Fisherman shows his Gerrard Rainbow Trout. (Submitted photo)

Foundation supports West Kootenay conservation

Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation released $9.2 million in funding for various projects

A number of conservation efforts will be launched in the West Kootenay after the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation released $9.2M in funding for more than 180 individual wildlife, freshwater fish, and habitat conservation projects across the province this year.

Dan Buffett, the foundation’s chief executive officer, is reporting that the 2020/21 grant season has set a record for the organization’s highest annual investment and reflects the contributions and hard work of many British Columbians that fund and implement these projects.

To date, the foundation has funded almost 3,000 conservation projects and granted over $189M across the ecologically diverse province of B.C.

“Funding all these projects is no small feat,” said Buffett. “But it is thanks to the diversity of funding from our core contributors – hunters, anglers, trappers and guides – court awards, provincial government contributions and endowments, and our partners such as the Forest Enhancement Society of BC.”

Efforts to restore the kokanee population in Kootenay Lake will continue with funding going to maintain the two spawning channel sites at Meadow Creek and Kokanee Creek.

Project details

• Critical Monitoring of Gerrard Rainbow Trout on Kootenay Lake: This project monitors the conservation status of Gerrard rainbow trout by estimating escapement through spawner counts, protecting spawners, estimating harvests of these fish in the Kootenay Lake sport fishery, and monitoring critical spawning habitat parameters.

• Two separate studies will determine the stock productivity of Gerrard rainbows and bull trout at low abundance on Kootenay Lake, and will be carried out by the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources. Data will provide information on maximum reproductive rates which can only be done under low stock abundance.

The Kootenay Conservation Program also received funding to help secure high-value conservation lands.

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