Spawning Channels


Introduction

Large lakes like Arrow and Kootenay can support several million Kokanee. Kokanee are an important food source for the famous Gerrard Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, as well as being a popular sport fish. As a result of hydro development, logging, subdivisions, and stream channelization, Kokanee spawning habitat has been drastically reduced. By constructing spawning channels; fisheries managers can control water flows, construct proper slopes, place suitable sized gravels and duplicate ideal Kokanee spawning habitat which produce up to five times more fry than a natural stream.

 

Hill Creek Spawning Channel

History

Hill Creek Spawning Channel is a facility built and operated as partial compensation for fish losses resulting from the construction of the Revelstoke Dam. The channel was completed in 1980.

  • Channel length: 3.2 km

Aerial view of Hill Creek Hatchery

Location

48 km north of Nakusp on Highway 23, east for 8 km on Highway 31 towards Trout Lake, left on Hill Creek Road. Follow the signs at the junction of Highways 23 and 31.

Species

Kokanee

 

 

Kokanee Creek Spawning Channel

History

The Kokanee Creek Spawning Channel is a facility build and operated for fish losses resulting from the destruction of spawning habitat in Kokanee Creek itself. At one time up to 20,000 fish returned to spawn in Kokanee Creek. It was built in 1985 with funds from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. It is 0.33 km long and 3 m wide. The channel was built to accommodate up to 7,000 spawning fish and produces between 0.25 - 1.20 million fry with a mean egg-to-fry survival rate of 30%. An extensive interpretation program during August and September includes films, slide shows, and channel walks.

Location

Within the Kokanee Creek Provincial Park, 15 km east of Nelson on Highway 3A.

Species

Kokanee

Timing of Events

August and September - adults spawning

April to June - fry emergence

 

 

Redfish Creek Spawning Channel

History

The Redfish Creek Spawning Channel is a facility build and operated for fish losses resulting from the destruction of spawning habitat in Redfish Creek itself due to human activity. At one time up to 9,000 fish returned to spawn in Redfish Creek. The spawning channel was built on a parcel of property adjacent to Redfish Creek which was donated from the National Second Century Fund. It was built in 1982 with funds from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. It is 0.6 km long and 1.3 m wide. The channel was built to accommodate up to 5000 spawning fish and produces between 0.25 - 1.2 million fry with a mean egg-to-fry survival rate of 35.5 %. No interpretive center is available at Redfish Creek but an interpretive display is located there.

Location

Adjacent to Highway 3A, 25 km east of Nelson.

Species

Kokanee

Timing of Events

August and September - adults spawning

April to June - fry emergence

 

 

Meadow Creek Spawning Channel

History

In 1965,B.C. Hydro began work on a dam which would impound the waters of the Duncan River approximately ten kilometers above Kootenay Lake. The Duncan Dam provides additional water storage for downstream power dams, and protects the settlements around the lake from spring flooding, but it also destroyed kilometers of spawning habitat in the Duncan River. Kokanee, Bull Trout, and Rainbow Trout habitat was lost. While construction of the dam continued, fisheries biologists were planning on how to best save the fish in Kootenay Lake. Kokanee were the main concern as the large Gerrard Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout feed on Kokanee. The Fisheries Branch chose to build a spawning channel for Kokanee partly compensating for these fish losses. The Meadow Creek Spawning channel was constructed in 1967 with B.C. Hydro funds and was the world's largest at the time. Its length was 3.3 km and the average width was 12 m supporting a total of 250,000 spawning Kokanee. It produces between 10 - 15 million fry annually with mean egg-to-fry survival rate of 45%. There are fisheries staff on site during the spawning season which is August through October.

Location

Located at the north end of Kootenay Lake North of Highway 31 on the Meadow Creek road, 4km.

Species

Kokanee

Timing of Events

August through October - adults spawning

April to June - fry emergence

 

 

Bridge Creek Spawning Channel

History

Bridge Creek historically supported a small run of Kokanee. Interest and cooperation by the local Rod and Gun Club, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce and the City of Revelstoke was developed. As a result the spawning channel was constructed to produce more catchable fish for a localized fishery on the Upper Arrow reservoir and as an interpretive and education facility. It was built in 1988 with funds from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund. It is 0.6 km long and 2 m wide. The channel produces between 0.15 - 0.06 million fry with a mean egg to fry survival rate of 26%. An interpretative display can be found there.

Location

Within the City of Revelstoke, tributary to the Illecillewaet River.

Species

Kokanee

Timing of Events

August and September - adults spawning

April to June - fry emergence