The winter of 2017 was the coldest ever for Alberta, with the mercury dropping to minus 12 C, according to the provincial government.
That’s a colder than normal number, but the number of fish caught and released back into the ocean is still quite large, according the Alberta Department of Natural Resources.
In December, the number rose to 9,872, including 7,879 of mullet species, and the department said it is expecting to release another 7,800 to 8,000.
“I think this year we will probably see an increase in releases,” said Gary McAlister, manager of the department’s fisheries management division.
McAlisters comments come just days after the state’s Ministry of Environment reported the largest number of wild salmon releases in decades, with 6,724 releases between January and April, nearly a third of all wild salmon released in the province. “
This year is definitely going to see a bigger percentage of releases than in years past.”
McAlisters comments come just days after the state’s Ministry of Environment reported the largest number of wild salmon releases in decades, with 6,724 releases between January and April, nearly a third of all wild salmon released in the province.
The total number of releases from wild salmon in 2017 was more than four times the amount in 2016, according Alberta Fisheries.
McAlistas comments come on the heels of a statement released Thursday by the Alberta Conservation Board, which said the number and type of releases are on the rise.
“We are seeing the return of large numbers of wild-caught salmon to the rivers and lakes of Alberta, which has not happened since the early 1970s,” said executive director John McCausland.
“The return of wild fish has allowed us to release more salmon, while decreasing the total number released from our rivers and streams.”
McCauslands comments come days after a statement issued by the ministry of environment, said the province is continuing to work closely with industry to minimize the environmental impact of the salmon releases.
The province has released more than 1,500 tonnes of wild caught salmon into Alberta waterways since last fall.
McCausles comments come two days after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announced they would hold a meeting on the issue of releasing salmon into the province’s rivers and bayous, in which officials said they hope to reach an agreement.
The meeting, which was held Wednesday, is set to take place at 11 a.m. Thursday.