A fisherman casts his line into the Yukon River in Whitehorse on May 5, 2017. Fishermen travelling to the Southern Lakes region this season are being asked to show restraint and respect to help protect vulnerable grayling and lake trout populations. (Tom Patrick/Yukon News file)

Fishermen urged to show restraint, respect when fishing in Southern Lakes region

The Carcross/Tagish Renewable Resources Council is urging fishermen travelling to the Southern Lakes region this season to show restraint and respect to help protect vulnerable grayling and lake trout populations.

The council, along with a group of other organizations and Yukon First Nations governments, launched an awareness campaign on May 4 reminding fishermen to catch only what they need and limit catch-and-release activities.

The campaign comes in anticipation of an increase in activity in the Southern Lakes region due to COVID-19 potentially deterring Yukoners, particularly Whitehorse residents, from travelling Outside instead, C/TRRC chair Ken Reeder told the News May 5.

“We’re not saying don’t come and fish and enjoy it — we want everybody to get outdoors and you know, enjoy bringing the kids fishing,” Reeder said.

“Just respect the fish, handle them properly and really think about, you know, how many fish do I need to harvest and take home? Maybe I can just get by with one or two grayling, and say, ‘That’s enough for a meal, I don’t need to take my full one-day limit of five,’ or, if you’ve got a group of four people, you don’t need to kill 20 fish.”

Reeder said grayling are particularly vulnerable this time of year because they’re in easy-to-access areas to spawn.

“Don’t walk in the creek beds, don’t drive ATVs in there because the eggs are in there and we need them to spawn and reproduce, otherwise, you know, the stocks are going to dwindle and we might not have these spots to go fishing,” he suggested.

Grayling may also give the impression that their populations are larger than they really are in some places.

“There’s one spot down here where we know the population’s only 700 or 800 grayling, so if you get 50 people really harvesting hard, like you could wipe out that whole population,” Reeder said.

The stress of catch-and-release can lead to a higher mortality rate, particularly when the same fish is caught multiple times.

Posters created for the awareness campaign suggest that fishermen, when practicing catch-and-release, keep the fish in the water, eliminate the fish’s contact with dry, hard surfaces, using wet hands to handle the fish and to not squeeze it, and reduce handling time as much as possible.

Reeder said members of the resource council, accompanied by a fish consultant and possibly a regional biologist, will also be out at popular spots every weekend in May in order to talk with fishermen and hand out brochures.

“It’s not about enforcement, we’re not partnered with (conservation officers) or anything like that,” Reeder said. “… It’s an education thing.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com


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

Just Posted

Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Whitehorse RCMP will provide internet safety training due to an uptick of child luring offences. (iStock photo)
RCMP hosting internet safety webinars for parents and caregivers

The webinars will take place on March 23 and 25

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

A rendering of the Normandy Manor seniors housing facility. (Photo courtesy KBC Developments)
Work on seniors housing project moves forward

Funding announced for Normandy Manor

Tom Ullyett, pictured, is the first Yukoner to receive the Louis St-Laurent Award of Excellence from the Canadian Bar Association for his work as a community builder and mentor in the territory. (Gabrielle Plonka/Yukon News)
Tom Ullyett wins lifetime achievement award from the Canadian Bar Association

Ullyett has worked in the Yukon’s justice ecosystem for 36 years as a public sector lawyer and mentor

Most Read