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Trout Unlimited Canada - Northern Lights Fly Fishers


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  1. 1. Conserving and Restoring Arctic Grayling in the Upper Pembina River Watershed – Habitat Restoration Planning Test angling in conjunction with AEP staff will be conducted during the week of August 10 to 15. Ken Monk will then be providing an update based on the number, size and condition of fish caught and released and other related observations 2. Riparian protection on Dogpound Creek This project was delayed as ACA was not sure it would have sufficient funds to cover its share of the costs involved. However, with increased revenues from higher than expected angling licences this year, and with the cooperation of the landowner, Mader Ranches, the project is a go effective Aug 10th 3. Aeration of Hasse Lake 5000 rainbow trout were stocked in Hasse in May. The intention was to run diffusers to aerate the lake over summer and to install 5 surface aerators in time for winter aeration. However, there was unexpected delay in extending power lines to the lake and although the work is now in progress it will not be completed in time to allow operation of the diffusers. With the ACA Community Grant NLFF has purchased five 1hp surface aerators and five 400' lengths of submersible cable. These have been delivered to ACA and will be installed in October. Plans to encourage financial support from the County and local businesses for the ongoing costs of electricity have been put on hold because of the economic difficulties resulting from the pandemic. However, in conjunction with ACA we have provided Parkland County Mayor, Council and administration with information on the project and an outline of the social, recreational, health and economic benefits to the community of reestablishing Hasse as a recreational fishery. The County has been supportive of the project. There is nothing further we can do at present but we will need volunteer(s) to check periodically throughout the winter that the surface aerators are operating ok. Hopefully someone(s) who live nearby but if not we may be able to provide some gas money. Approved Club Funded Projects: · Muir Lake - the new Welcome sign was installed in late April. The 5 new Walk of Fame signs were designed with input from the families where possible and with the much appreciated voluntary help of ACA's graphic design team. They have been manufactured by Lil Johns Sign Shop along with a couple of new stands and hopefully will be installed in the next few days. Rob Hinchcliffe has reworked the content of the Mayfly Life Cycle education sign and provided some great new images of nymph and dun. We have yet to finish the art work on this sign. On Hold - The pandemic and associated economic factors have put the following on hold: · Supporting the work of TUC in protecting bulltrout spawning areas in MacKenzie Creek with a financial contribution and stream work · Exploring the possibility of establishing remote site incubators in the upper Pembina river and/or its tributaries to assist with the reestablishment of Artic Grayling populations in the area (although the $2500 set aside for this is still in the bank earning interest) · Assisting ACA with the Kids Can Catch programs and providing fly-tying instruction to school groups and youth organizations etc. If you would like to support any of these or future NLFF projects please consider buying tickets on this year's Bamboo Rod Raffle The raffle prize is a 7’6″ 3/4 weight cane rod (bamboo) with two tips, built on a Payne 98 taper worth $1350. Don Andersen has generously donated a bamboo rod to support our projects for the last several years. Tickets are $5 each, or 5 for $20 and can be purchased online at https://northern-lights-tuc.square.site/…/cane-rod-raffl…/8… . We will mail the tickets to you. AGLC Raffle license: #513791. (Square is the payment processing company we use to process credit card transactions. This site is affiliated with Square) Draw date is November 7th, 2020
  2. On June 4, 2020 the Federal Government released their proposed Recovery Strategies for Bull Trout, Saskatchewan- Nelson Rivers and Rainbow Trout, Athabasca River population for the sixty-day public review process. https://species-registry.canada.ca/index-en.html#/documents/1414 https://species-registry.canada.ca/index-en.html#/documents/1835 The contact address to provide comments: Director SARA Directorate Department of Fisheries and Oceans 200 Kent St. Ottawa, ON K1A 0E6 SARA/LEP.XNCR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
  3. Lil Johns Sign Shop can't give me a specific time yet but will post it as soon as I know. Making the two new pedestals to match the existing ones is a complicating factor. Also not sure yet about a ceremony - different work schedules for the families and some health concerns about group gatherings may complicate it
  4. The graphics and art work for the Muir Lake Alberta Angler Walk of Fame have been completed with the voluntary assistance of ACA and the signs are now at Lil Johns Sign Shop awaiting construction and installation. We have reworked the signs for Lloyd Shea and Martin Paetz, added Barry Michell to the sign honouring his parents, George and Joan Michell, and created signs for Don Andersen and for the Edmonton Trout Club nominee, Reg Denny. Family members of the honourees have been involved in the wording and picture selection where possible. The new Welcome sign is also attached Muir Lake_Walk of Fame_PROOFS.pdf
  5. Heard there was some flooding that washed out part of the road in and that the campground was closed. However, that's probably old news now as the website shows the campground open. Suggest a call to Greenview County though. Planning a trip?
  6. Hi Don, It's on tonight 7:00pm May 27 Jim O'Neil, Ken Monk - Arctic Grayling project To join: The zoom meeting ID is : 668 142 7482 The password is 306090.
  7. Received the following message today from Parkland County: "As of right now Muir Lake is scheduled to open as usual, however the situation is fluid and depending on usage and visitors’ ability to follow social distancing protocols, it could change. We will communicate any decisions that are made on the County website and social media pages." Suspect this will be the case with other lakes in Parkland and in other Counties. Please help spread the message so we don't have lakes and boat launches closed off to us all. The new Welcome to Muir Lake sign was installed this week and work on replacing and adding to the Alberta Angler Walk of Fame signs is in progress.
  8. Some good news amid the gloom! Northern Lights Fly Fishers has been successful in securing grant funding from ACA for 3 major projects in 2020: 1. Conserving and Restoring Arctic Grayling in the Upper Pembina River Watershed – Habitat Restoration Planning The project builds upon work done in previous years of the chapter’s Arctic Grayling conservation program and involves: · water temperature monitoring at 20 sites in the Upper Pembina River watershed · aerial videography using a quadcopter to: - assess present habitat suitability in small tributary reaches with previously documented Arctic Grayling spawning, to determine their potential use as re-stocking sites - locate and document OHV damaged sites - locate and document potential sites for additional stream remediation efforts. · installing trail cameras in selected sites to collect data about angling non-compliance or damage to habitat caused by OHV traffic as well as tracking seasonal high-water events. · assisting AEP in identifying young-of-the-year/yearling rearing areas (as surrogates of spawning locations) using backpack electrofishing. · assisting AEP with volunteer angling survey and underwater videography, to evaluate effectiveness of 5-year angling closure on Upper Pembina system. There was hope of evaluating the potential of remote site incubators for future re-stocking purposes with advice from Dr. Magee, U of Montana, but this aspect of the grant proposal was unfortunately not included in the approved funding. 2. Riparian protection on Dogpound Creek Dogpound Creek is recognized as a prime recreational fishery, especially for brown trout, and is visited by anglers from all areas of the province. Essential to its long-term survival is protection of the riparian land along the length of the Creek. Its banks consist of non-cohesive, fine alluvial materials and, especially where frequented by cattle, are subject to devegetation and erosion. Most of the existing fencing, installed over thirty years ago, is broken and flattened. The owners of a large cattle ranching operation along the creek near Carstairs have agreed to the terms of a Riparian Conservation Program with ACA including upkeep of new fencing. With this grant Northern Lights will support that partnership by: · protecting 49 acres of riparian land on the property from degradation by cattle ranching and reduce siltation and effluent introduction into the creek along 3.8 km of Dogpound Creek, by removing damaged fencing and installing new wildlife friendly fencing; · providing alternate watering for the cattle by repairing two off-site watering facilities; · installing 16 access gates to the riparian area and creek for anglers and others. · promoting awareness of the need for and benefits of riparian protection. The goals are to establish conditions for a healthier river, improve habitat for fish and wildlife, and increase recreational opportunity for anglers and those interested in experiencing nature in a more pristine setting. Hopefully the project will also provide a model of effective and achievable riparian protection and increase knowledge of its importance and benefits. 3. Aeration of Hasse Lake Hasse Lake was originally developed as a provincial park and became a popular trout fishery, stocked by AEP with approx. 20,000 rainbow trout annually and producing fish in excess of 3lbs. It is a 90 ha lake with an average depth of 3.5m set in rolling hills with extensive aspen growth. It has a sandy beach, picnic area with fire pits, 3 km of walking trails, a boat launch and angling platform and is a popular birdwatching area. Water quality gradually deteriorated, however, largely due to increasing phosphorous levels. Blue-green algae began to appear. Dissolved oxygen levels decreased and fish began to die. Public Health became involved and closed the beach issuing fecal bacteria warnings. In 2009 AEP stopped stocking trout. Efforts to turn the lake into a walleye, pike and perch fishery in 2012 failed and AEP ceased all stocking that same year. In response to public requests to rehabilitate the lake, in particular from the Northern Lights Chapter and the Edmonton Trout Fishing Club, ACA began in 2015 to collaborate with local community groups and land owners to reduce nutrient loading in Hasse Lake. Improvements to and protection of much of the lake’s riparian area were such that by 2019 ACA assessment recorded DO levels adequate to support trout although thermal stratification remained a concern. E-coli and fecal coliforms were at or slightly below Alberta Health and Safety guidelines. AEP agreed to restock the lake with trout in the spring of 2020 provided that ACA continued to improve the water quality of the lake. Should that prove successful AEP further agreed to add more rainbow trout in the fall and also to diversify the fishery by the addition of tiger trout. The most effective way to continue to improve water quality and enhance conditions for trout survival was clearly identified as intensive lake aeration. This would increase dissolved oxygen, reduce nutrient levels and improve the aquatic environment for the organisms that fish rely on for food. The Northern Lights Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, based on the success of the aeration program it helped fund and maintain at Muir Lake, will: · purchase five surface aerators and associated cables and assist ACA as needed with their installation and monitoring; · communicate the availability of Hasse Lake as an additional recreational angling opportunity and of the associated social, recreational, health and economic benefits it brings to the community · encourage financial support from local authorities and businesses for the Hasse Lake Reclamation Project and ongoing maintenance of water quality in the lake. Approved Club Funded Projects: · In conjunction with Edmonton Trout Fishing Club and Edmonton Oldtimers Fishing Club we will continue to work on replacing the Welcome signage and educational plaques at Muir Lake that have become weather worn and unreadable. ETFC is installing an additional plaque in the Walk of Fame honouring Reg Denny, and NLFF is adding Don Andersen to the Walk of Fame and rewriting the George and Joan Mitchell plaque as the Mitchell Family to incorporate recognition of the outstanding contributions of Barry Mitchell. · Continue to advocate for additional protection for Arctic Grayling, especially in the upper Pembina, by disseminating information to provincial and federal authorities obtained from the analysis of ARGR DNA by Jessica Reilly and Dr. Josh Miller commissioned by NLFF. · Support the work of TUC in protecting bulltrout spawning areas in MacKenzie Creek with a financial contribution and stream work as and when needed. · Putting $2,500 on hold for exploring the possibility of establishing remote site incubators in the upper Pembina river and/or its tributaries to assist with the reestablishment of Artic Grayling populations in the area. · Assist ACA with the Kids Can Catch programs at Fort Saskatchewan Pond and at Don Sparrow Lake, Beaumont. · Provide fly-tying instruction to school groups and youth organizations when requested and as volunteer time allows. · Assist TUC with running the Edmonton Conservation Dinner and Auction (it's postponed indefinitely right now). All of the above will be done as and when conditions allow. Hopefully we can hold a meeting again soon or better yet, go fishing!!
  9. Just announced: To complement the release of new sport fishing regulations, and in recognition of the fact many Albertans are self-isolating in light of COVID-19, the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association is making its eight-module Alberta Fishing Education Program available online for free. “Many Albertans are practising physical distancing right now, so what better time to learn about our province’s wildlife? Our partners at AHEIA have generously offered to make the new Alberta Fishing Education Program available free of charge, and we hope Albertans – kids and adults – will take advantage of this opportunity. I recently took the course along with my two youngest children, and the three of us learned so much about the aquatic biodiversity of our province!” Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks “Given the current set of circumstances everyone is dealing with, we feel now is the perfect time to release the Alberta Fishing Education Program for free, so that all Albertans – young and old – can take advantage of this extra time they may have found themselves with while they self-isolate or quarantine at home away from school and work.” Robert Gruszecki, Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association The Alberta Fishing Education Program is the only program of its kind offered in North America. Its aim, beyond providing essential education about fishing in Alberta, is to provide confidence through understanding to better enable more people to responsibly spend time in the outdoors and enjoy and preserve our province’s most beautiful wild places and wildlife. AHEIA is a not-for-profit organization that works to educate the public on the importance of protecting the places and wildlife cherished by Albertans. AHEIA is the only registered charity in Alberta that provides this type of conservation and outdoor education to the public and has done so since 1964. Fishing Education Program: https://319.yssecure.com/cart_builde...roductID=60179
  10. An online version is now available https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/dbf392f4-266f-4947-adc0-fa4bdf4e2c9c/resource/7dc7cdc2-0cfb-497e-8b88-174a9800e437/download/alberta-guide-sportfishing-regulations-2020.pdf
  11. If you were unable to attend a Fisheries Open House meeting there is still time to provide your input online. The online survey will close on February 2, 2020. Go to https://talkaep.alberta.ca/aep-fisheries-management and click under “ Opportunities for more recreational fishing” . There is the opportunity to provide comments on issues beyond the focus of “creating angling opportunity” such as habitat, angling education, citizen science and consultation processes and opportunity to make suggestions for other consultation topics.
  12. The provincial government is putting some money into improving the fish hatcheries, esp. the Raven, and looking at raising some Arctic Grayling and Athabasca Cutthroats in them. More at https://www.alberta.ca/release.cfm?xID=684911A4FB13A-0BE1-042A-9D1A23A8C1C710CB
  13. You may remember Kirby Coderre from Okotoks who made a presentation to us back in April 2018 on his 'Mid-life Flysis'. Came across a short video that he recently posted in which fly tyers and fishers might be interested:
  14. Received today a recently published article "Threats to at-risk salmonids of the Canadian Rocky Mountain region" by R. Niloshini Sinnatamby | Ariane Cantin | John R. Post that reinforces the need for urgent action on a North Central Native Trout Recovery Plan. Believe this may be something you might want to reference if you're providing input to Fisheries Management at the open houses or online on its management plan for the future. The abstract is as follows and the full article is attached: "Trout and charr, members of the salmonid family, have high conservation value but are also susceptible to anthropogenic threats in part due to the specificity of their habitat requirements. Understanding historical and future threats facing these species is necessary to promote their recovery. Of freshwater trout and charr in thCanadian Rocky Mountain region, westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkiilewisi), bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus; a charr species) and Athabasca rainbow trout(Oncorhynchus mykiss) are of conservation concern. And indeed, range contractionsand declining populations are evident throughout much of their ranges. Range contraction was most evident in the southern Alberta designatable unit (DU) of west-slope cutthroat trout. Diminished populations were also evident in the downstream watersheds of the Alberta bull trout range, and throughout the Athabasca rainbow trout range. We assessed historical and future threats to evaluate the relative importance of individual threats to each DU and compare their impact among species. Individual threats fall into the broad categories of angling, non-native species and genes, habitat loss and alteration, and climate change. Severity of each threat varied by DU and reflects the interaction between species’ biology and the location of the DU. Severity of threats facing each DU has changed over time, reflecting extirpation of native populations, changes in management and industry best practices, expansion of non-native species and progressing climate change. The overall threat impact for each DU indicates a high probability of substantial and continuing declines and calls for immediate action." (bolding mine) Sinnatamby et al 2019 EFF.pdf
  15. Feb 26 - Jessica Reillly, AEP biologist, and Dr. Josh Miller, research biologist, U of A will be providiing information on the genetics of Arctic Grayling in the Upper Pembina compared to other populations of the species, on plans for increasing grayling populations and on Jess' trip to Mongolia to fish for the larger grayling in that country. Quote Edit
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