Hank Shelley

A look at how hunters and anglers are faring in the Shuswap

Hank Shelley/Great Outdoors

Here’s a look at what is taking place outdoors, for hunters and anglers, in our great Shuswap region!

Fishing report: A good number of anglers are enjoying excellent fishing on Gardom Lake of late, which is stocked with Fraser Valley and Pennask rainbow trout.

A possible reason catch success is high is most trout are in the top four metres or the epilimnion, due to lack of oxygen in the metalimnion (middle) and hypolimnion (bottom zone).

It is an aerated lake with a large electric generator on shore pumping air through lines to a wood platform.

The generator runs until ice forms on the surface of the lake, capturing the oxygen beneath. Trout need 3.8 parts-per-million (ppm) of oxygen to survive the winter, while eastern brookies need 2.8 ppm.

Phillips Lake, near Tappen, produced a 10-lb bow last week to a lucky angler. White Lake has been fishing well with power bait, from shore.

Other lakes including Hidden Lake and Pillar Lake are doing well – when it’s not raining. During the sockeye salmon run, anglers on the Thompson River did fairly well, with the Aboriginal fishery turning in a commercial catch for processing on the Thompson River and Kamloops Lake, where two seine boats worked overtime.

Related: Social shift to hunting includes women

From the moment the sockeye entered the Fraser River, thousands of anglers lined the shores right to Little Adams Lake with a spot fishery; no wonder there was a lower-than-expected return.

Hunting report: Many hunters are reporting low success on harvesting deer and moose. Over harvesting of timber, even into winter ranges, larger clear cuts, more access roads and heavy wolf and cougar predation all account for fewer animals to harvest, including liberal mule deer doe draws and continual taking of whitetail does in both Region 3 and 8.

This is absolutely wrong, as you are taking away the breeding stock to carry on the gene pool, similar to the biologists thinking to save the woodland caribou in Revelstoke.

A more liberal season on moose in region 4-38-39 and the packs of wolves will likely move on. They will travel up snow-cat trails and snowmobile trails to where the caribou winter most likely.

Overall, deer are about but they are getting smarter to survive. Moose numbers are down due to heavy predation and lack of good habitat from an increased timber harvest. The number of hunters has increased as well, with younger generations joining the older hunters still out there.

Still, you have to be in shape to go afield, you old guys. Here’s an exercise: Standing on a flat surface, take a 5 lb potato bag in each hand and hold your arms out from our side for one minute. Next go to a 10 lb bag, holding it out for a full 2 minutes. Next go to a 50, then 100 lb bag, straight out and sideways for three minutes. After you feel comfortable at that level, put a potato in each bag!

Here’s to tight lines and straight shooting!

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