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Everything posted by PeterSL

  1. As approved at the AGM we've set aside up to $2,000 this year to encourage and help schools or youth groups teach more about freshwater through use of TUC's Water-Edu Kit or Yellow Fish Road program. If you know of a particular group or school in our general area which you think might be interested in receiving a free kit please let us know The information that has gone out to some schools so far is as follows: FREE KITS FOR Gr 5 TO 9 STUDENTS: OUTDOOR ED/SCIENCE 'FRESHWATER CONSERVATION' The Northern Lights Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada, a national registered charity and volunteer driven organization working to protect and conserve Canada's freshwater systems, is using some of its fundraising revenue to help students learn about and help protect freshwater and the various life-forms that rely on it. We are able to supply a free TUC Water Edu-kit or a Yellow Fish Road program kit to approximately 12 schools or youth groups for grade 5 to 9 students—no cost other than perhaps a note back from the students telling us what they found most interesting or surprising in what they learned from using the kits. The Water Edu-Kit program explores the science of water and has a complete set of tools to help a group of 25-30 understand and monitor the health of their local water bodies and the challenges with water conservation. It connects with the provincial school curriculum and includes teacher guide, safety sheets, macroinvertebrate guide, biological aquatic analysis gear, a riparian assessment guide and an Aquatic Chemical Analysis Kit. Trout Unlimited Canada’s award-winning The Yellow Fish Road™ program engages youth of all ages in protecting our water. Participants learn about the impact of pollution and what steps they can take to protect their local water by painting yellow fish symbols with the words ‘Rain Only’ by storm drains. The Group Kit includes supplies for 24-30 participants with sample materials to work on storm drains. Paint can be purchased at Cloverdale Paints at preferred client pricing. lf interested please contact us at treasurer@nlft.org
  2. Just posted on "My Wild Alberta": Please be aware that the 2024-25 Sportfishing Regulations will be published later than usual. In the meantime, the 2023-24 Sportfishing Regulations will continue to apply. All anglers must continue following those regulations until the new regulations are published for the 2024-25 angling season.
  3. Dr. Le, Univ. of Alberta, has asked us to encourage members and others to complete this survey as he still does not have a sufficient number of responses to complete the study. It's findings could have some impact on fishing regulations in Alberta, especially with the provincial government's interest in increasing fish retention opportunities and thus more fish being eaten. Please pass it on to family and friends.
  4. From Laura Volkman, ACA's KidsCanCatch coordinator: I am right into the swing of planning Kids Can Catch at Wabamun Lake for Saturday, February 17, 2024, from 10am – 2pm. As always, having fishing mentors is such a pertinent part of the success of these events. I was wondering if you would be willing to put the word out again this year to see who would be willing to assist at this next event? Anyone interested can contact me directly with any questions or to sign up! I am open to anyone who can come even if it’s just for a portion of the event! I will never say no to more help with mentoring. Thank you so much and I look forward to hearing from you! 780-695-3462 or EMAIL: EMAIL: laura.volkman@ab-conservation.com
  5. No idea why. Have seen it for sale on Amazon at $425, you can read an online copy on Open Library for a donation and apparently there's one copy for loan through the Alberta public library TRAC system. Would have thought the publisher, UofA press, would have had an answer.
  6. As part of our grant funded project on improving water quality and dissolved oxygen levels in Rainbow Park Pond, NLFF is also gathering data on other stocked trout ponds - primarily water temperature and presence of algae. If you have chance to take any temperature readings while out fishing a pond this year please let us know temperature(s) recorded and at what depth (the more the better), location, time of day (approx) and date. Phone Peter at 780-929-2392 with any measurements and or observations or email info to NLFF nlft.tu@gmail.com. Any and all info would be much appreciated. The ability of trout to survive beyond mid=summer at a number of lakes is becoming more of a concern as air temperatures set record highs and levels of dissolved oxygen decrease accordingly. Thanks
  7. One of the ACA grants for which we received funding this year was to assist in a pond rehabilitation project being conducted by ACA at Rainbow Park in Westlock. Our involvement was largely because of the possible implications of this work for other lakes experiencing declining water quality, especially in the greater Edmonton area. As part of that involvement, we submitted the article below to the local paper, Westlock News. It was published on April 18th although with some additions made by the editor: Some Local Fishing News Just another week or two and the ice will be off the local lakes, many of which will then be stocked with trout for those who enjoy a few hours of sport fishing. The provincial Fish and Wildlife division stocks many of Alberta’s lakes, but most of the fishing ponds in Edmonton and the area immediately north receive their new stock of trout each year from the Alberta Conservation Association (ACA). ACA’s stocking trucks will arrive prior to the May long weekend at Morinville, Lacombe and Hermitage Park Ponds, in Gibbons, Lamont, and Radway, at Legal Reservoir and the Fort Saskatchewan Lions Pond. Not everyone has the time or money to travel far out of town for a day’s fishing and these local opportunities provide not just fish but recreational, social, emotional and health benefits for all. There’s one pond in the area though that won’t be stocked this year until the fall - Rainbow Park Pond, east of Westlock. That pond is getting some extra attention from ACA. It was chosen as the best site to try fixing a problem that it and other stocked fisheries are now facing - many of the fish not surviving beyond mid-summer. The problem is related to an increase in nutrients in the water - primarily nitrogen and phosphorous - which decrease the level of dissolved oxygen (DO) throughout the pond. All aquatic animals need DO to survive and its decrease where water quality is an issue is leading to the death of fish. To add to the problem, summer temperatures are becoming higher and warm water doesn’t maintain DO as well as cold. Algae blooms and summer fish-kills are becoming more frequent. There’s not much ACA staff can do about the higher temperatures, but they researched the science on water quality, did some testing of their own and came up with a solution that Alberta Environment and Parks approved as meeting the requirements of the Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act. It involves treating the pond with a very specific amount of alum that will maintain more favourable water quality for fish and invertebrate survival by significantly reducing phosphorus concentrations. Improved water quality will help keep DO levels higher through summer, fall and into the winter. If this works as expected then it will be good news not only for Rainbow Park Pond, its fish and anglers, but for many other ponds experiencing the same problem. Meanwhile, there are many other ponds not too far from home to enjoy the pleasures and benefits of angling and maybe catch a fish or two for dinner. And, if there’s a pond in your area not on the fish stocking list that you think might make a good recreational fishery, please let ACA and your local council know.
  8. Much needed renovations to the Cold Lake Fish Hatchery finally got approved this past year. With a temporary shut down of the hatchery, including its water supply, a significant decrease in the number of trout that could be raised for stocking in 2023 was anticipated. The drop in stocking numbers from Cold Lake (for this year only) is less than expected, however, because of some help from other provincial and private hatcheries around the province. Based on fish stocking numbers reported on My Wild Alberta, a comparison with actual fish stocked in 2022 with planned stocking numbers for 2023 (inc. some planned for September ‘23) in 4 of our local fisheries is shown below. Check My Wild Alberta for a full listing of all of Alberta’s stocked fisheries. As the hatchery isn't likely to be back in full operation until November this year, there may be a shortage of larger trout for stocking in 2024 as well LAKE/Species 2022 2023 SPRING Rainbow 18,291 5,490 Tiger 1,500 1,500 Brown 3,500 500 TOTAL: 23,291 7,490 MUIR Rainbow 4,000 1,506 Brown 500 500 TOTAL: 4,500 2,006 HASSE Rainbow 20,149 11,580 Tiger 5,000 1,000 TOTAL: 25,149 12,580 STAR Rainbow 8,437 3,208 Tiger 1,000 1,000 Brown 1,000 500 TOTAL: 10,437 4,708
  9. Interesting article by TUC's Lesley Peterson in Cows and Fish Winter 2023 Newsletter: What happens to trout in the winter? by Lesley Peterson of Trout Unlimited Canada As fall turns to winter, many of us hunker down and get cozy. We spend a little less time outside in the cold, and more time in the comfort of our climate controlled houses and offices. Animals deal with winter in all kinds of different ways. Some birds fly south to warmer climates; some critters hibernate; and some just carry-on with their lives thanks to cold-weather adaptations. But what do trout do in the winter? Fish have evolved traits to help them survive the harsh conditions of winter. For starters, trout are poikilothermic, meaning they are cold-blooded and their body temperature changes with their environment. This means that they do not have to spend energy to maintain a certain body temperature, which is good because food availability is limited in the wintertime. Have you ever been catch-and-release fishing for westslope cutthoat trout at an alpine lake and found them highly “catchable”? Some people may think these fish are “dumb” for being easy to catch. In reality, these fish have evolved to take full advantage of what is typically a very short open water season in the mountains by eating as much as possible before a long winter with limited food availability. Seems pretty smart after all! Besides challenges with food availability, fishes’ ability to move from one habitat to another may also be limited because of the effects of ice or low flow conditions. In streams, where many of Alberta’s native trout live, habitat can be highly variable and, in the winter, ice can have a big influence. For example, there is a phenomenon known as “supercooling” when water cools below 0°C but remains liquid. Ice crystals can form into a suspected slush known as frazil ice that sticks to hard surfaces. When frazil ice sticks to the bottom of a shallow stream it becomes anchor ice and can form a temporary dam, resulting in flooding, which may force fish to move from one holding area to another. Generally, many fish will retreat to deep pools or areas with groundwater upwellings in the winter. Theses spaces provide some stability in terms of flow, temperature, and oxygen, helping fish to minimize their movements and energy expenditure. Smaller fish such as juvenile trout will often seek out cover between the spaces of coarse rock substrate and boulders. But it’s not just fish that have to make it through the long, dark winter. For fall spawning species like bull trout, their eggs remain protected within redds (trout nests in the gravels) all winter, emerging in the spring when temperatures warm. So what can you do to help our native trout get through the winter? Respect seasonal fishing closures that not only protect fish during a vulnerable time Keep wheels out of water to avoid trampling incubating eggs Participate in volunteer stream and riparian restoration projects improve the health, complexity, and connectivity of streams, ensuring fish have access to a wide variety of habitat types including overwintering pools Keep beavers on the landscape to maintain year-round water in what might otherwise be dry stream corridors; beaver ponds can also make excellent overwintering habitat When ice fishing, avoid letting fish be exposed to the air as much as possible and never place the fish directly on the ice or snow Visit Trout Unlimited Canada’s blog to learn more about lakes and rivers in winter and how fish survive. To learn more about how you can help stand up for native trout, visit www.albertanativetrout.com.
  10. Just posted by Fisheries is the link to the 2023-24 fisheries engagement sessions. https://www.alberta.ca/2023-24-sportfishing-regulations-engagement.aspx As in the past, you will need to register.
  11. 'KeepFishWet' has reviewed some of the relevant science https://www.keepfishwet.org/keepemwet-news-1/2021/1/19/winter-fishing LESSONS FROM SCIENCE ON ICE FISHING There have been a handful of studies examining the impacts of ice fishing on fish. Despite the differences between ice fishing and, for instance, fly fishing in open water, there are some parallels we can draw, especially in regard to how fish react to angling at very cold-water temperatures. Two trends that stand out and one aspect that needs to be examined further are: 1) During winter, fish have a muted physiological stress response and mortality rates are generally lower. The stress response measured by examining blood concentrations of glucose, lactate, and cortisol (read here for more information) often decreases at lower water temperatures. By holding walleye in a pen, this study was able to show that all fish were still alive 24 hours after angling. This is good news for anglers — fish are less physiologically impacted by angling during the winter. 2) Although stress responses are often diminished at lower water temps, they can also be prolonged and/or delayed. A study on northern pike, found that it took 45 mins to 4 hours to see changes in blood chemistry following the angling event. As a comparison, in warmer water temperatures we often see these types of changes within minutes. During the winter, this means that fish may not incur the physiological impacts of angling until hours after they are released, and these impacts may last hours longer. We often say that just because you saw your fish swim away does not mean that it’s ok, and this is even more relevant at colder water temperatures. 3) While not specifically addressed, several of the studies also point out some of the potential impacts of air exposure during winter fishing. One study noted that fish showed signs of freezing damage to eyes and gills. Very cold air temperatures and windchills could cause damage even during brief air exposures. Recommendation: If the guides on your rod are freezing up, consider how delicate gill tissue might respond to air exposure. Just one more reason to Keep Fish Wet. Until we have some more conclusive science on the impacts of winter fishing at cold temperatures, it behooves us to employ the precautionary principle and extra careful when fishing during cold temperatures. Returning fish to the same lie where you hooked them, limiting fight time, using barbless hooks, and minimizing air exposure are all important actions that anglers can take to help create better outcomes for fish after release.
  12. Another year of Northern Lights riparian protection work in conjunction with ACA has now been successfully completed, under budget, and on time . . . there’s no longer cattle chewing up the streambank vegetation, trampling the banks and leaving their manure in another 1.2 kms of Dogpound Creek through Diamond F Ranches or in the 0.95 kms of the North Raven flowing through Daewest Holdings. Both are spring-fed trout streams that are well known for their large brown trout. That’s a total of 60 acres of protected riparian zone to add to the 57 acres along the Dogpound that we helped protect in the last two years. Both landowners contributed their own labour and time in helping repair and/or replace fencing to keep their livestock out of the zone, Cows and Fish helped by providing a riparian assessment of both properties, and ACA coordinated the work and compensated the landowners for the loss of grazing area. I’d like to boast about how we pounded fence posts with one hand while holding back the cattle with the other, how we designed and installed solar powered off-stream watering systems etc., but in reality the only tools we used were a computer, a telephone, and a pen. There were many hours of work but all done sitting in a chair – applying for ACA Community, Conservation and Education grants, getting quotes, contracting the work, making phone calls, writing cheques and interim, final and follow-up reports. Couldn’t have done any of it without the support and backing of ACA’s Grants Administrator, Amy, and ACA biologist and riparian coordinator, Erin. However, in the final analysis, it’s the end result that matters and when next we fish either of those creeks, we can take some satisfaction in that Northern Lights has helped contribute to their health. The story of Dogpound Creek, its history, the exclusion fencing undertaken 25+ years ago with “Buck for Wildlife” funds, the ongoing efforts of landowners, ACA, Northern Lights, Cows and Fish, Mountain View County and others to continue enhancement of its riparian zones will be told in detail in ACA’s Spring 2023 edition of Conservation. All the landowners on those creeks that I’ve talked to in the last three years tell me they welcome anglers and only ask that they respect the land and leave no litter.RCP_Sign_DiamonRCP_Sign_Diamond_4x4_2022.pdfd_4x4_2022.pdf
  13. Alberta Environment and Public Areas (that's what AEP is called now) has sent out the following request: "As some of you know, Alberta Health, namely the Environmental Public Health Science team, provides consumption advice on country foods (e.g. fish, deer) to support healthy decision making by Albertans. This advice is informed by consumption surveys, in this case, understanding where, when and how much locally caught fish Albertans are eating. To this end, Alberta Health has funded the University of Alberta to conduct this survey for us. So below, please find a survey link for this quick 10-minute survey should you enjoy fishing! I would greatly appreciate it if you could share it to your contacts and colleagues, friends, and families so we get as many responses as possible. Shane Petry https://ualberta.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_87BgjYCk15kvHr8
  14. For Sunday, October 2, we've planned a 'clean-up and fish' event at Hasse Lake. Starting at 10am we'll be gathering in the parking lot to clean up whatever trash we can find, then barbecue a few hot dogs and afterwards do a little fishing - either off the dock or from your boat. TUC members welcome. We'll provide garbage bags but bring gloves, rubber boots and reach extenders if you need them. Please let us know at the Sept 21 Queen Mary Park club meeting if you're planning on helping out or, if you won't be at that meeting, please send Dick a quick email at events@nlft.org so he knows how many he'll be cooking for.
  15. In Outdoor Canada Vol 50, issue 4 that I received today, the Fishing Chair for AFGA, Darryl Smith, advocates for Mandated Angler Education. Darryl goes on to say, “the time to phase in mandatory Angling Education as a condition of obtaining a Sportfishing Licence in Alberta is upon us. The hunting community has accepted and endorsed this requirement for decades. Education may be the first step in exposing the new, casual, and even diehards within the angling community to the responsibilities associated with the pastime.” The basics are already in place with AHEIA’s online Alberta Fishing Education Program and Alberta’s Game Fish Quiz, together with a built-in test and a certificate if you pass. Any thoughts?
  16. Alberta Conservation Association is trying to determine the level of interest in recreational angling for lower profile fish and is asking for completion of a short survey at https://www.ab-conservation.com/featured-projects/fish/anglers-input-needed/
  17. Anyone willing to come out to Beaumont to help the kids tie on one of the flies donated by NLFF for these events and help them learn how to caste a bobber? Maybe even catch a rainbow, tiger or brown yourself before or after. Help in getting a kid interested in fishing will always be appreciated. When: Saturday, June 25, 2022 Time: 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Where: Don Sparrow Lake (Beaumont Pond), Beaumont (5417 43 Avenue, Beaumont, AB T4X 0H9, Four Seasons Park) Parking: Access from 38 Avenue and 60 Street Drop-In Event
  18. Message from ORCA: Are you into outdoor recreation in Alberta? Do you hike, bike, paddle or love riding horses? The Outdoor Recreation Coalition of Alberta (ORCA) is moving forward to give you a voice for access, high-quality experiences and improved outdoor recreation management in Alberta’s parks and public lands Join us Wednesday, June 15th, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, for an informative ORCA Webinar event – hear more about ORCA, but also from Alberta Environment and Parks managers and planners to learn more about: Alberta’s Trails Act – what does it cover? What does new Provincial Trails Map provides for non-motorized and motorized users? How do recreation partnerships work in Alberta and who can be involved? What a recreation management process looks like? Bill 21 and implications for outdoor recreation in parks and public lands Q&A sessions will follow the presentations. Registration with Eventbrite is here: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/hear-and-be-heard-outdoor-recreation-access-and-management-in-alberta-tickets-354711219807?keep_tld=1
  19. The winning ticket drawn at Queen Mary Park Community Hall on June 1 was #B385 and the purchaser of that ticket was Harington Telford of Calgary. His reaction, "I'm so stoked you have no idea! Feeling good enough to wish your Oilers good luck!" This was the most successful rod raffle we have held to date. Our sincere thanks go out to Don Andersen for building and donating the rod to Northern Lights. If you're interested in how they're made or are considering buying one, check out Don's website http://www.bamboorods.ca/ Thanks, too, to all those who supported Northern Lights' conservation and education projects by buying raffle tickets, to those members who helped sell tickets, and to the Alberta Conservation Association which advertised the raffle for us via its social media.
  20. The Alberta Conservation Association is planning its priority issues for the next 3 years and has asked for input from Northern Lights Fly Fishers along with a few other individuals in the province. The basic question is “What do we think are high priority, provincial scope, fisheries issues that ACA should consider as we move into our planning for 2023 and beyond”. We’ve been invited to participate in this process because of the extensive involvement we have had with ACA over many years, including grayling work, riparian protection on the Raven, Stauffer and Dogpound, kids fly-tying, Muir and Hasse lake projects, Kids Can Catch, trout stocking, encouraging corporate sponsorships, providing Conservation articles, assistance with aeration projects, etc. Please give the question some thought and pass your suggestions on to the executive by June 12th. One word or 500 - they will be included in the collective input we provide. You can post them on this forum or email them to nlft.tu@gmail.com . The more input we can provide the more it will assist ACA in its efforts to ‘conserve, protect and enhance fish populations and their habitats for Albertans to enjoy, value, and use’ and at the same time further the goals of NLFF. Some of ACA’s current projects: · Fish stocking – adding species, new locations · Riparian protection – Stauffer, Raven, Dogpound, ? · Kids Can Catch · East Slopes fisheries – inventory work on Cardinal, Blackstone, Elk, particular focus on bulltrout · Expansion of Westslope Cutthroat populations · Education – through magazine, social media, presentations · Invasive species – identifying where they exist and what can be done to stop the spread · Encouraging and facilitating citizen science, research and project work through various grants · Lake aeration – maintaining and identifying more locations
  21. Shona Derlukewich is planning to host a field fish ID session on May 29th. Mactaggart Sanctuary off 23 ave between Rabbit Hill Road and 119 st (https://www.google.com/maps/dir/3010+33+Avenue+Northwest,+Edmonton,+AB/''/@53.4555325,-113.5543951,15z/data=!4m13!4m12!1m5!1m1!1s0x53a019a2093483ef:0x8d0427b7de851a1!2m2!1d-113.3827239!2d53.4633823!1m5!1m1!1s0x53a01f481137e3e7:0x93c9eaa87cfe7c81!2m2!1d-113.5464793!2d53.4557145). Let her know if you are interested to see what fish you can catch. This will round out the minnow presentation I provided to a few different clubs and workshops hosted for biologists. Shona will confirm one week before if the weather cooperates. Shona Derlukewich, B.Sc., P.Biol., QAES Technical Instructor/Owner Fishes of Alberta and Saskatchewan - Field Identification “School of Fish” 780-722-9884 https://www.schooloffishid.com/
  22. Posted on behalf of ETFC The draw date for the ETFC Raffle advertised below has been changed to October 4, 2022 because of slow ticket sales. Anyone who has bought a ticket prior to May 24, 2022 may request a refund if needed from whoever the ticket(s) was purchased from. ETFC will be holding a raffle this spring ! Draw Date: June 12th, 2022 @ ETFC Property on Spring Lake $5.00 / Ticket License # 592730 2000 tickets printed – Must be 18 to Purchase Ticket Ticket Information – contact Ernest Kitt: 780-945-1668 or petpro@shaw.ca Or Paul Lanteigne 780-217-1906 Paul@eecmotors.com Prizes: 1st: Cut and Wrapped Pork Package with Freezer valued @ $650 2nd: Custom Made Sage GFL 9' 6/7wt 2pc Fly Rod valued @ $500 3rd: Fly Box with 150 Handmade Flies valued @ $350.00 4th: Cabela’s Heavy Duty Cooler valued @ $275.00 5th: Pflueger 8' 6" 6/7wt Fly Rod valued @ $225 Paul Lanteigne, Partner EEC Motors Ltd. 10353-60 Ave nw / Edmonton / AB T6H 1H1 780.217.1906 www.eecmotors.com
  23. The 2022 Alberta Fishing Regulations are now available online at https://albertaregulations.ca/2022-Alberta-Guide-to-Sportfishing-Regulations.pdf
  24. 2022 marks Cows and Fish’s 30th year empowering people who live, work, and play in Alberta’s riparian areas. Please accept this email as a formal invitation to attend our 30th Anniversary Showcase which is taking place over Zoom on January 31st, from 7pm to 9pm MST. The showcase will feature a collection of videos, digital stories, and interviews from our staff, partners, and land stewards that we have worked with over the decades. We’re very excited to share our work with you! Below is a link to RSVP. Posts have gone out on both Facebook and Twitter, so please like and share those posts as well. Please hyperlink the event link within your emails: RSVP https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/cows-fish-30th-anniversary-showcase-tickets-241466471717 Norine Ambrose Executive Director, Cows and Fish Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Society 2nd Floor, Avail Bldg 530-8th St. South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 2J8 Office: 403-381-553Cell: 403-308-8256 nambrose@cowsandfish.org
  25. Check out the link and have your say about the fishing regulations for 2022-23 Fishing Regulations Engagement 2022-23
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