The West Arm Outdoors Club and B.C. Wildlife Federation announced the winner of the grand prize draw of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program last week.
Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat equipped with a 115-hp Yamaha engine, valued at over $50,000 from Jones Boys Boats and Marina.
“Winning the grand prize was a big surprise,” said Volokhov in a release. “I hope that the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program will be a significant step to improve the fishery and attract more people of all ages to the most calm and enjoyable sport! Thanks to the West Arm Outdoor Club, BCWF, and all sponsors for such a well-run program.”
The draw marks the successful completion of the first year of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program. The program, a tremendous local success, has been extended for a second year with a new youth program, and a choice of three grand prizes for fishers of all ages.
Tom Roper of Wynndel won the $1,000 May monthly draw prize. An avid fisherman who has has fished all over B.C., Roper still favours his home waters.
“The best tasting fish in the area come from Kootenay Lake,” said Roper. “The rainbow trout are exceptional. I don’t even need a prize – the fish are so good!”
Participating in this program means anglers like Eugene and Tom actively contribute to the conservation of the kokanee salmon.
“This program reduced rainbow trout and bull trout abundance faster than any other recovery action implemented to date,” said Molly Teather, Fish Biologist for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. “In the absence of these predators, kokanee will likely have a better opportunity to survive to maturity and reproduce.
“We anticipate this last year has made significant steps towards the goal of recovering kokanee and the Kootenay Lake trophy trout fishery.”
Anglers are encouraged to keep fishing and participating in the program to help save B.C.’s iconic kokanee salmon, and maybe even win some great prizes in Year 2 of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program.