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Horne Lake anglers offered reward for catching tagged fish

Cutthroat trout being measured.
A three-year study aims to measure the health of the cutthroat trout population by determining mortality rates and tracking fish movements into the surrounding tributaries during spawning. — Photo courtesy Flickr.com

Anglers fishing in Horne Lake this year have a unique opportunity to be rewarded with gift cards for catching tagged cutthroat trout.

Provincial fisheries staff are partnering with the BC Conservation Foundation and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to complete a three-year study on the health of Horne Lake’s cutthroat trout population. The study began last year and will continue until April 2021.

As a part of the study, almost 200 cutthroat trout have been tagged with brightly coloured Floy T-bar anchor tags and then released back into the lake.

The study aims to measure the health of the population by determining mortality rates and tracking fish movements into the surrounding tributaries during spawning. This information will allow fisheries managers to evaluate the effectiveness of existing regulations and ensure the long-term sustainability of the trout population.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is offering gift cards worth $100 (per fish) to anyone who catches and reports one of these tagged fish. This will help researchers understand the rate at which the cutthroat trout are harvested by anglers.

Anglers will need to remove the tag from the fish. Anglers not wishing to harvest a tagged fish can remove the tag from the fish (using nail clippers or scissors) prior to releasing it. Tags can either be delivered to the front desk at the ministry office located at 2080A Labieux Rd. in Nanaimo, or anglers can take a photo of the tag and email it to: [email protected]

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