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.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The price of poverty: Schools, community notice more people in Salmon Arm struggling

Although number of children in poverty in city has decreased slightly, still more than 600

Man sentenced for stealing pricey ring from Salmon Arm pawn shop

Accused vows to change criminal history through beating addictions

Anxiety, depression among student priorities for Sicamous school wellness centre

Initiative provides comfortable space to care for students at Eagle River Secondary

Shuswap woman creates stress-reducing cuffs for Alzheimer’s patients

Personal connection to disease adds meaning to endeavour

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, so barricades should come down

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Morning Start: Want your plants to grow faster? Play them music

Your morning start for Thursday, February 20, 2020

Cyclist hit by semi truck in Vernon

Cyclist sustained non-life threatening injuries; police investigating

Federal minister pledges to meet Wet’suwet’en chiefs in B.C. over natural gas pipeline

The Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say they are visiting Mohawk territory

2010 leader John Furlong urges Vancouver to bid for 2030 Winter Games

VANOC said the 2010 games broke even financially

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Canadians aboard coronavirus-ridden cruise ship to return home tonight

Among the infected are 47 Canadians who will have to remain in Japan for treatment

Galchenyuk nets shootout winner as Wild edge Canucks 4-3

Vancouver tied with Calgary for second spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

Most Read