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Fish Recovery - Post Flood


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Message from ESRD:


Alberta’s Anglers Asked to Assist with Post-Flood Recovery of Fish Populations

July 10, 2013

The recent flooding in southern Alberta likely has detrimental consequences for fish populations in flowing waters. In addition, the in-water works being undertaken to restore infrastructure and ensure public safety will place further stress on fish. While it is too soon to measure effects on fish populations, mortality of juvenile and adult fish, including loss of fry produced by spawning this spring is expected. All fish species are likely affected to some degree. Of particular concern are the effects on native fish species already at risk, such as westslope cutthroat trout, bull trout and lake sturgeon. On a positive note, however, periodic floods help rejuvenate and maintain productive fish habitat in streams, resulting in longer-term benefits. It is common for fish populations to recover and even increase in the years following a flood. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development will be conducting surveys of fish populations in waters affected by the flood in order to assess the situation. This information will be key in making sound decisions about how best to manage these fisheries in the future.

In the meantime, and especially following such an event, Alberta’s anglers continue to have an important role in conserving our fish. In order to facilitate the rapid recovery of fish populations affected by the flooding, reducing further mortality of fish is very important. Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development is asking anglers to assist with the recovery of fish populations by voluntarily releasing all fish caught from specified flowing waters for the remainder of the 2013/14 fishing season, so they can survive to spawn again. Further, to minimize the unintentional mortality of hooked fish, anglers are also asked to avoid the use of all bait (including maggots) in those same waters.

This request applies to the following waters (please refer to the


2013 Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations for maps of the management areas):

- All flowing waters in Management Area ES1

- All flowing waters in Management Area ES2 upstream of the Forestry Trunk Road

- In Management Area PP1:



Bow River from Highway 24 downstream to Highway 36



Oldman River from Secondary Rd. 509 downstream to Highway 36

- In Management Area PP2, the Red Deer River from Dickson Dam downstream to Highway 27

Another concern arising from the flooding is the opportunity it creates for movement of unwanted non-native, invasive fish species (e.g. goldfish and carp) into new habitats. In order to assist in determining the extent to which unwanted species may have relocated, anglers are requested to report observations or captures of non-native, invasive fish species by phoning the Environment Hotline (1-800-222-6514).

The support of anglers in this challenging time will help ensure Alberta’s fisheries are sustained and thrive into the future.

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What Peter didn't say and I missed as well when I forwarded the News release along was the News Release was a draft.

So, does that mean that it can be changed?

God, but it should be.

Is there hope it will happen - nope. The ESRD has followed tradiontional ways and did nothing about floods or droughts in the past and OH Looky - it did diddly again.

Useless bunch!




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Hello Don, Im a bit naive in this area, what would you suggest they could have done. People always want the views , be it Mountains, Valleys ,Oceans, any body of water. And it seems even the prairies , but any land body has its faults. The floods we have had in the last what 8 years or so have been out of the ordinary. People build on river banks because the river is usually 50 ft down and a trickle of what it once was. It seems the world is in a big funk now.

Fishing for the Grayling out west, one stream the fish are in pools ( only caught in pools , the last three years on same creek. ) the next creek, fish are in runs as one would expect. Someone mentioned its the feeding times but, the creek with fish in pools, we have fished many hrs over the last 3 years and have only found them in the pools. A fish trap this spring came up empty. Thought is the fish we do catch are over wintering in the creek and don't move to much, is this evolution. Whats your take.


Thanks Dan

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A great example is BC's response to the floods of 1995. Both sides of the border got whaled on. BC - it went C&R to perserve fish stocks that resulted in probably the finest trout fishery in N. America. Alberta - well they yawned.

Simialr to the drought that took <>60% of the browns outta the Little Red, Fallentimber etc. - yawn again.

Flood of 2005 - well - you get the picture and for a repeat we have 2013. To be fair - the news release is a draft. maybe, just maybe, something or somebody may change the news release to must from voluntary.

I have no idea why it's so difficult for Alberta to try to protect some of their fish stocks. You'd think that this is ESRD's job - number one on the list - protection and preservation.

That sure in not in evidence.


As far as grayling - I haven't a clue. I've fished for them once in the Little Smoky.

My understanding is that they are migratory - upstream to spawn - downstream for over-wintering. Fish passage would seem to be "the Issue" then.









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