Large Lake Bull Trout Minimum Size

Regulation Number: 
2023-02-04
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 2 - Lower Mainland
MU: 
2-3
2-4
2-8
2-10
2-18
Regulation Type: 
Quota
Species: 
Bull Trout
Closing Date: 
January 6, 2023 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

Regional Regulation: 1 char (Bull Trout, Dolly Varden or Lake Trout)

Water body-Specific Regulation: No wild trout/char over 50 cm

Proposed Regulations: 

Regional Regulation:1 char (Bull Trout, Dolly Varden or Lake Trout), none under 60 cm.

Chilliwack Lake, Pitt Lake, Chehalis Lake, Lillooet Lake, Harrison Lake, and Cultus Lake: No wild trout over 50 cm, 1 bull trout over 60 cm allowed.

Rationale: 

The purpose of this regulation is to provide added protections to immature Bull Trout until they reach sexual maturity and have an opportunity to spawn.

Scientific literature supports the regulation, as Bull Trout are slow to mature (5-7 years), produce few eggs, are long lived. Juveniles are vulnerable to fishing prior to reaching sexual maturity, and in areas with high angling pressure it is possible that few fish live long enough to become sexually mature and spawn. Together, these traits make Bull Trout more susceptible to population declines due to overharvest.

Without knowledge of the population trends and spawning locations of Bull Trout in the above-named lakes, these regulations are a precautionary approach to conserve the populations until data has been gathered that warrants further review of the regulations. In addition, the regulation change will align with provincial policy for this species, specified in the provincial Conservation and management plan.