A truckload of wriggling rainbow trout were released into Lookout Lake by Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. to the amusement of the Cherish Trout Scouts, a group of fishing enthusiasts from a nearby retirement home.
Lookout Lake is a small dammed lake in Colwood popular with families and people learning to fish.
“It’s accessible for people who don’t have a boat,” said fish culturalist Graham Nessman. Lookout Lake is small enough you can reach the whole lake with a good cast.
Cherish at Central Park community living residents fished the lake earlier in the month, an outing that marked the two-week point since they got their first vaccine shots. The crew, who named themselves the Cherish Trout Scouts, caught a couple of small fish then but are looking forward to fishing again now that the lake is stocked.
The Scouts were on hand for the release and had a picnic on the hill after, enjoying the relative freedom the vaccines have afforded them. Over sandwiches they discussed dates for when to come back with their rods and worms.
The 250 hatchery trout released April 13 are the first ones since the reservoir was drained for maintenance on the dam. Freshwater Fisheries B.C. will stock it a few more times this spring, and again in the fall, adding a total of 1,500 trout.
Langford Lake on the other hand will be stocked with thousands of fish.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. (gofishbc.com) is funded entirely by freshwater fishing licences. They raise fish to stock about 60 lakes on Vancouver Island alone.
The amount of stocking has decreased slightly over the years, either because native species are reproducing well enough on their own or because an access road gets decommissioned. It doesn’t make sense to stock lakes the public can’t get to, since their aim is fish for anglers, not conservation.
Provincially, the society stocked a whopping 662 lakes with 5.63 million fish last year from their six hatcheries. It’s mostly rainbow trout, with some cutthroat, eastern brook, kokanee and steelhead. They also raise some sturgeon for conservation purposes. Most of the stocking is done for recreational fishing, not conservation though. The fish are all female and sterile so they don’t interfere with any natural populations.