Oyama, or Island Lake was originally stocked under the initiative of the Kelowna Rod and Gun Club in about 1931, using fingerlings from the Summerland Fish Hatchery. Jack Trewhitt and Ron Allingham packed in two cream cans full of fry on Allingham’s workhorse, stopping once on the way up to freshen the water. The story is that George Goulding had earlier, when the dam was under construction, tried to stock “Island Lake” but that attempt was unsuccessful.
In about 1934 Arnold and Beryl Trewhitt accompanied their father on a fishing trip to the lake and Arnold succeeded in landing a three-pound Rainbow Trout, demonstrating spectacularly that the stocking venture had been successful. The largest fish caught in Oyama Lake weighed over 18 pounds. Currently Oyama Lake is stocked annually with 15,000 Rainbow Trout.
This photograph of fish caught in one day in Oyama Lake, reveals the productivity of the lake in the early 1950s. The Taylor family (Harold and Lu and children Lorna and Don) moved to Oyama from Salmo, BC in 1950 to operate the Kalwood Inn. Lorna and Don both worked at the Inn and attended school in Rutland. In 1951 Harold Taylor purchased the Oyama Garage from Dick Laidman and in the same year established the Oyama Lake Fishing Camp. This was one busy family.
The Taylors operated the Oyama Lake Fishing Camp for a few years and then it was operated by a succession of owners. The fishing camp catered largely to American tourists. Lorna Dewar (née Taylor) remembers that Vernon and Herbert Ellison, the latter visiting from the Imperial Valley in Arizona, were regular visitors.