Fishing restriction on Red Deer River and tributaries
Anglers fishing upstream of Dickson Dam on the Red Deer River and its tributaries will only be allowed to catch-and-release fish for the remainder of the season.
The zero harvest restriction will allow a proactive and thorough population sampling program to determine if there were any impacts to fish stocks from a pipeline spill in early June. Implementing these precautionary measures early on will ensure better conservation in the future should impacts be discovered. By restricting fishing to catch-and-release only, fishing opportunities for Albertans are being maintained while work is done to collect accurate and comprehensive information.
Available data show several sport fish species reside in the Red Deer River near the spill point just north of Sundre. Because many species are migratory and can move upstream or into tributaries, a zero harvest restriction has been extended to an area that includes the main stem of the Red Deer River upstream of Dickson Dam (including Gleniffer Lake and Dickson Trout Pond) to the Banff National Park boundary, and all flowing tributary waters. Harvest is still permitted from Burnstick Lake and several stocked trout lakes and ponds in the area.
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development staff will assess fish populations and aquatic ecosystem health through sampling and monitoring programs. Initial efforts also focus on analyzing fish tissue for potential contaminants; longer term monitoring will determine what, if any, changes to fish biology, ecology or physiology may have occurred as a result of the spill.
The new regulation will be in effect starting August 7, and will be in place for the remainder of the 2012-13 angling season - and potentially longer - to ensure sufficient data are available to understand the effects of the spill on fish populations within the affected area. Anglers are asked to help fish conservation by obeying the zero harvest restriction.
Water quality testing of the Red Deer River downstream of the spill site and Gleniffer Lake is ongoing. To date, results are within Alberta’s environmental standards. Results are available online at http://environment.alberta.ca/04036.html
Source: Alberta Environment