This is the last of a four part series on our province’s most resilient animals. You can find out more about mammals that are active through the winter here, about mammals that are inactive but don’t hibernate here, or about birds that stay in the province over the winter here.
While mammals may burrow or hibernate, and birds can be seen shivering away on a branch, the average Albertan never sees what happens to fish during the frigid days of winter.
Alberta Environment and Parks is part of a team currently working on several culvert operations in an effort to recover populations of native trout and whitefish in the central and northern watersheds of the Eastern Slopes Fish Management Zone.
A fish rescue downstream of a hanging culvert on a tributary to the Red Deer River
From 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.
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?
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.
Figure 1 – Until 1914, this beautiful Alberta lake didn’t exist.
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
2017 is a great year to get your family hooked on the Alberta fishing experience!
The 2017 Sportfishing Regulations come into force starting April 1 and with them come some new opportunities for recreational anglers in the province.
This decision was made based on several factors including data gathered from Fall Index Netting, information around fisheries management objectives and engagement with anglers and other interested members of the public. Continue reading
One young girl in Drayton Valley got a shock when she was swimming in the area and had an encounter of the fishy kind. One of the pike in the lake bit her hand – while his motive was unclear, biologists from Environment and Parks sprang into action!
Taking the bait
Photos of the bite and a tooth collected during the incident were submitted as evidence in this case. The team determined this was probably a case of a northern pike (Esox Lucious) biting the swimmer’s hand – but needed to look deeper. Continue reading
We aren’t talking trout with wings – FISHES is a team dedicated to keeping fish in our future. The Southern Alberta Fisheries Habitat Enhancement and Sustainability (FISHES) Program was established in 2013 to find and address risks to the aquatic environment following the 2013 and 2014 floods.
Rainbow trout eggs are counted and put into a canister.
There were many moments of excitement and curiosity in 45 schools across Alberta last week. The 10,000 students involved in the Fish in Schools: Raise to Release (FinS) program received some new classmates – 65 rainbow trout eggs!
Having reached the eyed egg stage of their life cycle, the rainbow trout were transported from one of Alberta’s fish culture facilities to the classrooms.
The eggs were carefully packed in a thermos and placed in a cooler, before they were driven by staff member, picked up by volunteers, or even sent in the mail to some schools! Continue reading