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Decreasing fish stocks...will you limit your impact?

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We need to recognize that the Bow River trout population abundance some 20 years ago was based on a concentrated food source from Calgary's wastewater treatment plants and a lot lower level of angling pressure. Since that time the trout populations appears to have seen a steady decline. The threshold between trout population and angling pressure has narrowed to where many believe the survival of the fishery is in question. Regardless of the fishery management directives that could be put in place, the Bow River will never return to the glory days of 20 to 30 years ago. But a good recreation fishery (not Blue Ribbon world quality) can be maintained by better regulations to reduce fishing pressure or as has been suggested start stocking the river. If these are the only options for a way out of the current declining trout population, there is need to consider what other rivers have seen. Montana is a good example where after an extended period of stocking flowing rivers, the practice was discontinued. Alberta's Oldman River and Red Deer River have been stocked with trout in recent years to establish a new fishery. But to my knowledge there has not been any supplementation of an established flowing water trout populations in the province for a long time.

As I have mentioned previously, I am sure we as anglers will get a chance to express our opinions on any proposed changes.


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