Water quality is tested once a week.
The dead fish are likely the result of:
- Increased fishing (hook and release)
- A lower water flow through Chestermere Lake due to the heavy rains recently experienced (we have experienced a 50% drop in water turnover because there has been a lower demand for irrigation services)
- Normal aging and mortality rates of fish
It is believed that the likely cause is hooking mortality, especially where the gills looked damaged. One theory is that with COVID, there are many new fishermen who are not handling fish very well (never put your fingers into a pikes gills to hold them up – the gills are very fragile).
Also, a few years ago the Province eliminated the requirement to use barbless hooks. The combination of lots of people fishing, many new fishers who don’t know how to properly release live fish (e.g. pike), and barbed hooks which are difficult to remove probably = high hooking mortality rate.
As well, the numbers of dead fish reported have been in the low double digits. If it were in the range of 100-200 fish being found at a time – further investigations will be done with Alberta Fish and Wildlife.
Last Updated: June 17, 2020