Levi Neufeld, Hanna’s Regional Fish & Wildlife Officer spoke with Hanna town council virtually Tues. Feb. 9 on the stocking of fish at the CN Dam on the east side of Hanna.
The Roundhouse Society approached the officer in September asking if it would be feasible to reinstate fishing at this reservoir.
Historically, pike and perch were prevalent there.
Neufeld contacted the local fishery biologists for this area, noting to council that this provincial government is all about increasing fishing opportunities across Alberta.
For instance, they are stocking smaller fish at the Carolside Reservoir this spring.
The biologists asked for the history of the water body including the water draws, the depth and oxygen levels.
Before anything can be done, Neufeld felt stakeholder support was needed down the road.
“I don’t want to say that this is for sure happening,” he said.
“These are just Steps A, B and C that we have to look at and maybe you know what it might be worth investing more money and time so that the provincial government can look into it a little bit more.”
Council accepted the presentation for information at this time and will bring up the motion for a letter of support towards this initiative later in the spring.
Neufeld shared that no funding was needed at this point.
A class from J.C. Charyk School will be helping out as an education component by using an oxygen sensor to test the oxygen levels which tells whether it is feasible or not for the fish to survive.
Neufeld asked councillors and administration if they had any contacts to supply extra information on the history of the dam in terms of ownership, depth and oxygen levels so he could forward that onto the province.
Henry Kroger Regional Water Services Commission was suggested while Neufeld has already been in talks with Ducks Unlimited.
Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill added to the conversation that flood mitigation plans for the structure of that body of water may be happening at relatively the same time.
Administration recently spoke with Alberta Environment employees about this and were told that there has been confusion around who owns the dam for some time but if it were to be under the town an emergency structure plan will be put in place for situations when the dam could give way.
“They would help in terms of how much water would actually spill if it breached and where it would go and how the municipality would respond in terms of people safety, property safety,” said CAO Neill.
Coun. Gerald Campion was connected to the dam as he explained he grew up in town learning how to fish from there, gaining all the necessary skills to become a strong fisherman along the way.
“That’s where I learned all of my fishing skills. It was a fantastic pike reservoir when I was young,” he said.
Mayor Chad Warwick added that he lived here ‘long enough to remember when there was fish in that body of water’ as well.