Fish biologists will be busy catching and releasing burbot on Moyie Lake during the last two weeks of February for hatchery egg collection.
This project is part of recovery efforts for the lower Kootenay burbot population.
Moyie Lake has a healthy burbot population. Since 2009, fertilized eggs have been successfully raised in a hatchery in Idaho and released back into the Kootenay Lake and River as part of the lower Kootenay burbot recovery program. Egg collection targets are developed annually to meet release targets of six-month-old juveniles. This year the target is 7 million fertilized eggs from up to 60 families. All fish are tagged and released back into the lake after sampling.
The lower Kootenay burbot population was once a popular sport and subsistence fishery in Kootenay Lake and Kootenay River, as well as throughout their range in Idaho and Montana. During the mid-1990s, the population was recognized to be at risk of local extinction. The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is working collaboratively on recovery efforts with international partners, including the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho, Idaho Fish and Game, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the University of Idaho.
The ministry continuously monitors the Moyie Lake burbot population, as it is a popular sport and subsistence fishery and a crucial part of the lower Kootenay burbot recovery program.
Annual reports are available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/research-monitoring-reporting/libraries-publication-catalogues/ecocat
For more information on burbot hatchery production, visit: http://restoringthekootenai.org/OtherFWProjects/conservationAquaculture/