Before you get your chest-waders in a knot, yes, indeed, Parks Canada is in the process of killing fish—but it’s for good reason. In certain remote mountain lakes and streams in Banff National Park, Parks Canada is removing fish in order to protect a native fish species that is at risk in Alberta.
As anglers, we need to remember that scientific research goes into all sanctioned fisheries projects and—quite honestly—the work would not be done if there was any significant risk of failure.
In Banff National Park, the story goes that way back in time, Brook Trout and Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout were introduced into two lakes that already had the now at-risk Westslope Cutthroats. The province wants those lakes to be restored to their original state.
Anglers may wonder, What’s wrong with adding another species or two to a lake?
First and foremost, that new species may possibly wipe out any and maybe all existing species due to predation. Also, certain trout may spawn with other trout species and hybridize—creating another entirely new species. This might sound good, but it is not!
“Over the next two years, our plan is to remove all the non-native fish from the two lakes and the stream. And then, when we’ve completed that, we plan to reintroduce threatened Westslope Cutthroat Trout into the stream and the valley,” explains Parks Canada aquatics specialist Shelley Humphries, speaking with CBC News.
For the complete CBC News story, click here.