Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Sparkplug last won the day on December 8

Sparkplug had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

45 Good

About Sparkplug

  • Rank
    Baetis Nymph

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. In July 2018 the daily variable flow were extreme. When we expressed our concerns for the fishery and potential impact on the fish survival itself immediate changes to the daily water management protocol were made and flows stabilized as best that TransAlta could do for the remainder of the year. So..."Sorry for that July 2018 stuff, we couldn't help ourselves when we saw the Pool Price blow out like that...we'll try to do better from now on..." What consequences were visited upon TransAlta from the July 2018 daily flow extreme variations? Fines/sanctions? Nope, nadda. The electricity Market Surveillance Administrator hands down fines and other punishments when electricity market players misbehave...what consequences are their when a market participant misbehaves environmentally? From TransAlta's Nov 1 2018 Investor Presentation, regarding "Upside" they see in their Alberta hydro facilities in the 2021+ time frame, when their PPA's expire (page 5): Post PPA, TransAlta gets full revenue from energy, ancillary and renewables credits Balancing Pool receives energy and a majority of ancillary revenue today So, come (even) next year, when we've seen more coal unit retirements, more wind generation (both of which drive volatility in the Power Pool Price), and there are again those massive electricity market price spikes...what do you think is going to happen? What about 2021+? Frog and the scorpion fable...
  2. I haven't read the report itself, and perhaps there is more discussion/analysis of these other factors in there. But the article certainly seemed to suggest a focus on angling as the major factor. Maybe TransAlta funded the research project...
  3. I don't fish the Bow much, and thus there are others on this Forum who know it way better than I, but from following the threads here post-2013 flood, it seems to me that there has been much mention of relatively fat, healthy browns in the Bow, and more long, skinny rainbows. I read somewhere years ago that browns are more tolerant of higher water temperatures and pollutants/contaminants in the water than rainbows. Has there been any long-term tracking of these variables, alongside the flow rate monitoring? The article on the aforementioned study pretty quickly goes to angling pressure as a contributing factor. While no doubt this is a contributor, it would be nice to see acknowledgement of other changes in the river as well. For example, the monstrous Enmax Shepard combined cycle power plant came on line a few years ago, and uses treated wastewater from the Bonnybrook treatment plant as its cooling water supply (water that would otherwise be discharged into the river). And then there's my personal favorite, TransAlta's ongoing screwing with river flows to maximize upstream hydro profitability in Alberta's volatile power pool (wait until their PPA's expire in the 2020-2021 time frame, and then we'll REALLY see screwing around with the flows)...and on and on it goes. One more (perhaps) obscure one: I saw an article a while back that talked about the impact of forest fire smoke on emergent insects. Can't have been a good couple of past summers on that front...
  4. A chironomid-style tie of the RBW (along with a chironomid version of the Higa's SOS) were among my best chironomid patterns this season on stillwaters.
  5. No sweat by me, danhunt. While your rotentone/"drastic" solution would probably work, the sad/cynical accompanying thought is that all that remediation work could be undone by one repeat of the stocking of the invasives again. Depressing thought, but nonetheless when the root cause of the problem isn't addressed, the chance of a recurrence is certainly there. So how can the root cause - people illegally stocking invasives into our waterbodies - be addressed, if at all? Do people dump perch into W Alberta trout lakes because they don't have ready access to decent perch lakes otherwise? Can't think of much in the way of other reasons to illegally stock perch into otherwise non-perch waters. Would having designated perch- or carp-only "sacrificial" lakes for those crowds possibly do the trick?
  6. Makes sense. So might there be the possibility of raising browns somewhere else where they can first grow to decent/piscivorous size, and then transfer them to BIR?
  7. Don, to be clear, I'm not advocating for the stocking of walleye or pike to address the invasives issue in BIR, or any other waterbody for that matter. I acknowledge your perspective that the stocking of pike into a former trout lake to take care of perch is a form of reward for the illegal stocking of perch, turning a former trout waterbody into a pike/perch fishery instead. I thought that browns were the most (high) temperature-tolerant of the trout, and hence could have the best potential to grow in our relatively shallow/warm prairie lakes/reservoirs into fish-eating predators.
  8. Thanks all for the additional comments on the "invasives" here. If they are carp at around 10" length, then wouldn't a larger predator species like pike or walleye be better suited to dealing with these, than trout (other than lake trout or bulls)? Of course there would be juvenile carp around as well for the trout, but if the issue with the carp is prolific breeding, you'd want to take out more adults, wouldn't you (and hence the larger predator species)?
  9. Pardon my unfamiliarity with this fishery, but what are the "invasives" that we are talking about here? Conceptually, using more piscivorous trout species to control invasives (if the invasives are in fact fish of some sort) is interesting. I'm no fisheries biologist, but is it not true that any trout/char species (browns, brookies included) need to be a certain size before they are primarily piscivorous? Anybody know if certain trout/char species have a preference for particular invasives, so that a stocking program might be tailored to the invasives presence in that waterbody?
  10. Sparkplug

    Bow River Flows

    Scel, I think you've hit the nail on the head. This has to start with some bona fide scientific proof/analysis that quantifies the benefits to a river fishery from increased flow stability (and in reservoirs like the K-lakes, from more consistent water levels). One would think that tailwater fisheries would have been studied to death in this regard (in terms of the fisheries benefits from increased flow rate stability). If such study/evidence could in fact be compiled and projected to the Bow/Kananaskis/Spray systems to give some indication as to the potential benefits of further flow stabilization, then we might have the basis to put together a public interest case to take to AEP. It ain't much in the public interest to have TransAlta line their pockets by manipulating flows/power generation the way they do, so even a modest scientifically-predicted fisheries quality improvement (in both the rivers and in the lakes/reservoirs, would be ideal) would likely have weight with AEP.
  11. Sparkplug

    Cork ring replacement on rod

    Do you find Gorilla Glue's expansion when cured to be problematic?
  12. Sparkplug

    What Are You Tying 2018 Edition

    Thanks, interesting. Do you think it is being taken as a scud or damsel imitation? What size do you normally tie it in? One way to weight it but not fatten it up too much might be to tie in a strip of weight wire down the back of the hook shank. Gary Lafontaine tied a scud in this manner that he figured rolled over on its back when at rest, and righted itself when pulled, hence broadcasting the flashback.
  13. Sparkplug

    How to move forward?

    Personally, I tie what I use/have need for in my fishing. My principal enjoyment in fly tying comes from innovation, tweaking "standard" patterns with different materials, color combos, etc. All of my most effective patterns have come from this. The basic skills/techniques involved are fairly universal, regardless of what you are tying. So unless you have ambitions to become a commercial tier and feel a need to be able to pound out any and all sorts of flies, I don't think you would be "hindering progression" if you only tied streamers or dries, to the exclusion of nymphs. I'd say tie what you enjoy tying, and can/will need and use in your fishing.
  14. Sparkplug

    A sobering read.

    Let's not forget Enmax's new Shepard power plant. The plant uses water that would otherwise have been discharged from Bonnybrook back into the river. Now, that water is instead routed to Shepard, where the majority of it is evaporated in the plant's cooling tower. Not a drop back into the Bow. As such, it is a net massive withdrawal of water from the Bow. Modern combined cycle plants like this are now being built with air cooling elsewhere. There's no reason why Shepard couldn't have been built with air cooling, instead of this huge consumptive use of Bow River water. The plant's cooling tower plume is a fixture on the horizon in SE Calgary; all that water going up into the sky, rather than back into our Bow.
  15. Sparkplug


    Yes, while chironomids are in fact a non-biting family of midges, the question to my mind is whether trout in the spring in the Bow preferentially key upon chironomid larvae and pupae, as they generally seem to do in stillwaters. I don't fish the Bow nearly as much as I do trout lakes, but I see reports of plain red hooks working on the Bow early season that would strongly suggest chironomid larvae - bloodworms - in the trout diet. I would guess that in the fall, when there are fewer chironomid larvae/pupae available to the trout compared to spring (along with fewer larvae/pupae/nymphs generally), so less feed/biomass down near the bottom may have the trout looking up more.