Slocan River, including tributaries

Regulation Number: 
2023-04-02
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
MU: 
4-16
Regulation Type: 
Quota
Method/Gear/Bait
Species: 
All species
Closing Date: 
January 6, 2023 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

Slocan River*: No fishing July 15 – Aug 31 (EXCEPT Koch Creek* upstream of falls located approximately 700 m downstream of the Little Slocan Forest Service Road Koch Creek Bridge crossing and Little Slocan Lake’s tributaries; see Lemon Creek).

Bait ban (where open) June 15 – Oct 31

Proposed Regulations: 

Status Quo:

Bait ban (where open) June 15 – Oct 31

Additions/Changes to Regulations:

Slocan River, including tributaries: No fishing July 15 – Aug 31 from 12pm - midnight (EXCEPT Little Slocan Lake tributaries and Koch Creek upstream of falls located approximately 700 m downstream of the Little Slocan Forest Service Road Koch Creek Bridge crossing; see Lemon Creek).

Trout/Char release (EXCEPT Koch Creek * upstream of falls and Little Slocan Lake’s tributaries).

Rationale: 

For several weeks in the summer the Slocan River can reach 20 °C, almost exclusively in the later afternoon (Figure 1-5). This temperature (20°C) can present physiological challenges for the dominant sport fish, rainbow trout. However, almost every day in the current closed period (July 15 – Aug 31), daylight hours until noon, or even later in the early afternoon, are below 20 °C. From noon until daylight the following day, there are at least 15 to 17 hours of recovery time available to any trout an angler hypothetically lands and releases.

There are only two middle sized streams in the West Kootenays offering excellent trout fishing – the Salmo River (with no summer closure) and the Slocan River and re-opening the Slocan River to angling opportunities on summer days before noon, would create meaningful social and economic benefits, and would offer angling opportunity and support compliance.

Last year, Region 4 successfully implemented a time-of-day closure on several streams within the East Kootenays classified waters. The Slocan River time-of-day closure would be the second B.C. pilot regulation to implement and monitor time-of-day closures for their performance. If successful, there is potential use in other systems with ongoing temperature issues and provide angling opportunity instead of full closures.

Regional staff will pursue FFSBC Rivers Committee funding to initiate a River Guardian survey and patrol schedule to monitor this Slocan River summer fishery.