Heat wave takes toll on fish

Richard Froese
South Peace News

A heat wave in late June has been determined as the cause of fish dying in streams, rivers and lakes in Alberta.

That’s the word from Mike Sullivan, the fisheries science specialist for Alberta Environment and Parks.

“We’ve seen it all over the province, with many reports from popular and visible waters like Lac Ste. Anne, Pigeon Lake and urban streams,” Sullivan says.

“The extent of the kill will be lake and river specific, but can easily be in the hundreds of fish.”

He says a summerkill is unusual in June.

“We typically see summerkills of fish in late July and early August,” Sullivan says.

Temperatures over a wide part of Alberta reached 35-40 C from June 25 to July 2. During that time, many fish were reported dead in waters, including the East Prairie River east of High Prairie.

“Summerkills of fish happen every year,” Sullivan says.

“This was earlier than normal, and the really high heat made it more severe than normal.”

This item is reprinted with permission from the High Prairie, AB, South Peace News. For the complete article, click HERE

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