Upping the Oxy

It’s getting stuffy down there. 

When oxygen levels are low in lakes, fish are less inclined to be energetic. Biologist will tell you: oxygen and water temperatures are responsible for active fish.   

During our +25-year history of aerating lakes in Alberta, ACA has found that lake aeration is very successful in helping to prevent summer and winter fish kills. It helps keep fish growing and biting all season long.

You might already know that Alberta is prone to winterkill. We aerate waterbodies that are typically shallow, eutrophic (nutrient rich and teeming with plant life), and experience prolonged ice cover—not ideal for fish survival. To encourage active fish with time to grow bigger (2 – 4 years of growth is ideal), we aim to maintain dissolved oxygen levels above 3 mg/L.

We can’t aerate every waterbody, though. Factors like manpower, logistics, public safety, legalities, project partnerships, and operating costs need to be considered. Each year, ACA receives several requests to develop new lake aeration sites across the province. We carefully screen requests to ensure that we address top Alberta government provincial-level priorities, then develop a short-list of lakes for further screening as potential candidates for future aeration. We continue to expand at a steady and realistic pace. 

Aeration is a result of a big picture desire: bigger, better, and increased fishing opportunities in areas that are otherwise limited. That’s the Alberta aim.

Corporate Partners in Conservation

Project Sponsors

  • Alberta Fish & Game Association
  • County of Northern Lights
  • Government of Alberta
  • Trout Unlimited Canada – Northern Lights Chapter
  • Trout Unlimited Canada – Oldman River Chapter
  • Weyerhaeuser Grande Prairie Lumber