Investigating White Lake

White Lake Residents hear different theories in regards to what's happening at White Lake

What is wrong with White Lake and what needs to be done about it depends on who is talking.

A May 21 meeting hosted by the White Lake Residents Association (WLRA) heard differing theories and recommendations.

In his report on the meeting, WLRA president Bryon Every says local angler Alf Davy gave his in-depth view of the changes that have taken place in the last 10 years.

“Alf gave a lot of attention to the beaver dam issue and explained in great detail the importance of the natural cycle that the trout should be allowed to complete,” reports Every. “Alf explained the need for the fish to return to their place of hatch in order to retain the species’ existence and health.”

But Steve Maricle, senior fish biologist with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, believes goldfish are the culprits and increasing the number of trout fry that enter the lake will likely mean that increased competition for food will result in small, thin fish.

In terms of the overall fishery, Maricle says he sees  a real conflict of opinions.

“Some people say it’s fine and others say, no it’s not,” he said Monday. “There’s no question the gold fish are coming back for some reason – they were kind of gone in 2009.”

Maricle says Fisheries was thinking of trapping them  in order to find them because none were evident, a surprise considering the high numbers seen the previous year.

“I fully knew they were coming back and for the time it’s taken them, the (trout) fishery has been getting better, better than 2009,” he says, noting he is now getting reports of big schools of gold fish. “People are finding fish in the stomachs of the trout. They’re feeding on them, but they won’t control them.”

Maricle says if the density gets too high, the trout fishery will crash somewhat.

“We may have to consider looking at another salmonid species that can compete with the goldfish,” he says.

“People who are traditionalists don’t want a bandaid fix, they want the trout fishery to thrive.”

But nothing would go forward without Maricle seeking input from several interested groups including the White Lake Residents Association.

“The trout fishery is good (right now) but I do think it will collapse again,” he says, explaining that carp, the species to which gold fish belong, is the highest invasive species in B.C. lakes.

Before Fisheries officials consider options for White Lake, studies will be undertaken to try to gather more information.

A Thompson Rivers University student has been hired to look at vegetation changes and assess stomachs taken from trout caught.

WLRA volunteers have been given sample kits and will carefully cut the stomachs out of fish, preserve them with alcohol and freeze them for transport to TRU for assessment.

“They will date them and compare it with whatever data we can find on the lake,” he says. “I don’t think we have much invertebrate data on White Lake. We will compare what should be hatching and what the fish should be feeding on given the time periods.”

Every, meanwhile, says the overall consensus of those at last week’s meeting was that “speculation has no place in the judgments or decisions that need to be made at White Lake.”


Just Posted

Here’s your chance to hear the federal candidates in Sicamous and Salmon Arm

All-candidates forums upcoming in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Survey to help update evacuation plans for Shuswap communities

The CSRD wants to hear from the public about evacuation preparedness in their areas

Salmon Arm council to lobby for highway improvements, police officers and more

Mayor and councillors to have the ear of provincial politicians at UBCM convention

Salmon Arm’s Hillcrest Elementary shocked, saddened by death of teacher

Well-loved Grade 4 teacher passed away suddenly over weekend

‘I shouldn’t have done it,’ Trudeau says of brownface photo

Trudeau says he also wore makeup while performing a version of a Harry Belafonte song

35 of 87 dogs in 2018 Williams Lake seizure were euthanized due to behavioural issues, BCSPCA confirm

The dogs did not respond to the behaviour modification and remained terrified of humans

Vernon race organizer head-butted by homeless man won’t be stopped

Man arrested after allegedly stealing race flags, assaulting woman in Kalamalka Lake park

Penticton man with multiple driving infractions loses appeal on ‘harsh’ sentence

Driver has been convicted multiple times, including for criminal negligence causing death

B.C. ‘tent city’ disputes spark call for local government autonomy

UBCM backs Maple Ridge after province overrules city

WHL action returns to Okanagan, Rockets GM anxious for season’s start

Big off-season changes, the Memorial Cup; it’s all coming together for Bruce Hamilton

B.C. drug dealers arrested after traffic stop near Banff turns into helicopter pursuit

Antonio Nolasco-Padia, 23, and Dina Anthony, 55, both well-known to Chilliwack law enforcement

Most Read