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Urgent Notice From Srd: July 28, 2009


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July 28, 2009


Anglers asked to help protect fish in foothills streams


Edmonton... The recent spell of hot weather, coupled with declining stream flows, is pushing water temperatures to critically high levels on lower portions of many foothills’ trout and mountain whitefish streams. Water temperatures as high as 26.5 C have been recorded on some foothills streams between Rocky Mountain House and the Montana border.


High water temperatures and low flows place fish populations under considerable stress. Anglers can help by voluntarily avoiding angling on portions of trout streams where they encounter water temperatures 22 C or higher. Reducing angling means less stress on fish while these temperature conditions persist.


Sustainable Resource Development will continue to monitor the situation to determine when conditions have improved, or if further advisories are required.




Backgrounder: Questions and answers on the high stream temperature advisory


Media inquiries may be directed to:

Trisha LeTilley


Alberta Sustainable Resource Development


To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.




July 28, 2009


Anglers asked to take precautions while fishing in eastern slopes streams


Why is there an advisory?

Due to high water temperatures in many streams and rivers along the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, anglers are being asked for their cooperation to restrict fishing to those waters where stream temperatures are below 22 C (72 F).


What is the affected area?


High stream temperatures have been recorded along foothill streams stretching between Rocky Mountain House and the Alberta-Montana border.


Can I still fish?


Yes. Anglers can continue fishing, however, by planning ahead and taking a few precautions, anglers can avoid adding stress to trout and mountain whitefish they catch and release. Some things anglers should consider include:


* avoiding streams where high temperatures are common;

* fishing during early mornings or late evenings to avoid periods of highest water temperatures;

* carrying a thermometer to check water temperatures before angling, and if they are above

22 C, refrain from angling in that location;

* minimizing the handling time of fish by reducing playing time; and

* refraining from photographing trout and releasing them as quickly as possible.


How are fish affected by high water temperatures?


Optimum temperatures for many trout species is in the range of 15 C. Some streams currently have water temperatures that are approaching lethal limits for trout. As stream temperatures rise, the amount of oxygen that the water can hold diminishes, and trout experience higher stress levels. Capturing fish during this period increases oxygen demands and places further stress on trout and whitefish resulting in higher risk of fish mortality. In addition to higher water temperatures, streams typically have less water flowing during the late summer leading to increased stress to fish.


What do I do if I see a large number of dead fish?


Anglers should report any observations of large fish kills to their nearest Fish and Wildlife office. For toll-free access, call 310-0000.


Reports of fish kills should include:


* date and time of the observed fish kill;

* water body and/or location of fish kill for further investigation; and

* approximate number and species killed.


How long will the advisory last?

The voluntary restriction to fishing will remain in effect until maximum daily stream temperatures remain below 22 C for at least five consecutive days. If high temperatures persist for an extended period of time, anglers can expect to see regulated closures of certain streams to protect fish during this critical period.




Media inquiries may be directed to:

Trisha LeTilley


Alberta Sustainable Resource Development


To call toll free within Alberta dial 310-0000.

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