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Red Deer River Management Meeting


Don Andersen
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  • 2 weeks later...

Folks,

 

The big disclaimer: If I knew that I'd asked what hapeened, I would have taken notes-- - - SO the following is via memory with all the fuzzy faults.

 

There were about 24 people at the meeting of which 5 were TU members from Central Alberta. Two of the attendees are part of the "stwakeholders" group. A couple of husband/wife teams.

 

There was a presentation by SRD outlining the population numbers and issues regarding various species.

Went through a comment process on various issues

Attendees had an opportunity to make comments all evening.

 

OK - here is some of the things recalled in no particular order.

 

Management plan is over 20 years old.

Brown trout redd count shows #'s way down. Poorest in some years.

Walleye numbers up. Walleye has recovered from 200 spawn ears to well over 5,000

Whitefish and pike numbers are down.

Walleye are spawning up the Medicine river.

Some concern from SRD with regard to dewatering.

When questioned about fish pops, SRD told us there was no resources (I suspect that means money and people) to collect the info.

There should be eventually a link to presentation.

Management plan may include a fall closure from dam to Penhold Bridge.

 

Participants concerns included.

Redd stomping

Jet boat redd distructio

No enforcement

Poaching

Erosion

 

Comments of participants to be considered in management plan

Stakeholders reps & SRD to work on plan hopefully have it done in late August 2013.

 

And that is about all I can recall.

 

Please excuse the spelling errors. Damned IPad does much what it wants..

 

Regards,

 

Don

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Guys,

 

I know that there was a horrid disconnect between those participants @ the meeting and reality. Most participants wanted the Govt to do "something" about this or that. Govt got no MONEY!!!

How those conflicting views get rationalized when the population doesn't want to pay taxes is a tough one. Tossing people outta hospitals/schools to fix a stream likely won't wash. So if the Govt is not capable, who steps up?

 

 

Don

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Yes, the mantra from the Provincial Govement these days is "We don't have any money." Sadly, I know from personal experience that it's true. At least outside of health care, education and roads. The current Government has decided to rely on resouce and gaming revenue, sin taxes and the lowest income taxes in the country to finance it's responsiblities. The effect this has is to severely curtail the things government can do. Hence, little or no support for scientific studies into environmental issues (including fisheries), little effort in developing and implementing policies and regulations that might arise from them and little enforcement of regulations. Unless the electorate are prepered to make the environment a serious, vote-dependent issue, this won't change.

 

There probably are things the govenment can do in this case, but they would be limited to low cost actions.

One would be to institute catch and release regulations for the species in trouble in the areas of concern (not closure).

Another would be to review flow rates and water withdrawal to ensure adequate in-stream flows (they probably already have some of that data).

Another would be to do some water quality analysis, although that might cost some money, they do have the lab facilties.

And lastly (and probably more importantly) the govenment needs to seriously consider dealing with riparian habitiat degradation. They do have the power to do so, btu it would likely offend many landowners.

And forget about the Feds doing anything. Bill 31 effectively guts federal power or interest to do anything.

I suppose one should always remember the saying that "If you don't vote wisely or vote at all, you get the govenment you deserve, not the goverment you want or need".

Edited by dave robinson
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