Out For A … Fall Fishing Trip – Elk Lake

by Sheila Molloy – 

Fishing is such a fun sport for all ages and thanks to our mild weather, is something that can be done year-round. Particularly helpful is having a spectacular freshwater lake in easy access to all of us on the Saanich Peninsula.

Elk Lake is in Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park and is very popular for all types of recreation, from relaxing on the beautiful beaches to running the 10-kilometre trail that encircles the two lakes.

Elk Lake also boasts user-friendly fishing options with a great variety of fish available for catch-and-release and consumption. According to the Capital Regional District’s fish inventory, native species include coastal cutthroat trout, sculpins and threespine stickleback. Introduced species like yellow perch, pumpkinseed sunfish, smallmouth and largemouth bass, rainbow trout, black and brown bullheads, and carp are all common.

The lake is stocked twice a year with catchable rainbow trout, which makes it a sweet fishing spot well into autumn.

There are two boat launches; Brookleigh boat launch off Brookleigh Road is made for large, motorized boats and there are 10 truck and boat trailer parking spots. There is also a boat launch by the Elk Lake Rowing Centre, which is great for smaller boats.

But with the well-maintained trail around the lake, you do not need a boat for great fishing. There are many spots for shore casting, but the real gem for family-friendly angling is the accessible fishing dock found along Bear Hill Road.

To get there, from Highway 17 coming from Sidney, exit right onto Sayward Road, left onto Hamsterly Road, then right onto Brookleigh Road. This leads to the Hamsterly Beach entrance and is the road to access both the boat launch and the fishing dock.

The dock has just been upgraded and improvements have made it even more accessible including a lower bump rail for wheelchairs, railing height for wheelchairs and walkers, cleaning stations at different heights, new benches and more.

This makes the dock an excellent option for any member of the family to enjoy and for those who may not have the benefit of a boat.

There are several parking spots here, washroom facilities, and a picnic table for making a comfortable day for fishing fun.

Things to Note
• You must have a valid British Columbia freshwater fishing license (https://tinyurl.com/3wf95dt4).
• Rainbow trout are stocked annually by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.
• Be sure to know the Boating Regulations for Elk/Beaver Lake if you’re bringing your boat (https://tinyurl.com/2p8bjy7v).

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