Friday, 14 August 2020 11:21

Re-stocking Westslope Cutthroat trout is the option of last resort.

Written by Michael Short
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Ensuring a genetic pure strain of Westslope Cutthroat Trout is critical say biologists. Ensuring a genetic pure strain of Westslope Cutthroat Trout is critical say biologists. Let's Go Outdoors

Alberta's stocking program plays a significant role in maintaining and providing new fishing opportunities for anglers. The announcement back in January by AEP Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon highlighted the case by announcing upgrades to three fish hatcheries. Funding for all three projects totals $43 million. However, when it comes to repopulating our native trout species, especially those that are listed as threatened or endangered, traditional stocking practices fall outside of the role of the conventional re-stocking approach. Now into it's the second season Alberta Environment and Parks are developing the tools necessary to help with a Westslope Cutthroat Trout recovery program. One of the challenges is the need to ensure these re-stocked Westslope Cutthroat trout are genetically pure, meeting the objectives for the recovery of the species. This story looks at how this procedure can be used in those instances where a pure strain of Wetslope Cutthroat trout is absent from a particular stream system. While this is a viable option to re-storing population numbers and genetic purity, more systemic issues like angling pressure and environmental pressures like changes to habitats also need to be addressed to ensure that recovery efforts are successful.

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