The Current Future of Urban Angling By Brian Bowman
Are there fish in Wascana Lake? Can you catch them? Are they edible?
Buzzcity has been hearing that a lot this summer. So, we put these questions to Bernadette McIntyre, Executive Director for Wascana Centre Authority, and Jared Clarke, their naturalist. The short answer is, yes, there are fish in the lake and no, you can’t fish there. Also, owing to things like storm sewer drainage and agricultural runoff from upstream, they may not be safe to eat. Official opinion on fish edibility awaits testing, which has not yet been done.
“With the flooding this year everything is in turmoil, and there are more pressing priorities,” says McIntyre.
Despite the flooding, which also created absolute turmoil for whatever fish were in the lake, test netting was done this spring, and did yield some fish – about half a dozen or so, some of good size, too.
“There are fish in the lake, because the pelicans are back and that’s an indicator,” says McIntyre. An indicator, yes, but it should be noted that they are likely feeding on fingerling suckers, minnows and salamanders – they don’t typically take large fish. “There have been reports of pike in the lake but any fish they’ve captured have been common white suckers.” This was confirmed by naturalist, Jared Clarke, who thinks they are likely resident fish.
Just suckers? No pike or yummy walleye?
Nope. There have been reports, though, and there may actually be one or two pike in the lake from time to time. But, if so, they are likely transient fish from the huge, upstream watershed drained by Wascana Creek. The principal reason, Clarke says, is that the west lake is basically a clay bottom now. Clay doesn’t encourage a lot of plant growth. You need that to begin and sustain fish populations and the lake won’t support much until the bottom silts up a bit.
A note on the genteel life of the predator fish: pike and walleye hang and cruise in the weeds and shallows morning and evening, darting like torpedoes after grazers like suckers. But they don’t like exposure. There is no sneaky weed cover for them in the west lake, and very little aquatic structure, and the depth, despite the Big Dig, is marginal, especially for walleye – about five metres overall and seven metres at its maximum. The seven metre depth is a small area, too, not large enough, even with annual replenishment, to hold many numbers of either species, because, despite what stocking may seem to promise, there is a self-regulating limit to any lake’s carrying capacity. These fish like to go deep, cool and dark, during sunlight hours, where the preferred method of competition and crowd control is to eat each other.
The west lake is deeper and healthier since the Big Dig, and there are eight aeration pumps in it to keep the water oxygenated and moving. Eventually, aquatic plant life will establish. That will feed the suckers, and the natural way to keep their numbers in check is to introduce predator fish like pike and walleye. Since a balanced ecosystem is a good thing, McIntyre says the Authority, pending the results of a proper fish study, may consider stocking the lake and perhaps allowing catch and release fishing. In the meantime, enjoy the clear water, the lack of rank weed odour and the return of ‘pterodactyl airways’ in the guise of pelicans.
All in all, we’ve improved the hydrology of the west lake, so that, creator willing, it could and will hold other fish than common white suckers at some point in the future. Tidy job, Regina! But now, that future largely depends on the speed of nature, which isn’t always blistering. So, ardent anglers, don’t rig your hang-down just yet.
Interview with Rebecca Lascue and Michael Paul June 22 , 2011
Buzzcity caught up to Regina’s Rebecca Lascue and Michael Paul. Rebecca’s original songs, coupled with Michael’s backup vocals and guitar stylings are building a solid base of support among local fans of folk and indie pop music. The duo have played in Ireland and a number of venues across Canada, and Rebecca’s powerful and soul searching lyrics are attracting a growing base of fans. This summer they are appearing at several venues in southern Saskatchewan including the 2nd annual “All Folked Up” festival in Monmartre, Juy 8-10, which also features other Regina artists like Tyler Gilbert.
Interview with Regina singer
songwriter HowlOwl June 20 , 2011
BuzzCity chats with Regina singer songwriter
Blair Hornung A.K.A. HowlOwl:
Interview with Regina singer songwriter Tyler Gilbert June 1 , 2011
BuzzCity chats with Regina singer songwriter Tyler Gilbert in Victoria Park about his current cd release, which is also being carried by HMV Records, upcoming shows, and performing around Regina, Saskatchewan.
Buzzcity captured a sampling of the play 'On Golden Pond' (Act two, scene one) on video. In this scene, Norman and Billy are preparing for a day of fishing, while Ethel serves to please no-one.
Video clips of performers at the Big Busk Festival Regina, Saskatchewan, June 1st, 2011
Michael Fox performs an original song:
Neil McDonald and hoop performers:
Carla Mcewen performs an original song, ''Rocketman':
Pakarinka Sisari from Ecuador:
Music from the Heart of the Andes
Thanks to ancient Andean instruments, a range of sounds have emerged again from the heart of the earth. In these songs, Pakarinka Sisari's instruments create a special symphony with Taki Sumak Sami, Kichwa words that mean "songs of nature in musical harmony". The group Pakarinka Sisari, comes from the sacred mountains of Imabura, Ecuador, to fulfill an ancient prophecy through the magical power of Takisami or "music spirits". Their ancient healing music helps to balance the power of knowledge with the feeling of the heart to awaken in us a divine power (the Ushai). Hear how the music dances with the Waira (wind), the Yaku (water), and the Nina (fire) and with Pachamana (Mother Nature) and Taita Inti (Father Sun).
With the proceeds from the sale of this CD, the Centre of Ancestral Wisdom Pakarinka Sisari helps to conserve its traditions and safeguard archaeological objects that house the old secrets of the indigenous lifestyle.
Glenn Sutter performs an original song "Weight of the World" at the Big Busk Festival, June 1, 2011. In September 2010, Glenn received nationwide acclaim when his tune "Weight of the World" was chosen winner and official Saskatchewan Song on David Suzuki's "Playlist for the Planet" (CBC Radio3).