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Heat Kills Freshly-Stocked Rainbow Trout in Alberta Lake

Kate Adach/CBC

Hundreds of trout have washed up and are rotting on the shores of Sibbald Lake. Low water levels and rising temperatures look to be to blame.

Sibbald Lake, located in Kananaskis County, was stocked with 1,000 rainbow trout on June 3. Three days later, hundreds were rotting on the shore.

“It’s possible that everything we put in, unfortunately has died,” said Ryan Lyster, a fish hatchery technician with the province. “The main thing is disappointment … we raised these fish for a year,” he added.

Conditions were perfect for stocking purposes on the Friday. The water temperature was 16.5 degrees C and oxygen levels were normal. Unfortunately, the weekend weather saw a sudden rise in air temperature, causing the water in the already low lake to jump to 23 degrees C. The stress of the elements may have been too great for the freshly transplanted fish.

Many took to social media to chastise the incompetencies of the fishery technicians, as the forecast had called for rising temperatures for days.

It is unknown when Alberta will stock more fish, although a team was being sent out June 8 to clean up the mess.

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Heat Kills Freshly-Stocked Rainbow Trout in Alberta Lake