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.