Originally Published by CBC, March 19, 2015

Low trout populations in three Yukon lakes have prompted the territorial government to ban lake trout fishing.

Effective April 1, all lake trout caught in Tarfu, Snafu and Pine lakes must be released.

Environment Yukon says the ban will help the fish population recover and eventually improve the fishery. It says angler success for lake trout in the three lakes is currently low.

Gordon Zealand, executive director of the Yukon Fish and Game Association, a non-governmental interest group, is OK with the ban.

“We know (lake trout) get an awful lot of pressure and so if there’s a problem we need to deal with it, and sooner rather than later,” he says.

Zealand thinks most Yukoners will respect the ban.

“Probably the bulk are going to be on-side, but you will have some individuals that will be a little upset and suggest maybe the experts aren’t as knowledgeable as they might be.

“I know from our side of the fence we’d certainly like to be erring on the positive rather than the negative.”

Environment Yukon recommends people who fish those lakes avoid catching lake trout altogether because releasing fish can result in some of them dying.

Zealand says it might be difficult to avoid catching lake trout specifically, but says people should take care when releasing any fish to ensure they survive.

Photo courtesy of Ray Krebs