A popular fishing spot west of Calgary is now a buffet for predators. Dead fish can be seen along Lake Sibbald’s shoreline, with many floating on the surface.
“It’s disgusting. There were kids literally picking up fish and the fish were jumping out of their hands and swimming sideways,” camper Richard Durocher said.
Lake Sibbald is stocked with fish twice a year. Initially 1,100 rainbow trout were added in April; another 1,000 were introduced to the lake Friday.
“Everything at that point in time seemed to be good as far as our water quality was concerned,” said Ryan Lyster, a fisheries technician with the province of Alberta.
But a few hot days wiped the fish population out. Lyster said he wouldn’t be surprised if it was a total loss.
“The lake heated up quite significantly over the weekend. So we went from 16 degrees to 23 degrees Celsius.”
Officials are now concerned about predators in the area. Some campers said they heard a pack of wolves on Tuesday night near the lake.
The campground’s manager, Bill Mclevin, is worried about bears.
Two fisheries technicians were brought in on Wednesday to try and clean up any fish still left behind.
“If you have dead fish on the shoreline, wildlife could be a bit of a concern,” Lyster said. “And there’s a camp at the lake, so in this particular case we made a decision to send a couple of our staff members out there.”
Lyster added he’s not sure if Sibbald Lake will be restocked again this season, but said there are several other lakes to fish at nearby.
Those lakes include Mount Lorette Ponds, Sibbald Meadows Pond and the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes.