QUALICUM BEACH, BC – Fishing season is here and with it, a unique opportunity.

Anglers fishing in Horne Lake have the opportunity to receive gift cards for catching tagged cutthroat trout.

According to a release from the province, provincial fisheries staff are partnering with the BC Conservation Foundation and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to complete a three-year study on the health of Horne Lake’s cutthroat trout population.

200 cutthroat trout from the area have been tagged with brightly coloured Fly T-bar anchor tags and released.

The study began last year and will continue until April 2021.

The study measures the health of the population by looking at mortality rates and tracking fish movements into the surrounding tributaries during spawning.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development is offering gift cards worth $100 per fish to those who catch and report a tagged trout.

Anglers will need to remove the tags from the fish using nail clippers or scissors. They can then be delivered to the ministry office front desk at 2080A Labieux Rd in Nanaimo.

Anglers can also take a picture of the tag and send it to brendan.anderson@gov.bc.ca.