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Ritchie and I packed up the "Blue Bomber" - the name of my new 12 foot Princecraft Ungava and headed to Wood Lake, just a 15 minute drive from home. The skies were blue, the temperature about 20 degrees and there was little wind. At the lake, we saw about 20 boats trolling, mostly on the west side of the lake. I usually fish he east side of the lake over by the big white house on the cliff but decided to change it up and try the west side. About 5 minutes after launching, I had my first fish on. It hit my offering at the end of a 5 weight fly rod really hard and went down deep, which made me think it was a chunky rainbow. After 5 minutes or so, with line getting peeled off the reel on two long runs, I had a nice Kokannee in the net. After a liberal dose of the old "wood shampoo," into the cooler it went. This was the first fish I have dispatched in a long time as usually it's catch and release for me, but my neighbour has been asking for me to bring him some fish so I did. After another 20 minutes, another fish on and this one was stayed on the surface rolling and jumping all the way to the boat. It was a little smaller than the first, but was destined for the BBQ so BONK! I handed over my hot rod to Ricthie so he could have some fun and we managed to hook up a few more times and land another kokanee. From what we could see, most boats were playing fish at one time or another so for Wood Lake, the fishing is pretty good right now. We even saw several Ospreys dive into the water and come up with their own fish. One thing I would encourage people to do is lose the gang trolls and switch over to a full sinking fly line outfit. Even a small fish is fun to play!


 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Not much of a report, because catching was not happening, but a beauty day weather wise on Wood Lake today. I had optimism but when I got the boat on the water I realized I left my favorite Kokanee fly rod at home. Not to worry, I'll just rig up a little spinning rod with the same gear and put it out with my standard fly set up that I use to troll. Got to where I was marking fish on the sonar and dropped the bow mount trolling motor for some peace and quiet and the battery was dead. Nice, the 'Battery Tender' that I purchased on the recommendation of a buddy of mine showed my battery was charged but it was clearly not. This is the 'Battery Tender' that claims you can leave it plugged in and connected to your batteries all the time so you are good to go when you leave on your fishing expedition. Shortly after that, I realized my port side Downrigger looked funny and there were red pieces of plastic on the floor of the boat. I realized after a few seconds that I had left it in the 'up' position as I was pulling the boat out of the garage and the boom caught the garage door and snapped the red colored piece that holds it upright. Nice. Once on the water, things settled but it was tough fishing. Part of the battle was locating the Kokanee and once I did I was sure I was going to hook up but it was not to be. Tried all kinds of techniques, even some of my new gear from Shasta Tackle down south. I counted 15 boats on the water and there were maybe a handful of hookups. Water temperature was still 39 degrees. Water was very dirty too with lots of cabbage, which means the lake might be in turnover.
 

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I hear you BGM, I launched from Sutherland early on Okanagan lake and happily trolled paul's tomb/ bear creek area etc... with no luck. Gorgeous Morning but alas no action for me... Trolling #4 Lymans and a 4" black and sparkle Kwik fish although methinks with the sun I should go lighter.
 

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Sorry about the broken gear; that's a bummer. I was thinking about Wood Lake this week, and that we might need to hook up for a jaunt out there soon. Another friend was there yesterday, and he had the same luck as you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I heard a story on CBC this morning. Fisheries biologists have been monitoring Wood Lake for the past two months and have reported very few catches of Kokanee. I have been out three times, and others I know a few times too, on different days, and all have reported the same thing, dead. The biologists fear a massive fish kill due to warm water the past two years and excessive amounts of algae. I sure hope the numbers can rebound on this great little fishery. I wonder if this might prompt FFSBC to start stocking it like they do Monte Lake.
 

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I heard a story on CBC this morning. Fisheries biologists have been monitoring Wood Lake for the past two months and have reported very few catches of Kokanee. I have been out three times, and others I know a few times too, on different days, and all have reported the same thing, dead. The biologists fear a massive fish kill due to warm water the past two years and excessive amounts of algae. I sure hope the numbers can rebound on this great little fishery. I wonder if this might prompt FFSBC to start stocking it like they do Monte Lake.
...and/or make some changes to how agriculture, etc contribute nutrients to the lake, in order to make stocking and/or recovery efforts wrthwile the chemistry of the lake needs to be adjusted.

Refteshing to hear the ministry is on top of it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
...and/or make some changes to how agriculture, etc contribute nutrients to the lake, in order to make stocking and/or recovery efforts wrthwile the chemistry of the lake needs to be adjusted.

Refteshing to hear the ministry is on top of it.
I agree stocking is a band aid, they need to address the water temperature issue and like you say, is caused by something. Not too many Fisheries biologists in the Valley, sadly.
 

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I agree stocking is a band aid, they need to address the water temperature issue and like you say, is caused by something. Not too many Fisheries biologists in the Valley, sadly.
Well...stocking isn't so bad in a relatively closed system like that, especially with good nutrient content that can support a population, without variables like ocean survival, blah, blah, etc a lake like Wood could be stocked and bounce back fairly quickly...

It's the chemistrythat's the problem...much like your fish tank only billions of times bigger so it takes much longer to come to a head...phosporous, nitrogen and similar products overload due to fertilizers, etc., the chemistry changes and you get big algae blooms and when those die and sink to the bottom, all the oxygen in the lower cooler levels gets used up by the bacteria, etc working on the decay of all that dead algae. Then the Kokanee can't go deep to escape the heat of summer because the oxygen levels down there are poor/used up and won't support them...this is especially worse in the summer when the mixed/stratified layer is shallower preventing the disolved oxygen content in the deeper layers from being replenished.

But if they fix the chemistry to eliminate or reduce the algal blooms then stocking has a decent chance of reversing the damage, especially if the fish can produce viable offspring and replace the population that died off...

That's the theory anyways...let's hope they're right about the algal blooms, decay, oxygen and temps...it's a pretty solid idea anyways, if they're right, and they correct it, the lake should bounce back...

No point stocking unless they fix the chemistry though...if they don't fix the chem, then it will become just another put and take fishery where stocking will be required yearly and the warm years will suck, and that's it.
 

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can they really fix that though?
what would prevent it from happening the very next year?

unfortunately this may be a sign of the times if the summers just keep getting hotter.
if they do, those carp may become one of our top sport fish.....unfortunately.
but at least we know they'll always be there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The Kokanee fishery is in full swing here in the Interior. I was out today on Wood Lake amongst an armada of boats for a few hours. Water temperature was 49 degrees. I was trolling a Shasta Tackle dodger and pink wiggle Hoochie one one side set at 30 feet on the downrigger and the other side pretty much the same thing just a different size and colour dodger and a green Hoochie with an ounce of weight. Lots of debris in the water, and despit slow fishing, managed to take home two fish that will be going into my seafood ramen dish for dinner. Both were about 14 inches, nothing to write home about. I know some 3-4 pounders are being caught next door on Kal lake. Both came to hand on the downrigger rod. I'm never surprised how much this fishery is like the salt one for Sockeye on the coast or in Osoyoos Lake, just the gear is downsized. Lots of flash (I try to not use gang trolls or big Dodgers for obvious reasons), pink and a slow, slow troll. Oh yes, Pautzke's fire cured corn also found the end of the hook.
 
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