Close Salmo Bighorn Sheep LEH Hunting Opportunity

Regulation Number: 
2020-04-05
Status: 
Decided
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
MU: 
4-8
Regulation Type: 
Limited Entry Hunting
Species: 
Bighorn Sheep
Closing Date: 
January 19, 2020 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

This regulation was approved as proposed and is included in the 2020-2022 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis.

Current Regulations: 

 

Salmo

4-08

Sept 10-Oct 25

At least full curl

 

Proposed Regulations: 

Cancel Salmo Bighorn SHeep LEH hunting opportunity

Rationale: 

Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep were introduced into the Hall Mountain, Washington State in 1972.  Some of this introduced herd moved into B.C., south east of Salmo around 1982. During the winter, the Salmo sheep herd is fed by local hunting clubs at a feeding station.  The Salmo area receives moderate to high snow accumulation and therefore natural winter range for bighorn sheep does not exist. 

During the winter of 2006-2007, the number of bighorn sheep counted at the feeding station was 43.  In 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018 31, 29, 26, and 13 sheep were counted respectively. In April 2019, 13 bighorn sheep were counted at the feeding station. This herd appears to have declined over the past decade, and the Hall Mountain/ Sullivan Lake herd also appears to have declined.

In March 2018, 5 bighorn sheep were GPS radio-collared to monitor movements and mortality.  There have been 2 mortalities to date: 1 predation and 1 roadkill.  Bighorn sheep road mortalities occur along Highway 3 but are not well documented. In 2018-19, post radio-collaring, 2 ewes (1 was radio-collared) and 1 ram were reported as highway mortalities.   

Hunter harvest from 2010-2018 = 8 full curl rams or approx. 1 ram annually.  Given the size and declining population the herd is not able to currently sustain a hunt.