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From diverse stillwaters to Sockeye salmon creeks and rivers, the
exceptionally beautiful and unique Quesnel Lake ecosystem offers Rainbow
trout angling that is unparalleled anywhere in British Columbia.

Forged by glaciers, Quesnel Lake is the deepest freshwater fjord in the
world (over 2000 feet deep). Fed by numerous creeks and two major rivers, it is the nursery that hosts the offspring of millions of Sockeye salmon,
providing the ingredients for truly spectacular angling for a genetically
pure strain of slow maturing trout. While Rainbows are primary targets, Bull
trout, Lake trout, Kokanee and white fish are also in abundance.

Quesnel Lake Rainbow TroutFor fly fishing enthusiasts, great fly fishing is not limited to just the lake and feeder creeks. Numerous small stillwaters abound in the region as well as three world class rivers. Spin casting and trolling are also common angling methods used on our lake.

Quesnel Lake is one of only a few large lakes in North America where trophy-sized rainbow trout can be caught in an uncrowded wilderness setting. Unlike most other strains of trout in North America, adult rainbow from Quesnel Lake grow to be generally large (10 - 20 lbs), and, on the average, are 7 years old when they spawn for the first time (other trout commence spawning at age 3 or 4).

A rainbow trout from Quesnel LakeBecause of this unique trait, Quesnel Lake trout were considered susceptible to being over-harvested, particularly when they were immature and between the ages of 2 and 6. Studies on the lake showed that each year, approximately 80% of the total trout harvested were small, immature fish that were 2 to 5 years old. As a result, few fish were becoming mature and having the chance to spawn. Stream surveys confirmed the lack of spawning adults, as it was determined that the major spawning streams were only producing fry at 15% of their total capability.

Quesnel Lake Rainbow TroutAs a result, new regulations were set in place in 2003 for possession limit, size restriction (2 rainbow 30 - 50 cms), and gear restrictions (single hook and no bait). These new regulations are aiding in increasing both the number of trophy size fish available to the sport fishery, and the number of mature adults on the spawning grounds.

Similarly, catch and release regulations instituted on the Horsefly River are resulting in a significant increase in numbers of young immature trout to Quesnel Lake.

The fishing, now, is better than ever! It has fastly become a world class fishery.

View Documents:
BC Region #5 Fishing Regulations - click on Region 5 on the map

Since more trout are being released under the new regulations, anglers should keep in mind that:

  • Time is of the essence. Play and release fish as rapidly as possible. A fish played for a long period may be too exhausted to recover.

  • Keep the fish in water as much as possible. A fish out of water is suffocating, and in addition, is twice as heavy. The fish may be seriously injured if allowed to flop on the beach, on rocks, or in a boat. Even a few inches of water under a thrashing fish acts as a protective cushion.

  • Gentleness in handling is essential. Keep your fingers out of the gills. Do not squeeze fish - they can easily be held by the lower lip. Nets may be helpful, provided the mesh does not get entangled in the gills. Hooks and lines catching in nets may delay release, so keep the net in the water.

  • Unhooking. Remove the hook as rapidly as possible with long nose pliers. IF THE FISH IS DEEPLY HOOKED, cut the base of the hook and leave the hook in. Be quick but gentle - do not roughly tear out hooks. Small fish are particularly susceptible to the shock of a torn out hook.

  • Reviving. Some fish, especially after a long struggle, may lose consciousness and float belly up. Always hold the fish in the water, gently propel it back and forth; this pumps water through the gills. When it revives and can swim normally, let it go.

  • Handled properly, catch & release fish have over an 80% chance of survival.

Casting at Creek Mouths Brian & Quille Casting at Creek Mouths

Elysia Resort & Lodge, on beautiful Quesnel Lake, is "highly recommended" by Fodor's British Columbia and Canada Travel Guides, "endorsed" by Kaufman's Streamborn Inc, recipient of the 2008 Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce 13th Annual Business Excellence Tourism Award.

© 2014 Elysia Resort, Quesnel Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Destination resort and fine dining at Quesnel Lake in the Cariboo region of BC, Canada. Complete sportfishing adventures, romantic getaways and vacation packages. Nature based adventures and excursions, paddling, jet boating trips and river drifts on rivers, creeks and stillwaters in the Quesnel Lake ecosystem.

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