Elk River, AB - Zach Spence
My Watermark is Elk River, Alberta.
I work for the Alberta Conservation Association. Right now, we're west of the Brazeau Reservoir in the Elk River drainage, which flows downstream into the Brazeau Reservoir. Out of that comes the Brazeau River, which eventually flows down into the North Saskatchewan River.
We're doing some work on the tributaries up here, looking for Bull Trout particularly because there hasn't been much information that's been recorded for this area. We're actually finding a few Bull Trouts, mostly in the upper tributaries where it's colder in a lot of the smaller water. When you get downstream into the main stem Elk River, you're finding more of the warm water species and minnow species.
We're hiking with the backpack electric fisher with the battery hooked up to it. We work our way up the upstream doing 50 metre transects until we cover 300 metres. Every 50 metres with all the fish that we catch we sample them, so we measure them, weigh them, and ID them, and we take a variety of other habitat measurements. We do that to
a number of sites in the drainage to get a big picture idea of what's going on in that watershed.
Water is so essential to life, pretty well every avenue of life on earth is dependent on water. I'm a big fisherman, so I'm on the water almost everyday, be it fishing or just being outdoors. I depend on it for my job, my lifestyle, my hobbies, and everything like that. It's an adventure everyday, it's physical work, it's just exploring. I love exploring and I love water, so you put two and two together and you add fish to that, and it's as good as it gets.