Adfluvial cutthroat trout are the focal fishery in most of the large lakes on Vancouver Island, including Cowichan Lake, yet we have a poor understanding of their natural mortality and spatial ecology, and the degree to which fisheries regulations are appropriate or effective. With support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C., Kintama and the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (FLNRORD) are conducting a multi-year study to partition fishing mortality from natural mortality, provide insights into cutthroat trout life history and spatial ecology, and promote the successful long-term management of cutthroat trout in Cowichan Lake. Each October 2019-2022, we tagged cutthroat trout with high-reward Floy T-bar anchor tags and with acoustic transmitters with batteries lasting up to 2.5 years. These fish are being tracked using acoustic receivers deployed lake-wide with data uploads occurring twice a year. The animations show the movement of these fish up to the last data upload in October 2023.

We tagged additional fish with only high-reward tags and anglers are asked to remove the Floy tags and submit them to the ministry office at 2080A Labieux Rd in Nanaimo for a $100 reward (or photograph and email to

Dynamic Animator for 42 fish tagged in 2019. Access the animation here.

Dynamic Animator for 51 fish tagged in 2020. Access the animation here.

Dynamic Animator for 46 fish tagged in 2021. Access the animation here.

Dynamic Animator for 47 fish tagged in 2022. Access the animation here.