A lot of, perhaps all, the fish that were put in the pond in Muskoseepi Park last Thursday have died.
Alberta Environment and Parks Senior Fisheries Biologist Adrian Meinke says the temperature of the water was too high, even though it had been checked and deemed safe.
“They (fish culture staff) took some fish and put it into a net and put the net into the water. For a time, they observed fish behaviour, so they looked for signs of stress. Typically, these fish would show signs of stress to their habitat quite quickly. However, in this case, for reasons unknown, the fish were observed to be acting normally, so it was decided to go ahead with stocking.”
He adds it’s hard to tell if any of the rainbow trout survived.
“We put in about 500 year-and-a-half-old fish. For the most part, the reports we are getting is upwards of 300 (died). It might be the full allotment of fish, because we might not have seen all the fish float to the surface; some might have sunk to the bottom.”
Meinke says the weather will have to change before another attempt is made.
“The weather will have to calm down and get a little cooler. Maybe we get a good dump of rain and we can assess the conditions at the pond to determine if they’re within the range of tolerance for rainbow trout. At this point in time, if the weather patterns continue to like they are, we’ll most likely wait until next year’s window to stock the fish.”
Chemicals were used last fall to get rid of goldfish that had been dumped in the pond. Meinke says that would have broken down by now and was not a factor in this die-off.