Year 2 of the Kootenay Lake Angler Incentive Program kicked off with one lucky fisher and his partner sharing the wealth.
Boswell’s Rod Stewart said he is splitting the $1,000 in gift certificates with his fishing partner, who owns the boat, and plans to stock up on new fishing gear and boat upgrades.
Stewart has been fishing the lake his whole life and has seen a lot of changes in the size of the fish, but thinks the Angler Incentive Program is a good way to balance the stocks out and get more people fishing again.
This year’s program also includes a program for youth.
“We are also excited to include a separate category this year for kids,” said Gord Grunerud, President of the West Arm Outdoors Club. “The youth program is running for the summer and includes anglers aged 15 and younger.”
There will be two youth program draws, one on Aug. 1 and one on Oct. 1. Young anglers need to submit their rainbow or bull trout heads in before those dates to win one of multiple prizes.
So far there are more than 30 age-appropriate prizes like kayaks, fishing rods and zipline adventure packets to be divided between the two kids’ prize draws.
The grand prizes for this year’s AI program include a Marlon boat package from Jones Boys Boats, a Polaris Sportsman Quad from Main Jet Motorsports, and a three-night saltwater fishing package for two at Coastal Springs Float Lodge.
“The Kootenay Lake Incentive Program has been extended for a second year because of the success of the program in helping Kokanee salmon recover,” said Grunerud. “The program encourages resident anglers to get outdoors and to participate in a fisheries kokanee conservation program aimed at re-establishing the predator-prey balance in the main body of Kootenay Lake by reducing the predators – rainbow and bull trout.
“Together with the kokanee closure, it is hoped the prey species will recover to historic levels while supporting anglers, outdoor sports, and local business.”
Anglers are encouraged to harvest rainbow and bull trout in the main body of Kootenay Lake and then turn in the heads to local depots to enter a monthly draw for a prize worth $1,000, a final grand prize draw, or one of many youth prizes.