Things got a bit fishy on this week’s episode of The Amazing Race Canada – and we mean that in the most literal sense. Now in its fourth season, the popular show’s second episode prominently features teams following clues leading them through the streets of Calgary, stopping at various sites including our very own Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery at Bow Habitat Station!
Planning for the episode began in February. The producers scoured the country for one-of-a-kind locations and challenges. Following a site visit, there was no denying the show was hooked on a stop at the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery.
Working closely with Environment and Parks’ staff, the show developed a wet and wild challenge. Teams got a true feel for what it’s like to put on the waders of an Alberta Fish Technician and attempt to herd over 3,000 rainbow trout into two cages in preparation for stocking. For the detour, nine teams from across Canada chose between a detour of “SWIM” at Bow Habitat Station, or “SIM” at SAIT’s crane simulator.
A fisheries technician was stationed at each pond to supervise and ensure the trout were not at risk of being harmed. It was a unique experience to watch as teams tackled a rather routine task in the life of a fisheries technician. The task proved to be a challenge for many teams; requiring a mixture of both brains and brawns to strategize the quickest way to corral and move over 400 kilograms of fish.
In the trial run before filming began, two staff members completed the challenge in a brisk
16 minutes. Compare that to the quickest team who stunned the technicians and other teams by finishing in a cool 45 minutes, and, another team who struggled for almost four hours chasing the one that got away.
Perhaps the hardest part for staff during the filming was watching as teams floundered, unable to provide tips or assistance. Technicians watched as plans were hatched, and then abandoned as soon as racers were in the water. “Had any team taken 5 minutes to plan their attack, and actually stuck with their plan, they would have saved way more than 5 minutes on the other end,” recalls Shawn Berube, Fish Technician. Little things like walking with the current of the water rather than against it could make the difference between finishing ahead of another team.
There’s no shortage of excitement in the air when it comes to a competition like Amazing Race Canada. Acting Operations Supervisor for the hatchery, Ryan Lyster, was thrilled to be the official clue giver. “It got really exciting when there were three teams that were all close to finishing at the same time.” You can watch the drama unfold in Episode 2 of the fourth season of Amazing Race Canada at theamazingracecanada.ctv.ca.