Marshall Lake stocked with trout -- open house to be held in Greenwood on dam issue

Shara JJ Cooper
By Shara JJ Cooper
June 14th, 2013

Fishermen are bound to catch something if they head out to Marshall Lake this weekend.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations has stocked the lake with 600 catchable fish, which range in size from 20 to 35 cm (8 to 14 inches).

Typically, the ministry stocks the lake with about 2,000 fingerlings in late spring, but this year they are adding larger, consumable-sized fish. This is their typical action if the lake has seen heavier ice and snow than usual — like last winter. Heavier ice and snow means more existing fish will die in the winter months and there will be less catchable fish for recreational fishermen.

However, it was also a show of good faith after controversy was raised over the decommissioning of the Marshall Lake dam.

“There was some concern that we weren’t going to provide recreational fishing opportunities at Marshall Lake,” said Tara White, Senior Fisheries Biologist with the ministry. “That’s not true. We are going to continue to stock the lake.”

The ministry plans on stocking the lake with catchable sized fish next year as well. The amount of fish won’t be detrimental to the lake as the fish will just have a slower growth if they aren’t significantly harvested this year, said White. There is also potential for the fish to die off if next winter has as much ice and snow as last winter.

Marshall lake is currently full of rainbow trout, which arrived earlier this week from the Summerland Trout Hatchery. The lake is usually stocked at this time of year because the lake is hard to access by big tucks until everything defrosts and dries. Even so, the trout spent the last leg of their journey being walked in by the bucketful thanks to roads that were too slippery for the big trucks.

“This is a very large amount of fish for the amount of water,” said White, adding that the lake is about 8 metres (26 feet) deep and 4 hectares (almost 10 acres) wide. “This is the density of fish we would stock at a kids fishery event.”

The lake is stocked just in time for Father’s Day on Sunday but there will probably be plenty of fish left over to enjoy throughout the season.

Marshall Lake’s future

The lake’s future is still on shaky ground. The ministry still plans on decommissioning the dam. Last year they dropped the water level in the lake to relieve pressure on the dam, which significantly reduced the lake’s size.

Interested parties can make their voices heard at an open house June 26 at the Greenwood Community Hall on Veteran’s Lane. The event will be from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We’ll be hosting it and it’s a chance for stakeholders and the public to share their opinion and get information,” said White.


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