Gone Fishing

Burrow Ponds - above

After upgrades, the Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery will decrease its greenhouse gas emissions of moving water through the building by up to 67%.

One of North America’s largest fish hatcheries is getting a well-deserved overhaul. The Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery (SLFH), located in southeast Calgary, has raised over 50 million trout from eggs to adults since it opened in 1973. For the first time in more than 40 years, the facility will undergo renovations to update its water treatment systems and modernize its equipment.

Here are five things you should know about the upgrade:  Continue reading

Running with the Bulls in Fort McMurray

Who says horror stories can’t have happy endings? After nearly two years, the Texaco East Pond has been restocked and is open to fishing again. The popular local fishing hole was closed after an angler reported an unusual catch on June 23, 2015. This fishy find was in fact a black bullhead – a species of catfish – and the ecological impacts it had on the pond were devastating.

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Hunting small game and pest animals

It’s easy to forget that hunting SMALL game can be every bit as exciting and challenging as hunting large game once you’ve made the switch and you’ve successfully stocked your freezer with deer meat.

shutterstock_387527335-SnowShoeHare

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Fish Alberta – Wadlin Lake

When it comes to boreal lakes in Northern Alberta, Wadlin Lake is as good an example as you will find.

A gravel road and a modest campground operated by Mackenzie County are the only man-made features along the shore of this stunning 1,900 hectare lake.

The nearest settlement is the town of Fort Vermilion. Fort Vermilion, established on the banks of the Peace River in 1788, is one of Alberta’s two oldest European settlements. Continue reading

Fish Alberta – Oldman River

oldman r gap U of lethbridgeFrom its rugged and remote upper reaches to its meandering path to join the South Saskatchewan River, the Oldman River watershed is known for its stunning natural beauty.

In the alpine tundra and old-growth spruce and fir forests of the Beehive Natural Area, three creeks (Hidden, Dutch and Racehorse creeks) converge at Three Rivers Gap to form the Oldman River. The river runs from southwest to northeast, with a dip south across the border into Glacier National Park.

Numerous campgrounds and parks along the river’s route provide access for fishing, rafting, canoeing, nature watching and… rock skipping.

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Alberta Fisheries Management – Fishery Productivity

How many fish can be sustainably harvested from an Alberta lake? To answer that question, you need a basic understanding of biological economics. Let’s start by asking some straightforward questions:

  • How many fish are in a lake?
  • How many fish do you want to be there?
  • What is the annual interest rate (the surplus population growth rate)?
  • How necessary or important is reinvestment of fish back to the population?

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Fish Alberta – Lake Newell

For more than a century, Albertans have enjoyed boating, sailing, fishing, hiking and bird watching on and around Lake Newell. But until 1914, there was no lake there.

Lake Newell is actually a reservoir created after Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) built the Bassano Dam as part of the ‘Eastern Irrigation’ system designed to entice settlers to the naturally semi-arid area.

The dam was so successful that it was raised in 1934, and today Lake Newell is one of Alberta’s largest reservoirs. The the lake’s surface area fluctuates, but is usually about 6.5 kilometres wide and 14 kilometres long. At its deepest point, it’s about 20 metres deep.

Kinbrook Island PP Beach

Figure 1 – Until 1914, this beautiful Alberta lake didn’t exist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Fish Alberta – Wolf Lake

Wolves call the boreal forest around Wolf Lake home. The name and the surrounding area are evocative of the unspoiled nature, mature forest and striking scenery that visitors will find there.

The lake is popular for its simple, quiet and well-maintained campground, as well as other popular activities like berry picking, boating, swimming and water sports. The lake is slightly off the beaten path, and the only development on its shoreline is the campground and access road that were built in 1963. Continue reading

Alberta Fisheries Management – The Science of Fish

DSC05408Anglers in Alberta experience world-class fishing today, but this was not always the case.

Starting as early as the 1970s, Alberta’s sport fisheries declined to a shocking degree. Native trout like cutthroat trout and bull trout were rare catches in mountain streams. Lakes once famous for walleye and pike fishing were reduced to shadows of former quality. By the 1980s and 1990s, Alberta walleye fisheries were among the worst in North America; surveys at many lakes reporting 80 per cent of anglers catching nothing during a fishing trip. Angler numbers declined and with them went millions of dollars in lost economic activity. Continue reading

Alberta Fisheries Management – A Fishin’ Poll for Your Fishin’ Hole

The management of fisheries in Alberta is dynamic and challenging. Especially when considering that Alberta has experienced robust economic and population growth and has only 800 native sport fish-bearing lakes and about 300 waters stocked with non-native trout. In comparison, other provinces such as Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have tens, or even hundreds of thousands of fish-bearing lakes.

In addition to meeting the rights of Indigenous peoples, Alberta’s fisheries are also relied upon to provide benefits to more than 300,000 anglers. Fisheries management in Alberta has had to evolve and improve to meet the challenges.  Continue reading