Fishermen are asked to look out for blue tags on fish they catch in lakes stocked by the province. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Fishermen are asked to look out for blue tags on fish they catch in lakes stocked by the province. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

Tagged fish introduced to South Cariboo Lakes

Rewards are offered to turn tags into the Ministry of Forests

Anglers at Sheridan Lake are being asked to keep an eye out for tagged fish this summer.

Mike Ramsay, the Cariboo region’s senior fisheries biologist for the Ministry of Forests, said they are introducing a new strain of rainbow trout to the lake. Dubbed the Horsefly strain, these fish are intended to increase the diversity of the lake and give anglers more fish to catch.

“Along with the study of the Horsefly fish, we’re putting ‘$100 reward’ tags in fish. They’re already in Deka, Bridge and Horse lakes, so anglers should look out for two tags sticking out of the dorsal fin of the fish,” Ramsay said. “Those tags will have a number to call and it’s really important you return them because they’re carrying a transmitter that goes to computers in the lake.”

Ramsay said that if you harvest the fish they want information on what the fish is eating, how big it’s grown and where it was caught. It helps his team evaluate the stocking of the lakes and what they can change to make things better in the future. If you don’t want to harvest the fish, he said anglers can just write down the tag’s number or cut it off and then bring it to him.

Ramsay shared this information at the Sheridan Lake spawning channel’s 30th-anniversary celebration. He answered several questions from the public and stressed the importance of anglers not overharvesting the lake’s rainbow trout population this summer. Ramsay said that’s part of the reason fish populations have declined in recent years. Even if a skilled angler could catch up to 30 or 40 a day, Ramsay would advise they only catch what they need rather than try and beat some record.

“Stockfish are put here for people to take but you don’t want to unduly burden those fish. When water temperatures start getting in the upper 20s fish get stressed and they don’t release as well,” Ramsay said. “If you’re concerned about those fish surviving release, it’s probably time not to catch so many.”



patrick.davies@100milefreepress.net

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