Kootenay Lake

Alias: none known


Kootenay Region, British Columbia


  • Burbot release Trout/char daily quota = 2; bass daily quota = 8; yellow perch daily quota = unlimited

View Kootenay Region Reg's

View British Columbia Reg's


Add an access note.

Map Marks

Add Marker

  • TROLL marker Troll
    By: fische ·January 13th 2011
  • TROLL marker Troll
    By: fische ·January 13th 2011

View All Map Markers



See nearby lakes

Derby Season's Not Done Yet

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: October 28th 2014

The Kaslo Rainbow Derby is set for Nov. 7-9, Remembrance Day weekend. Entry fee, $50, includes lunch on Nov.9 with every entry. First place prize is 50% of net entry fees, followed by 30% for second prize and 20% for third. David Pereverzoff of Castlegar won first prize, $3,525,
for a 17 lb., 14 oz. catch in 2013.

Reply to this post

West Arm Kokanee Come On Strong

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: October 11th 2014

A derby overview from the Gill and Gift, www.gillandgift.com, in Balfour:
We made it through another busy tourist season and are looking forward to the fishing picking up for the fall derbies. What a great West Arm kokanee season — beautiful large fish and it seemed everyone was getting their limit. The spawn was fantastic as well. Looks like we are finally having some success with that fishery. The Meadow Creek spawn is still having its challenges with numbers down again this year. The only positive is that they are larger so will produce more eggs. We have had a few reports about the guys seeing the odd kokanee bait ball in the main lake, which we haven’t seen for a while.
The Woodbury Rainbow Derby goes Oct 11-13. The Nelson City Police Derby will be held Oct 18-19 and the Kaslo Hotel Rainbow derby from Nov. 7-9.
As of Sept. 29, the water temp is still above the 60-degree mark, to be exact 62, but with the cooler longer evenings we should be below 60-degree mark for the start of the derbies.
The odd person is starting to use hair, but the more serious of fishermen are still going down with plugs, apexes, and flasher/hoochies. Seems that there are quite a few fish being caught with the larger ones in that 8- to 13-lb. range, someone had commented about a 15-pounder coming in recently.
We should be well into the fall colours by derby time so flies with orange, brown, gold, and copper have been known to do very well. Don’t discount the 215 or the patriot on a nice sunny day either, as for plugs the Lyman Root Bear #181 or the gold/silver #135 or even the brown trout #87 could bring in the winner. The old favourites #16, #69 and #98 could also do some damage. On dark days one could also try some of the flies with that UV crystal as it really stands out. The blacks and purples have also had their day in flies, plugs, and apexes.
As usual we will be open early and stay open late during the derby weekends in case anyone needs any new ammo. We wish you all the best of luck and remember there are no bad fishing days, just a bad day's catch.

Reply to this post

Lake Surpasses Seasonal Expectation

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: October 8th 2014

An Oct. 4 update from Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing, www.reeladventuresfishing.com, in Nelson:
We’ve been back now for a few weeks and have done quite a few trips on Kootenay already. Usually September is a slower month for fishing as we wait for the water temperatures to drop.
However, we have been catching a lot of fish on our trips. A nice surprise for this time of year. Mostly smaller fish right now, but still seem to get the odd big one every day or two.
My last group from Philly and Chicago had decided to come out with us near the end of September. And when they were booking with us, I mentioned that they might want to wait until later in October when the fishing really gets good. But, their schedules dictated when they could come, so they decided to try September and take a chance. I explained to them that this is our slower time of year for fishing and not to have high expectations, then we jumped in the boat and headed out.
Well, the fish proved me wrong. Day 1, the boys landed 10 fish up to 10 lbs. And then on Day 2 they landed 9 fish up to 13 lbs. Very rare for such warm water. And as a bonus, they got to jump into the lake to cool off at the end of the day.
So, now they are hooked and I think I’ll have a hard time convincing them to come at a different time of year. Funny how it works. That’s fishing …
While not every day has been like that, we have still been catching fish daily. Still looking forward to the next few months as the water cools and the fish become more aggressive. Here’s hoping for a great fall/winter fishery.
The first derby of the fall is coming up. This will give us a good idea about how the fishing should be this season. Looking forward to seeing some familiar boats and faces.
Woodbury Thanksgiving Derby: Oct. 11-13
Nelson City Police Derby/fundraiser: Oct 18-19
Kaslo Rainbow Derby: Nov. 7-9
Good luck to all the participants.

Reply to this post

Favourite Months Ahead

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: September 30th 2014

Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sportfishing posted this Kootenay Lake update on his Facebook page:
The hot summer also made for some the warmest water temperatures we have had in years. This warm water also affected our fishing. July was still pretty good on the lake for rainbows up to 10 lbs. and bull trout up to 12 lbs.
Early August saw some good mornings of fishing for kokanee and small rainbows. By mid-August, the fishing did slow down, but we still managed a few fish each day. Now that September is here and the nights are cooler, our water temperatures are dropping fast. This is starting to wake up the fish. We have had some good days with more than 10 fish to the boat.
Rainbows up to 12 lbs. have been caught and should continue as the water cools. Our favourite time is coming up. As the water cools, the fish will become more active and begin to feed heavily. October, November and December are our favourite months of fishing. So, let’s get ready for another fantastic fall!
What are they biting on?
The lake is beginning to produce some decent fish. We have been using bucktail flies on the choppy days. And on the calm days, we have had good success on our Lyman plugs and Apex Lures.
Colour choice for flies right now are: Grey and white, brown and white, and green and white. Lucky numbers for the bucktails are: 210, 221, 226, 227. Our Lyman plugs that have been producing so far are: black and white, green and white, blue and white. Lucky numbers have been 10, 16, 69, 98 and 101.

Reply to this post

Fall Migration To The Lake

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: September 21st 2014

A Sept. 17 posting from Brad Stubbs of Kootenay Kingfisher, www.kootenaykingfisher.com, who returns in fall to the Interior after summer guiding on the coast:
"Hello, everyone. Had a great summer on the west coast in Ucluelet. Good numbers of chinook, coho and halibut. Lots of great stories to tell after 70 days on the ocean, but I have no idea where to start. It turned into Groundhog Day somewhere around the middle of July. I did quite a few updates with pictures on Kootenay Kingfishers' Facebook page.
"I got back to the Kootenays around the beginning of September. Have been out a few days on Kootenay Lake already. It has been pretty good considering the time of year. The one day we had 19 fish to the boat. Nothing too big, but that will change as the water cools to their preferred temperature. Water temp is currently around 63-65F. Most bull trout were in the 99- to 155-ft. level. Rainbows were taking flies on top. The 226 was working well on those days.
"Time to start booking dates for prime time Kootenay Lake fall fishing. We had a good spring fishery, and I'm looking forward to a great fall. Please drop me a line and I can help you plan this great trip."

Reply to this post

Lake Level Will Fall And Rise

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: September 10th 2014

If you've noticed the level of Kootenay Lake dropping, don't worry — it's temporary. Here's the explanation from a Sept. 4 article in the Castlegar Source:
It’s a heck of a bathtub to clean.
BC Hydro will be draining the Kootenay Canal, west of Nelson, from early September to the end of October to upgrade the canal’s lining.
It’s a $10-million project that will utilize 70 workers — including engineers, safety experts, construction workers and environment workers — to complete, with at least 35 workers on site daily.
Kootenay Lake residents have already noticed the lake has dropped about a foot in the last two weeks.
“Drafting Kootenay Lake to a lower level prior to the start of the project allows some water to be stored in the Kootenay Lake while the Kootenay Canal is dewatered and the generating station is out of service,” said BC Hydro’s Community Relations advisor Sabrina Locicero.
For more: http://castlegarsource.com/news/heck-bathtub-clean-%E2%80%94-kootenay-canal-gets-dewatered-32839#.VBCdUGRdUa4

Reply to this post

Lots Of Winners In Kids' Derby

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: September 2nd 2014

From www.gillandgift.com:
Congratulations to the winners of the 11th annual Gill and Gift 15 And Under Squawfish Derby held Sunday, Aug. 31, on Kootenay Lake. They include (in photo): Allyssa Hermanson; Blake Markin Hellekson; Randy Zelonka; Julia Markin Hellekson; Austin Hushcroft; and Cole Stykle.

Reply to this post

Pikeminnow Derby Faces Bait Ban

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: August 27th 2014

From the Gill and Gift, www.gillandgift.com, in Balfour on Kootenay Lake:
Hey kids! time to sign up for the 11 Annual Squawfish (pikeminnow) Derby at the Gill and Gift. The derby is open to all kids up to 15 years of age. This year, and every year hereafter the derby will be held on the Saturday of the long weekend. This year it will be on Aug. 31. To register, call 250-229-2113 or drop in at the Gill and Gift at the ferry landing.
The derby starts at 7 a.m. We will be at the store giving out some starter things for kids to fish with. Just bring your own rod. Late entries are OK but make sure you register at the event. Signing up early is best because we have to make sure there are enough prizes for everyone. Because there is a bait ban in the arm, lures and red wool may have to suffice. We have been trying to work with ministry to get that changed but so far have not totally succeeded. We now have a request in to the minister herself to see if she can do anything.
The derby continues until 2 p.m., when we wind up with a family BBQ and prizes and goodies for every kid entered. There will be trophies for the third largest fish and the three kids with the most fish caught that day. All fish must be caught in Kootenay Lake and must be the squawfish or suckers and must be dead when brought in.
And remember kids, game fish will not be counted, so keep it alive and gently hold it in the water so it can swim back into the lake if you catch one. If you do not know your fish see the rules with the way to tell if your fish is a coarse fish or not. The rule guide will be at Gill and Gift as well on derby day.
Rule guide:
* All fish must be caught in Kootenay Lake on derby day between dawn and before final weigh in closes at 2:15 p.m.;
* All fish must be classified a coarse fish, squawfish and suckers are what we find in the arm the squawfish has very big lips and the suckers have a vacuum cleaner looking mouth at the bottom of their face;
* Entrants must be a child 0-15 years old, girl or boy, local or visitor Adults may help very small children but the child must hold the rod mostly while fishing and be present during the catch. Adults may aid the child if it is needed but it is not a contest for adults to try to get their children in the prizes. The idea is to let the kids learn about fishing and have fun even if you do not catch a fish. There are goodies and prizes for every child whether they catch a fish or not.
* All fishermen ( girls and boys ) must follow the fishing regulations these are available at Gill and Gift. There is no limits on the kind of fish we are fishing for.
In photo: 2013 derby winners Rachel Erickson, who caught 34 fish, and Carter Huscroft, who landed a two-pounder.

Reply to this post

Streamkeepers Certified

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: August 10th 2014

From www.eastshorefreshwaterhabitatsociety.com:
Volunteers with the Eastshore Freshwater Habitat Society are now certified streamkeepers on the east shore of the Kootenay Lake.
Who are streamkeepers?
People from all walks of life. Professionals, retirees, students - anyone who has an interest in freshwater habitat, environment and wildlife. Some groups have regular meetings and organize events for the full year. Others simply do tasks at the time they need to be done.
The EFHS is a newly formed society. Their water plan extends from Murphy creek north to Drewry Point south. Their goal is to strive for the protection and assist, in cooperation with ministries of wildlife, fisheries and conservation, in the remediation of all rivers, creeks, streams and lakes that are east shore tributaries of Kootenay Lake. Their first project is to re-introduce kokanee.
In photo: EFHS volunteers at work.

Reply to this post

Land Of The Giant Gerrards

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: August 4th 2014

From the website www.greatcanadianlakes.com:
Giant trout, that is colossal rainbows, known as Gerrards, that weigh in at five times the normal size of Kamloops trout. The secret of their super-size: ideal spawning conditions on a short, gravelly stretch of the Lardeau River, a tributary of Kootenay Lake, and a rich, gourmet diet of Kootenay Lake kokanee salmon.
The Gerrard trout, named for a small community on Trout Lake, at the head of the Lardeau River, is a genetically gargantuan strain of rainbow trout that averages 6.8 – 9.03 kilograms in weight, compared to the 1.3 – 1.8 kilogram average for the standard Kamloops variety of rainbow trout found throughout interior British Columbia’s lakes and rivers. (Rainbows are a landlocked version of sea-going steelhead trout, and share the same species classification.) The Gerrard strain spawns and rears in spring on a single 300 metre stretch of the Lardeau River, producing fish that have been known to reach up to 20 kilograms in weight. (The largest Gerrard ever landed is said to be a 23.6-kilogram fish caught in British Columbia’s Jewel Lake in the 1930s.) Gerrards also live longer than other rainbows – up to eight years, compared to an average lifespan of five to six years for standard Kamloops trout.
Unlike other rainbows, whose diet consists of invertebrates, crustaceans, insects and eggs of other fish, Gerrard trout feed mainly on kokanee, Kootenay Lake’s landlocked version of the sockeye salmon. While this privileged diet helps them to grow big and strong, it was threatened during the early 1900s by a drastic decline in the lake’s kokanee population. Recent indications of a resurgence of Kootenay Lake kokanee bode well for the giant Gerrards.

Reply to this post

Read all posts for this lake…


Download free map (29.71MB).

Download free map (30.33MB).

Download free map (30.51MB).

Download free map (20.8MB).

Download free map (12.32MB).

Download free map (28.33MB).

Download free map (8.03MB).

Download free map (623.18KB).

Download free map (723.82KB).

Download free map (577.85KB).