Joint release with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations.
The Government of Yukon and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations (CAFN) have put regulations in place to close Tower Bay (Gokhtaheen), located on Dezadeash Lake, to angling and subsistence fishing each year from July 1 to August 15.
The regulation is the first of its kind in Yukon. It aligns a subsistence regulation under CAFN’s fish and wildlife legislation with the territory’s fishery regulations. The regulation will apply to licensed anglers, CAFN Citizens and Yukon First Nations with consent from CAFN to fish for subsistence on Dezadeash Lake.
The closure will protect lake trout that gather in Tower Bay to seek refuge from warm lake temperatures.
The Government of Yukon is proud to work in partnership with Champagne and Aishihik First Nations to put this important regulation in place. Closing Tower Bay for fishing for a period each year will protect lake trout, ensuring the population remains sustainable now and for future generations.
Minister of Environment Pauline Frost
It is dän k’e – our way – to look after the fish and the lake. We are glad to partner with the Government of Yukon on these regulations. It is worth sacrificing our subsistence fishing rights at Gokhtaheen today in order to look after the fish for generations to come.
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations Kaaxnox, Dän nätthe äda (Chief Steve Smith)
The Government of Yukon and Champagne and Aishihik First Nations will review this measure in five years to evaluate effectiveness and compliance.
This regulation change was proposed by Champagne and Aishihik First Nations in 2015 during the Yukon Fish and Wildlife Management Board’s regulation change process. It went through public review in fall 2015 and was recommended to the Minister by the Board in spring 2016.
Champagne and Aishihik First Nations passed its regulation closing the bay in June 2020 based on Citizens’ input through the General Assembly.
Lake trout are a cold water species who thrive in water temperatures between 8°C and 12°C.
Dezadeash Lake is shallow and experiences a high temperature increase in the summer. Due to this, lake trout congregate at Tower Bay because it has cool water inflow. This makes them vulnerable to over-fishing and can push them into warmer waters, which limits their ability to regulate their temperature.