Fishing vessels investigate shrimp fishery in Okanagan Lake

Shrimp population shifting south in Okanagan Lake commercial harvest of shrimp taking place

Southern Okanagan Lake residents may see an unusual sight  over the next weeks – commercial-sized fishery vessels and processing  barges moving from their usual moorage outside Vernon to Squally Point  area near Peachland.

The vessels are part of a provincial study of the experimental freshwater  shrimp fishery established in the northern part of Okanagan Lake. The  fishery was created in 2000 to help recover the Okanagan Lake Kokanee  population as the shrimp, or Mysis diluviana, is known to compete with  Kokanee for food.

The province believes the shrimp population may be shifting to southerly  parts of the lake and will be conducting experimental hauls to collect  data for approximately two weeks.

Two companies harvest the shrimp for use in pet food, nutraceuticals and  cosmetics. The annual harvest of freshwater shrimp takes place between  May and October and has averaged 40 metric tons a year between 2000 and  2010.

Freshwater anglers spend $480 million every year on fishing  equipment, travel and accommodations and hospitality services, supporting  7,500 direct jobs.