Trapper Lake Sockeye Enhancement/Sockeye Access Improvement

Trapper Lake was identified as a potential sockeye salmon enhancement site in 1988 due to its under-utilized sockeye fry rearing potential. Several enhancement programs involving out-planted sockeye were attempted since, but were unsuccessful either due to out-plant and fish culture techniques or because of changes to the spawning and rearing habitat. It was observed that returning sockeye salmon from this enhancement program were nearly successful at negotiating a partial barrier near the outlet of Trapper Lake. This, coupled with the identified presence of non-anadromous sockeye (kokanee) suggested that Little Trapper Lake origin sockeye had negotiated the barrier in the past and may presently do so under certain water conditions. Improving the access for returning sockeye to Trapper Lake could result in a sustained increase in overall sockeye production from the Taku River.
The Enhancement Sub-Committee and the Transboundary Panel believes the project continues to have merit. Observation of returning adults to the barrier in 2011 and 2012 from the earlier fry out plants indicated it was technically achievable to allow salmon passage without elaborate or large scale modification to the barrier. Subsequent investigations have identified probable in-lake groundwater sources as well as groundwater fed springs at the south end of the lake. At the February 2014 and November 2015 meeting of the TTC there was renewed interest in the continued investigation of the identified spawning habitat and a general consensus the original project objectives should continue to be pursued.