Within a single decade, Okanagan Lake kokanee (Oncorhynchus nerka) went from being managed for sport fishery purposes to being a major concern from the perspective of conservation biology. Both shore-spawning and stream-spawning runs have declined dramatically, despite a fishery closure since 1995. Shore spawners are genetically different from stream-spawners, and are quite unique in spawning behaviour. The 1998 returns of both stocks were about 1% of the levels of the 1970s, when routine monitoring of spawning began. While the introduction of an exotic species, the opossum shrimp (Mysis relicta), is likely the driving force behind the decline, there are a variety of other forces that may have initially masked and more recently aggravated the situation. A long-term (20-year) action plan for the recovery of the Kokanee stocks was formulated in 1995. Phase I (1996-2000) of the plan stands on 2 legs: 1) developing a practical means of Mysis control; and 2) conserving key habitats...
Shepherd, Bruce G.. 1999. A Case History: the Kokanee Stocks of Okanagan Lake (in Proc. Conference Biology & Management of Species and Habitats at Risk). Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks. Conference Biology & ManagementProceedings. Vol. 2
Topic: Fish and Fish Habitats
Keywords: kokanee, population trends, management, limnology, Mysis relicta, Okanagan Lake, Oncorhynchus nerka, opossum shrimp, spawning habitat
Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus nerka
English Name: Sockeye Salmon
Other Identifier: University College of the Cariboo
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