Alberta fly fishers divided on whether fishing bans are extensive enough

ABOVE WATCH: The province of Alberta has put a fishing ban on some rivers in an effort to save the fish population from scorching heat, but as Doug Vaessen reports, some experts say it’s not enough.

CALGARY – While certain fishing spots in southern Alberta are temporarily closed due to high water temperatures, some area fly fishers say more bans are needed.

Amber Payliss is a passionate fly fisher and photographer, and says the heat is wreaking havoc on fish in sensitive rivers and streams.

“The Old Man River, for example, I was there last week and it was super low and very warm,” she said. “When the water temperatures reach 18 degrees Celsius to over 20, that’s fish kill levels. Any fish you have at that point in your hands, even if they swim back into the water, often times they won’t survive.”

The province has already banned fishing in nine areas, including long stretches of the Bow River.

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Aaron Feltham is a part owner of Bow River Troutfitters, and thinks the government is doing exactly what is needed.

“They have put some time into it, done their research, and they have chosen—these are the most crucial waters for them  to shut down now,” said Feltham. “I am confident that given some more warm weather, they will make more judgement calls that are according.”

The province says it continues to monitor the situation, but so far hasn’t added any bans since Tuesday.

For her part, Payliss is adamant the next few days are crucial.

“I understand this is the first time we have dealt with such a lengthy closer on our systems,” she said. “But still I think there could be a little more done, at least for this week while we deal with these hot temperatures.”

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