Bridge Lake, Lake Trout

Regulation Number: 
Region 5 - Cariboo
Regulation Type: 
Lake Trout
Closing Date: 
January 6, 2023 at midnight
Decision Statement: 


Current Regulations: 

Trout/Char daily quota = 3 but not more than 1 over 50 cm; Lake trout release October 1-November 30

Proposed Regulations: 

Lake trout daily quota = 1; Lake trout release October 1-November 30


Bridge Lake is one of the provinces busiest and highest quality lake fisheries for kokanee, rainbow trout, and lake trout. Daily lake trout possession limits on Bridge Lake were increased from 1 fish to 3 (only one of which can be longer than 50 cm) in 2013 due to stock assessment results that showed a healthy lake trout population. The population was again assessed in 2020 using Summer Profundal Index Netting (SPIN). Catch rate declined from 0.64 lake trout per net in 2008 to 0.16 lake trout per net in 2020. The angling regulation change is proposed to stop or slow the declining lake trout abundance in Bridge Lake. Follow up assessment is scheduled to occur in 2026 to evaluate if the regulation change has been effective and whether further charges to the regulations are required.

Additional Information: 

Catch rate of SPIN on Bridge Lake declined from 0.64 lake trout per net in 2008 to 0.16 lake trout per net in 2020. This decline is most likely attributed to increased daily possession limits implemented in 2013. Lake trout in Bridge Lake are likely to become extirpated if harvest is not reduced. The target density for lake trout in Bridge Lake is 0.4 lake trout per net. Follow up surveys will monitor if the population is recovering to the desired target and weather harvest should be further decreased or increased. Using catch rate from SPIN nets as a measure of lake trout abundance was calibrated on Horse Lake in 2021 and confirmed that lake trout catch rate in SPIN nets is related to the abundance of lake trout in the lake. The lake trout population in Bridge Lake can be classified as low density and at risk of extirpation. A SPIN survey is planned for 2026 to evaluate if the proposed regulation has resulted in sufficient recovery.