Parks Canada Banff

Parks Canada Killing Fish?

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.

3 Replies to “Parks Canada Killing Fish?”

  1. Seriously! Parks Canada Killing Fish? “BUT IT’S FOR GOOD REASON”, the article states!

    Oh man, I am going to blow a gasket here! The sheer hypocrisy of Parks Canada and other like minded entities, is disgraceful. Flack or no flack I need to step in here!

    The C.B.C. article goes on to say, “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!

    Case in point….I ask, “Why then were Pacific and Atlantic Salmon introduced into the Great Lakes? These fish are an invasive species but are NOT considered to be a threat to other indigenous fish such as Trout. Is it not true that these Salmon “may possibly wipe out any and maybe all existing species due to predation?” Oh yes, the sport fishing industry. Human greed and avarice persist at a record pace, even at the cost of the environment, eh! Hypocrisy indeed!

    The C.B.C. article continues, “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.

    Again my point….If that is truly the case, “Why are they not in the process of removing all the non-native fish (Pacific and Atlantic Salmon, etc.) from the Great Lakes and streams for precisely the same reason? Hello?

    Now don’t get me wrong. I am an avid supporter of the sport fishing industry as a whole, but our own asinine greed to uphold this profitable business, has twisted and deformed our mental state of mind. The hypocrisy is an utter foolscap of conflicting ideas. Man’s deliberate interference in the natural process has people flailing around with ideas, like a fish out of water.

    The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success. Okay people, hit me with your best shot. I can take it.

  2. Parks Canada has nothing to do with the management of the sport fishery on the Great Lakes.

    This is a program in a national park to restore a native fish in a relatively small stream and 2 lakes. Its serving one of the mandates to protect native species in the parks they oversee.

    Historically there were many wrongs with the intentional and unintentional stocking of fish. Many native trout fisheries have been lost or severally diminished through these actions.

    I wish Parks Canada much success with this project.

    Focusing on the Great Lakes for a minute it would be virtually impossible to restore the lakes to the way their ecosystems functioned prior to European settlement. There are approximately 200 non native species now in the lakes. For better or worse chinooks, rainbows, browns, etc. are here to stay.

    We can however look to efforts such as restoring Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario and lake trout in Georgian Bay as positive efforts to enhance native fish.

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