Loon Lake now full of rainbow trout

FISHERIES: | Alberni Valley’s Loon Lake is one of 30 lakes stocked for anglers province-wide by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery fish culturist Tony Andrychuk prepares to release over 1,200 trout into Loon Lake on Oct. 7.

Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery fish culturist Tony Andrychuk prepares to release over 1,200 trout into Loon Lake on Oct. 7.

FISHERIES: | Alberni Valley’s Loon Lake is one of 30 lakes stocked for anglers province-wide by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.

There’s a lot more under Loon Lake’s calm, greenish waters than meets the eye these days.

“We’re releasing 1,200 rainbow trout,” said Tony Andrychuk, a fish culturist with the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery.

“I’ve got them in two tanks here.”

It’s part of an effort by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to stock lakes for anglers.

“We’re stocking 30 lakes this fall,” Andrychuk said.

“We raise the fish until they’re about a year old.”

The fish that the society uses for Vancouver Island lakes are hatchery bred; the rest of the province gets wild stock. The service is fully funded by angler user fees.

“It’s fully funded by anglers now, when you buy a fishing licence it pays for all the stocking.”

The trout released into Loon Lake—a project that happens annually, according to Andrychuk—are mature enough to catch now.

While some lakes get cutthroat as well, lakes that are closer to cities, like Loon Lake, only get trout.

“It’s what the biologist puts in his request,” he said.

“In these urban lakes that are easy access and right around cities, they’re getting catchables. Your lakes that are further away are getting the cutthroat.”

Did you know?

• When you buy a freshwater anglers licence, part of the fee goes towards stocking B.C. lakes.

• The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will do 40 Vancouver Island fish releases in October alone.

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