Dead fish fill a net left floating on Stuart Lake recently. The net was found by a boater and brought in and is currently being investigated by a conservation officer.

All caught up

A number of fish were trapped in a net and left to rot on Stuart Lake. The net is now being investigated as potential poaching by the Conservation Officer Service in the area.

With the ice only recently off of Stuart Lake, boaters are wasting no time in getting their hulls wet.

One early season boater found more than he bargained for on the lake though, when he stopped to pick up what he thought was a rope which was almost caught in his motor.

Eldred Rahko saw a yellow rope floating on the water which he had narrowly missed running over, and stopped to pick it up to prevent any damage to other boaters.

But he found more than he bargained for.

Instead of a rope, Rahko found an entire net, and it was full of fish.

He took the net back to the docks at the district marina and called the conservation officer, frustrated at what he saw as “just a total waste of good fish.”

There were around 34 fish in the net when The Courier went to take a photograph of it, and the conservation officer said three of those fish were Dolly Varden, three were burbot and the rest were “trash” fish.

Conservation Officer Cam Hill is still conducting an investigation into the net, but does not have a lot to go on, given how long the net may have been adrift.

“Unfortunately, you can only get so much information off of something that has been floating around in the lake for probably six months,” he said.

But he does have some ideas, and believes the net was put out last fall, because it is not the style of net which is typically used when putting a net through the ice and because of the high level of decomposition of some of the fish, which meant it was not likely from after the ice came off.

Hill said the net is not typical of the nets used by First Nations.

“It’s one thing to net fish and it’s another thing to leave your net and have it catch all kinds of other fish and then let them rot,” he said.

Peter Erickson, Nak’azdli band councillor, said he is interested in discussing the matter with the conservation officer.

“We take things like that very seriously,” he said.

Anyone with information on this net or any other violation or unlawful setting of nets should call the Conservation Officer Service toll-free at 1-877-952-7277.


Just Posted

Atom Stars host hockey tourney

Seven teams from the region clashed sticks

VIDEO: Orcas put on a show near Hornby Island

Louis Jobodin shares photos and video of his experience

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

VIDEO: Explorers uncover Canada’s deepest cave in Fernie

The cave, named Bisaro Anima, was confirmed to have broken the record on New Year’s Day

Players sought for National Aboriginal Hockey Championships

ISPARC calls for bantam/midget players to register for selection camp in Kamloops

New funding opens for industry innovation

Northern Development Initiative Trust opened new funds, focused on areas impacted by the pine beetle

Vernon to host largest Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games in 2019

Games to be held Feb. 21-23, with more than 800 athletes expected to take part

Most Read