Elk River, AB - Andrew Clough
Andrew Clough shares his watermark on the Elk River.
Andrew is a fishers' technician with the Alberta Conservation Association and is conducting a bull trout population study on the Elk River, which is a tributary of the North Saskatchewan River, just two and a half hours southwest of Edmonton, Alberta. The river is spring fed and starts in the foothills as nothing more than a trickle.
Andrew and his colleague are using an electrofishing backpack to temporarily stun and capture the bull trout and sometimes rocky mountain whitefish too. They are recording weights and lengths as well as taking DNA samples at random sites throughout the drainage basin. Andrew is pleasantly surprised and reports that they have found bull trout at every site in the headwaters. They have also identified pike, burbot, and several species of minnows. This water flows all the way to Hudson's Bay, says Andrew, so if we can keep the water clean here, everyone downstream will benefit.