Fisheries and aquaculture student Brett Parker releases 500 rainbow trout into Glen Lake. The fish

Fisheries and aquaculture student Brett Parker releases 500 rainbow trout into Glen Lake. The fish

Trout ready for baited lines in Langford

Stocking lakes helps encourage outdoor activities on the West Shore

Brett Parker eases a large metal tube into the water.

With chest waders up to his armpits, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. (FFSBC) co-op student holds on as a truck, that drove in from a hatchery in Duncan, pumps 500 rainbow trout through the tube, and into Glen Lake in Langford.

“The finishing pressure that this lake receives generally can’t be sustained by the natural reproduction of the lake so we stock it with 1,000 catchable-size rainbow trout in the fall and 1,000 in the spring,” FFSBC assistant hatchery manager Tristan Robbins said. “Those fish provide instantaneous fisheries for anglers in the area.”

This fall, Glen Lake will get 1,000 fish, Langford Lake 1,500, Thetis 2,000, Colwood 250 with many more going to Prior Lake, Prospect Lake, Elk Lake and more dispersed throughout the West Shore and Southern Vancouver Island.

He said there are many reasons stocking the lake is important, one of them, to promote more outdoor activities for youth, including two-year-old Brandon Shaw who watched, pointing excitedly as the fish cascaded through the water.

“It (helps) provides more of a well-rounded lifestyle, a lot of kids these days tend to be stuck to more electronics and that kind of stuff, not getting out and about as maybe kids 50 years ago,” Robbins said. “So having these programs in place and learn to fish programs encourages kids to get out and enjoy the country.”

Trout introduced into the lake are sterile, so they don’t interbreed with any wild fish and affect the natural gene pool in the lake, to maintain the trouts natural silver colouration, which Robbins said anglers enjoy, and increases the size of the fish.

Unsterilized fish stop growing after three to four years and put their energy into reproduction for eggs and milk.

“I am an angler myself so it is very rewarding to put fish back into the lakes and just to see the publics reactions when you come to stock these lakes, it is really a feel good job,” he said.

“The kids are happy to see you, the parents are happy to see you, you get thumbs up going down the highway, so it is a rewarding job.”

Brendan’s father Steven who came out with his family to the enjoy the fish being introduced to the lake said it is a real treat to come out and see this happen, especially for his son.

“It is good to see people keeping the lake healthy and active and making it a nice place for local residents,” he said.

“Part of the reason we live out here is it offers us lots of opportunities to be outdoors. (With Brandon), that is the goal, to encourage that sort of thing.”

For more information visit gofishbc.com

alim@goldstreamgazette.com