As we mentioned in our Tiger Trout Stocking Report, we had an in-depth discussion regarding trout lake aeration at the Provincial Fisheries Round Table Meeting on Saturday. The group pretty well exhausted every angle of every topic of discussion possible pertaining to the current lake aeration liability issue. There are no easy answers but there is a commitment to preserve as much of the quality of our trout lake fishing as possible given the whole gamut of considerations. The sentiment of the group was that the focus shouldn’t solely be on studying the different aeration options possible (given the liability issue) so much as to ensure the quality of our fishing remains in tact. There are two key files that you need to read in order to understand the full scope of the issue and the rationale for the decision that has been made.
Per the above: a recent uncovering of criminal code liabilities in lake aeration caused Alberta’s lake aeration program to re-think its operations. A clause in the criminal code of Canada leaves liable the biologists, fisheries technicians, aerator operators, etc for not only properly warning of the dangers of open water created by lake aeration, but also requires proper barriers to keep individuals from any remote chance of working through those barriers to open water. The code leaves no room to prove due diligence as, if the barriers could be crossed in any imaginable means, they were inadequate.
The above plan has been finalized for Beaver, Fiesta, Ironside, Muir, Mitchell, Millers, Figure Eight, East Dollar. Hopefully these lakes will be spared from possible winterkill – but it isn’t a slam-dunk. We’ll have to see how the winter goes and how the chosen aeration method works and interacts with the different sizes, depths, and substrates of these lakes. The ACA is doing their best to ensure as many lakes will be treated with aeration this winter as possible, to get the needed gear and equipment in place and operational. There are additional considerations and options that may be implemented. Those will be communicated if implemented.