Kotcho Lake is situated in the northeastern corner of British Columbia, about 90 kilometres northeast of Fort Nelson. It is a very shallow, but fairly large lake, almost 20 kilometres across at the longest point. On the edge of the boreal forest, it is surrounded by Black Spruce forest.
Large numbers of ducks are found on Kotcho Lake in early fall. On September 17, 1998 14, 722 ducks were counted in an aerial survey. Of these 1,550 were Canvasbacks, while the others were a mix of diving ducks and puddle ducks. In 1999, an early season survey on September 1, revealed 5,000 to 7,000 ducks, but this is before numbers of waterfowl peak, so numbers would not be expected to as high as later in the season. No other known surveys have been conducted, but there is no reason to suppose that the mid-September survey numbers are not typical. Both Tundra and Trumpeter swans occur in fall as well.
Ducks, Canada Geese and swans are all present in the breeding season.
Note: species shown in bold indicate that their population level (as estimated by the maximum number) exceeds at least one of the IBA thresholds (national, continental or global). The site may still not qualify for that level of IBA if the maximum number reflects an exceptional or historical occurence.
Kotcho Lake is for the most part isolated and undisturbed, although locals use the lake for fishing. A potential source of change in the area is ongoing oil and gas exploration and its attendant drill sites and roads.
The IBA Program is an international conservation initiative coordinated by BirdLife
International. The Canadian co-partners for the IBA Program are Bird Studies Canada and Nature Canada.