The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC (FFSBC) aims to stock fish that are healthy and enjoyable for a variety of angler types. While there is currently little quantitative knowledge on the catchability of the various rainbow trout strains, attracting new anglers and providing a satisfactory product for current anglers is a primary goal of the FFSBC.
Studying Fish Survivability
Despite the fact that catch and release fishing has become more and more popular over the years, the survivability of these fish is still being evaluated. A recent project on Roche Lake looked at the stress response and mortality of catch and release Pennask 2N (reproductive) and AF3N (sterile) fish. Initial data suggests there is a difference in mortality between the Pennask 2N (0-26% mortality) and AF3N fish (17-33% mortality), with Pennask 2N having higher survival rates. We do not know if this is true for the other strains we stock (i.e. Blackwater, Fraser Valley, Gerrard) or how environmental factors affect mortality (e.g. temperature).
To effectively offer satisfactory products to anglers with different abilities and expectations, the catchability and survivability of FFSBC stocks needs to be assessed. A balance between survival, growth, and aggressiveness is desired for trophy and above average fishing.
Fish Behaviours and Catchability
The movement patterns and habitat use of different strains of rainbow trout have also been questioned. Are there some strains more often caught on the shoal, while others are caught in deeper water? If there are differences in catch and release mortality between strains, then stocking requests can be adjusted accordingly to maximize survival and angler satisfaction in high use fisheries.
New Study on Catchability of FFSBC Strains of Rainbow Trout
The FFSBC has started an experiment in two controlled lake environments to address the question of how catchable each FFSBC strain of rainbow trout are relative to each other. This will build on the preliminary catchability and catch and release mortality data. FFSBC anglers have compared the catchability of three strains of AF3N (Blackwater, Pennask, and Fraser Valley) and will be comparing three strains of 2N (Blackwater, Pennask, and Tzenzaicut) soon to determine if catchability differs between the strains according to: fishing location (shoal or deep water); fishing gear (fly fishing, gang trolling, spin casting); strain; ploidy; and seasonality (spring versus fall). Look for updates on how this project progresses on our website.