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

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

River Still Silt Laden

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: July 15th 2014

A July 10 report from Elk River Guiding Company at www.elkriver.ca:
"The Elk is below 90 cubic metres per second, but still a bit green so there must be some fine silt that doesn't want to settle out. Some of the best waters to fish from angler reports are the Upper Old Man and the Crow. Michele Creek is clear but a bit fast and the Fording is clean and fast. The guides are doing well on the Elk but are having to work hard to slow the boats down and hit all the good spots. Things all around are getting better by the day."

Reply to this post

What To Use In Kootenay Lake

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: July 15th 2014

Some helpful advice on fishing from Barren Sports Shop (www.barrensports.com) in Kaslo:
"Len Thompson spoons, yellow -red Five of Diamonds and Barrens' own custom Green and Orange, size 0 and 00, right on the surface, 100 ft. behind your boat for 3- to 6-lb. rainbow and dollies. The bigger guys are 50 ft. down, chrome j-plugs seem to be your best bet. Kokanee are a nice size this year and pink Spin-n-Glows are working well. The dollies are biting at the river mouths now. You can use bucktail jigs and Len Thompson spoons in the colour red and white. Punk Skunk Croc one-ounce spoons are working great! Remember to mix it up! You never know when your reel is going to scream!"
In photo: Bull trout close-up from Barren's Sports.

Reply to this post

Black Flies Copy Ant Hatches

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: June 11th 2014

Kerry Reed of Reel Adventures Sport Fishing (www.reeladventures.com) reports on June 4:
The month of May was pretty good fishing. Lots of days with 10 – 15 fish to the boat. The bugs came out, as well as flying ants, which seem to get all the fish in a frenzy. Lots of bug eaters or small fish were caught, with the odd big fish each day.
Some rainbows up to 17 lbs. and Bull Trout up to 14 lbs have been coming in. We’re also experiencing some good kokanee fishing in the West Arm (during the opening) and just outside the west arm. So, there’s definitely been a lot of action.
Water temperature is perfect for most fish now, so we should see some good days of fishing ahead. Most fish are feeding on the surface now, so we have been running mostly surface lines with the usual gear.
My favorite bucktail flies have been producing good numbers of rainbows and even a few bull trout on the surface. Lucky flies have been black, black, and more black. Since the flying ants have been hitting the water, it seems the fish are keying in on the black colours. Our favorites have been the black ant pattern #208, the usual black & white #228, gray & white #210, and green & white #221.
Also our Lyman plugs have been producing well on the surface and the downriggers. Greens have been working well due to the color of the lake water. So, lucky #55 or #53, or 97 have been producing. Also the natural colors representing kokanee have been working well. Lucky numbers 16, 98, and 100 have been producing some good fish as well.
The Columbia River has been running higher lately, but that seems to have created some new holes for fishing. We’ve been fishing the usual back eddies and catching some nice fish.
Fly-fishing with nymphs has been the most productive lately. However, the warmer weather has created a few hatches and we have begun dry-fly fishing with caddis and flying ants as well.
The bait fishermen have been doing good as well. Try using spinners tipped with worms or a 3-way rig on the bottom with bait. Both methods have produced some nice fish. Rainbows between 2 –5 Lbs have been coming in, as well as Walleye between 2–5 lbs. I’ve even seen a few pike caught lately up to 10 lbs.

Reply to this post

Reeling In Spring Rainbows

Author: AnglersAtlas
Date: May 16th 2014

Brad Stubbs at www.kootenaykingfisher.com says he's having great spring fishing on Kootenay Lake. Most days getting at least one real nice rainbow in the 9- to 15-lb. class. Lots of small rainbows to fill in the day. Not getting a lot of mid size fish in the 3- to 8-lb range. Seem to be missing those year-class fish where I'm fishing. Had a twelve-pounder yesterday that hit so hard and made the reel scream so loud that all three of us jumped. Poor Trudy who was standing right beside it jumped the highest! Ha Ha. In its first run it ripped off more than 200 ft. of line. A gorgeous bright-chrome spring rainbow!
Lures of choice are the 215, 226, 234, 203, for Kootenay flies. Lyman's - 16 and 69. And sometimes the Cop Car apex.

Reply to this post

Kootenay Lake Fishing Report (July 6)

Author: reeladventures
Date: July 6th 2013

The Fishing Report
July 3, 2013

Kootenay Lake

Well, June has come and gone. And the rain kept coming and going also. Another wet month for the record books. And again, the inconsistent weather made for inconsistent fishing.

We had some great days out there with up to 15 fish on the day. But we also had some dismal days due to the bouncing barometer. When the weather remained steady, we had our best fishing. Our biggest Rainbow in the past few weeks was a bright, chrome 22 pounder, with a few others between 12 & 18 Lbs. We also landed quite a few Bull Trout between 3 Lbs & 15 Lbs.

And now, since the heat wave, things are changing again. Water temperature is rising fast and the fish are going through spuratic feeding frenzies. So, one day the fish are feeding heavily and we can't keep them off the hook. And the next day they are fed up and taking a break.

We have had some great morning fishing trips since the heat wave. Trying to beat the heat and start early in the morning seems to be the ticket. Our latest morning trip saw 7 nice fish come to the boat in only 4 hours. That's great fishing for Summer time.

So, like I always say, you just never know.
But, you can't catch them from the couch. You just have to be out there.

What are they biting on???

Now that the summer weather is here, we are catching more fish on the downriggers. Nothing too deep, but the usual depths of 60ft - 100 ft seem to be working well.

My favorite lures on the downrigger have been: Lyman plugs. Lucky numbers have been # 10, 14, 16, 108. Or common colors such as: blue & yellow, or green & yellow, or blue & white.

Our favorite fly colors are all over the map. Not one consistent pattern lately. But some of my best patterns have been: Black/wht, grey/wht, and green/wht. Or some common numbered flies such as: 214, 215, 225, 226, and the old standby 228.

Also, apex lures have been producing some good fish. The usual colors at this time of year being: black/white, blue/yellow, blue/green.

Tight lines.

Kerry Reed
Reel Adventures Charters
Nelson B.C

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).