae, reed,....) interfering with the signal.
weed or plant growth, (beginning of a bloom?) reflecting an unclear view back to the transponder.
Fish were in the reeds or closer to shore (avoiding your boats shadow and eating mystery goodies).

I've never used a fish finder on the small lakes I used to fish only 'cuz I didn't think I needed one
(although, These days I might be inclined to get one.)
But when I fished the chuck My transponder occasionally needed a tweek (clean) or readjustment (hit/ bumped something)
I'm pretty sure you know you know what you're doing (others maybe not; that's why I mentioned the transponder)

But as far as winter kill due to lack of oxygen in the water:
There are some lakes that have airators in them (it'll look like a box out in the middle of the lake) if you know when they're going to turn it on (in the late fall before ice) troll or fish around it.
the airator stirs up a bunch of stuff and the fish come in for a feeding frenzy.
It's kinda like a chum when they stir up all those little critters who'd planned on sitting out the winter in the muck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
it would be brunette lake
No sir, further south. It is unnamed. And not only did we see no signs of fish on the sonar, there were non seen cruising shoals, jumping, finning etc. and non caught by other anglers. Trust me, the sonar was working. I suppose I will simply need to get back up there and fish it again and see what happens. I am leaning towards the fish heading up the stream at the north end to spawn. But as Stone says, there still should be immature fish shwoing.
 
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