Ixnay on the Fishnay

If you were planning on heading down to Wascana Lake today with your ol’ fishing pole in the hope of catching a delectable piscine creature of some sort to fillet and fry up for supper, be advised that effective yesterday Wascana Centre Authority has implemented a bylaw change that prohibits fishing in Wascana Centre.

Prior to yesterday, the WCA noted in a press release, fishing was permitted except in areas where it was expressly prohibited through the posting of a sign. While the WCA hasn’t ruled out the possibility of fishing being allowed down the road, at this point it is not deemed safe due to the sketchy quality of the lake water.

According to University of Regina researcher Peter Leavitt, monitoring of the lake over the last 16 years reveals that, in the summer, “dissolved oxygen levels have routinely fallen below the lowest acceptable values as defined by Canadian water quality guidelines for the protection of aquatic life. Oxygen values that low make it difficult to sustain a healthy summer sportfish population.”

Following the Big Dig in 2004, WCA introduced an underwater aeration system to pump oxygen into the lake. To ensure a healthy aquatic ecosystem, though, further steps will need to be taken to reduce the amount of pollution that goes into the water through the rural river system (ie. fertilizer, farm chemicals and other pollutants) and city street runoff drains.

Until then, local anglers will have to go elsewhere for their fishing fix.

Author: Gregory Beatty

Greg Beatty is a crime-fighting shapeshifter who hatched from a mutagenic egg many decades ago. He likes sunny days, puppies and antique shoes. His favourite colour is not visible to your inferior human eyes. He refuses to write a bio for this website and if that means Whitworth writes one for him, so be it.

6 thoughts on “Ixnay on the Fishnay”

  1. The lake used to have a decent population of “Jacks”;Northern Pike, back in the 70’s.

  2. I looked into this back in spring 2007, when a host of fish floated to the surface west of Albert Street. Here, among other tid bits, is what a prov biologist told me, just FYI:

    Saskatchewan Environment has been involved in aeration on shallow lakes for roughly 20 years- and we still have fish kills periodically. Often the main reason is the aeration is turned on too late- some years oxygen levels deplete rapidly and due to thin ice delaying proper fencing/ manpower availability / or not wanting to aerate too early (power costs) we encounter winterkill. Also, in very severe conditions, sometimes the aeration equipment simply can’t aerate sufficiently even when turned on early. Over the years we’ve found aeration often helps prevent winterkill, but it certainly doesn’t guarantee it.

  3. And yet, I saw a mid-20s guy fishing off of Broad Street yesterday, a neo-urban fisherman. He certainly didn’t need the free fish.

  4. My grandmother spoke of fishing there…

    I understand why an active fishery might be constrained by pollutants etc, but I think the sensible option is a “catch and release” fishery.

    I think allowing people to fish in Wascana Lake promotes good and healthy lifestyles.

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