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Industrial Cutthroat


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Ronan's report

Tuesday September 29th, 2009

Okay, I know this isn't as industrial as most folks are used to in the world, but around here logging is an industry and therefore cutblocks are industrial.

I work in Alberta as a Fish Habitat Biologist. Really that means I spend too much time in the office reviewing other people's proposals to work around fish. I do get out on occasion, and on some of those occasions I actually get to fish for work. When I do get out, I see some disturbing stuff... I won't talk about it now because it would wreak your Tuesday, but I also get to see some gems. One of those gems are pure and native westslope cutthroat trout.

On a typical inspection, I leave the pavement and drive for 20 minutes up a gravel road. A quick turn and another 10 minutes down a dirt track. At first the drive feels pristine, with the exception of the road... but a closer look reveals a different scene. Culverts have blocked fish from moving upstream. Dirt from the road has runoff and clogged spawning areas. And trees have been cut... twice. There are a lot of issues that need to be dealt with... but not this day.

Today, the area I'm looking at is undergoing a second cut of lodgepole pines. This time around the logging is much more fish friendly. Creeks are avoided and buffered and crossings are installed properly. And even though the trees are knocked down, it can be great fishing!


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