If you really want to see ‘redd’ then Meadow Creek Spawning Channel Open House is the place to be on September 13, 2014 between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. You’ll see plenty of redds – the gravels nests of the Kokanee – as well as the colour red, with tens of thousands of Kokanee, either on the spawning beds, or jostling to get into the spawning channel.
The channel is managed by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), and primarily funded by the Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program (FWCP). It can accommodate hundreds of thousands of spawning Kokanee (last year the count was 166,000) and millions of eggs. It plays a vital role for Kokanee; accounting for about 75 per cent of total kokanee fry production in Kootenay Lake.
The Open House is a free, family event that provides a great opportunity to talk to FLNRO biologists and field technicians, and view the fish at (or near) the peak of their run. Additional displays or information at the event will be provided by Bear Smart, and about the Nutrient Restoration Program in Kootenay Lake.
In addition to the Open House, Meadow Creek Spawning Channel is open to the public every day between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. for the duration of the spawning season that typically runs into late September or early October. With the congregating Kokanee, the channel attracts both black and grizzly bears, and FLNRO may order a temporary total closure to the public if there are high bear densities during the regular open hours.
The 3.3 km looping spawning channel was the largest of its kind in the world when it was built in 1967 with BC Hydro funds, compensating for upstream spawning habitat lost due to the construction of Duncan Dam.
The Fish and Wildlife Compensation Program in the Columbia region is a partnership between the Province of B.C., BC Hydro, First Nations and public stakeholders to conserve and enhance fish and wildlife impacted by the construction of BC Hydro dams.
For more information about the Open House or the new viewing hours phone 250-354-6333.