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Thousands of freshly stocked fish killed in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country

WATCH ABOVE: Thousands of freshly stocked fish have turned up dead after a hot weekend in Kananaskis Country. As Tracy Nagai reports there's now concerns more predators could be drawn to the area.

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.

READ MORE: ‘It’s really a disaster’ – Hundreds of dead fish found in several Alberta lakes

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.

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“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.

“It’s just a mess and it brings the bears in here like crazy, because this is bear country.”

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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.

“We have a number of lakes in the Kananaskis area that we don’t anticipate being affected. The main problem with Sibbald is that it relies heavily on the spring precipitation and runoff to bring up the [water] levels.”

Those lakes include Mount Lorette Ponds, Sibbald Meadows Pond and the Upper and Lower Kananaskis Lakes.

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