Discover year-round fishing on Kootenay Lake! Numerous marinas on Kootenay Lake provide access, and there are charters and fishing guides as desired. Fishing derbies take place in the spring and fall, while winter is a favourite season as big fish come up from the depths.
For background information and history, Kootenay Mountain Culture has written an article summarizing the history of the beautiful trout, while Friends of Kootenay Lake is a local organization with lots of information on the lake and the fish within it.
Licenses need to be purchased before you fish, and you can get them at sporting stores and fishing retailers. A separate license is also required to fish in national parks, which can be purchased at park headquarters at each park site.
See Travel British Columbia’s travel resources for up-to-date licensing information.
Important: Kokanee ban. There are currently restrictions on catching Kokanee due to the low numbers in the lake over the past few years. To find out what you can fish and when, and for licensing information, visit the government website.
The spring and fall fishing derbies are run by our local organizers. You can view what's being caught across Canada, and record your catch on MyCatch.
Charters and fishing guides
Winter Fishing on Kootenay Lake
Because Kootenay Lake does not freeze-over in winter, you can still fish during the colder months here. The bigger fish come up from the cold depths (152m/500ft) in the winter, and if you slow down and stay patient, you can catch a 20 pound Dolly Varden or that elusive Gerrard Rainbow Trout.
Watch thousands of salmon head up the waterways to release their eggs. Kokanee Creek, Meadow Creek, and Mill Creek are some of the best places to see this amazing spectacle in late August and early September. For more information visit our Salmon Spawning page.
Preventing Invasive Species
We want to keep Kootenay Lake pristine and free of invasive species. We ask all anglers to please CLEAN, DRAIN and DRY their boat and equipment. For more information on how you can take action and prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species visit the CKISS website.