Isabella Lake, Banff

Discuss Fishing here including your own fishing reports.
Post Reply
gammarus
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:23 pm

Isabella Lake, Banff

Post by gammarus » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:02 pm

Thanks for the site and forum. Great resource.

Anyone been to Isabella recently? The last time I was there was 1995 and I would like to know how that great lake is doing.

I have been twice, and for heart-stopping, silver acrobatic rainbows (almost like a lean steelhead), I do not know if Isabella can be beaten. I have landed only one at 24" and broke off another considerably larger. They are well fed and can be moody, but when the lake turns on, oy veh. The whole Dolomite Creek valley upstream seems to act as a food factory, and Isabella is where the moveable feast gathers. I would love to know the history of when and from what strain the Rainbows were planted. Maybe I'll ask Charlie Pacas from BNP fisheries one day.

For those of you unfamiliar with Isabella, I do not fear disclosing this "secret spot"; the more advocates for the Rainbows in Isabella, the less likely BNP fisheries managers will either close Isabella to fishing or try to exterminate introduced species as they did in Morraine Lake.

I could rant on about BNP fish management policies and practices, and may well do so in future, but for now I simply covet any word on Isabella.

Wazzy
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:35 pm

Re: Isabella Lake, Banff

Post by Wazzy » Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:43 pm

Hi There,

Although I do not have any information in regard to "Isabella Lake" I'm curious as to what you mean by "exterminate introduced species as they did in Moraine lake" I have heard through reliable sources that Moraine lake is full of brookies, reports from as early as last summer. Is this no longer the case? Are they planning to eradicate the lake of the brook trout? I have never fished the lake myself however I planned to give er' a try this year out of curiosity. I would love to try Isabella as well. I have done a few hike in lakes in the banff area and they never seem to disappoint! I am very interested in any information you can offer in regard to Moraine.

Cheers,

Wazzy

gammarus
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:23 pm

Re: Isabella Lake, Banff

Post by gammarus » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:53 am

I have include two artlces from 2000.

To my discredit, I did not verify prior to posting that the eradication and stocking proceeded as reported.

Could be that everything stayed the same, or that the lake was killed, Bulls re-introduced, and the Bulls are being mistaken for Brookies.

I imagine the best way to verfy would be to call Banff and talk with Charlie Pacas. I will be attemptiing to contact him this summer and can post his response

Regarding Isabella, I can provide more details later, but if you want start your own reserch, Joey Ambrosi's book and the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide may get your juices going. It' about 24k.
As of 1995 the hike in the remote reaches was undeveloped trail, mainained by outfitters, two river crossings, no bridges and quite annoying at the end due to the braided Dolomite creek and lack of distinct trail. Wet feet are common for those that get frustrated and do not keep to the left on higher ground, slowly picking their way thru dense brush on sketchy trails. The midsummer mosquitos are the usual backcountry blizzard. There was a privy at the lake, no campground, no bearpole, and warden's cabin that I would pay dearly for a key.

Waders or an inflatable something is handy, but a belly boat is nasty cold in that glacier fed water. I may take in a small inflatable boat next time, just to get my kidneys out of the ice cubes.

More later.

Cheers

http://archives.foodsafety.ksu.edu/anim ... -00-04.txt

CANADA-FISH STORY
July 18, 2000
The Associated
Tom Cohen
BANFF NATIONAL PARK -- Moraine Lake, is perhaps the most-photographed
Canadian vista, featured for years on the $20 bill as a symbol of the
nation¹s natural beauty. With its blue-green water surrounded by snowcapped
mountains, attracts thousands of visitors daily to canoe along its tree- and
rock-lined shores or admire its stunning scenery.
Now the lake in Banff National Park, about 100 miles west of Calgary, has,
according to this story, gained another kind of notoriety.
Park officials were cited as planning to kill all its fish as a first step
to restoring the native bull trout population, decimated by decades of
stocking with brook trout and splake, a hybrid trout.
Charlie Pacas, the Parks Canada aquatic biologist at Banff, was cited as
saying that only by making Moraine fishless can it once again become a bull
trout habitat.
It is, according to this story, one of the park¹s first aquatic restoration
projects under a 1994 federal policy that encourages repopulating native
species of wildlife and plants while removing exotic, or non-native,
species.
The project has, this story explained, drawn sharp criticism.
Craig Ritchie, editor of Real Fishing magazine, was quoted as saying, ³If
these species are self-sustaining, then what¹s the harm in leaving them
there? You¹re removing trout and putting in trout. You end up with the same
thing‹trout in a lake.²
His main concern is, according to this story, the project could be a first
step toward halting fishing in Banff park lakes. Others object to proposed
methods, such as poison, to rid Moraine of fish.
Pacas was cited as blaming much of the criticism on anglers alarmed at
losing access to some lakes.
Hundreds of fish already have been removed from Moraine by angling and nets
in the last two years, and Pacas was cited as hoping to begin the
eradication program this fall. He was cited as saying that it would be at
least four years until bull trout are reintroduced, and even longer before
fishing can resume in the lake, which is about a mile long and several
hundred yards wide.
This story explained that the park has launched a public relations
offensive, with Pacas making the rounds to address town meetings, local
outfitters, schools and anyone else willing to listen.



http://community.seattletimes.nwsource. ... ug=4035102
On a beloved lake, a plan to save the trout by killing all fish
By Tom Cohen

The Associated Press

BANFF NATIONAL PARK, Alberta - It is perhaps the most-photographed Canadian vista, featured for years on the $20 bill as a symbol of the nation's beauty.

Moraine Lake, with its blue-green water surrounded by snowcapped mountains, attracts thousands of visitors daily to canoe along its tree- and rock-lined shores or admire its scenery.

Now the lake in Banff National Park, about 100 miles west of Calgary, has gained notoriety.

Park officials plan to kill all its fish as a first step to restoring the native bull-trout population, decimated by decades of stocking with brook trout and splake, a hybrid trout. Only by making Moraine fishless can it once again become a bull-trout habitat, said Charlie Pacas, the Parks Canada aquatic biologist at Banff.

It is one of the park's first aquatic restoration projects under a 1994 federal policy that encourages repopulating native species of wildlife and plants while removing exotic, or non-native, species.

Sharp criticism followed.

"If these species are self-sustaining, then what's the harm in leaving them there?" asks Craig Ritchie, editor of Real Fishing magazine. "You're removing trout and putting in trout. You end up with the same thing - trout in a lake."

Eradication complicated

His main concern is the project could be a first step toward halting fishing in Banff park lakes. Others object to proposed methods, such as poison, to rid Moraine of fish.

Hundreds of fish already have been removed from Moraine by angling and nets in the last two years, and Pacas hopes to begin the eradication program this fall. He said it would be at least four years until bull trout are reintroduced, and even longer before fishing can resume in the lake, which is about a mile long and several hundred yards wide.

Stocking Moraine Lake dates to 1915, with the introduction of cutthroat trout. Rainbow trout, also non-native, were stocked in the late 1930s and 1940s, with splake added in the 1960s.

The non-native species "out-competed" the bull trout, and food sources such as plankton-like invertebrates began disappearing, Pacas said. By the 1950s, good fishing existed only in those lakes that received fresh stocks annually, showing the inability of fish populations to regenerate, he said.

Stocking halted in Moraine Lake in 1971, but the bull-trout population was never able to recover, Pacas said.

Dave Hutton, who owns the Moraine Lake Lodge, supports the concept of reintroducing bull trout but wonders about the endless manipulation of wildlife.

"All the animals seem to have tags or collars," Hutton said. "I would like to see nature be nature."

That's the idea, said David Schindler, a University of Alberta researcher who said it was essential to establish benchmarks for research on species survival, global warming and airborne pollution.

"We'd like to have a few lakes left that are in their natural state so we have a long-term reference," he said. "We have so few we haven't screwed up."

Anglers have "a couple of million lakes" in Canada to choose from, he said, so "surely we can spare one or two to examine how to restore and preserve them."

Pacas noted that fishing in two of the targeted lakes - Moraine and Bighorn - never has been particularly bountiful or popular. Under the program, Moraine would reopen to fishing when the bull-trout population regenerates - at least five years away and probably longer - while Bighorn would be returned forever to its natural fishless state.

The first step - removing the estimated 1,000 fish in Moraine Lake - may be the hardest. Options include nets, fishing, electrofishing in which shocks are used to stun or kill fish, and poison. Explosives were ruled out after a public and media furor.

Trout vs. trout?

Natural options have also been considered.

"We have thought about using sterile bull trout to act as predators of non-native fish," Pacas said. "If you get a couple of those guys, they're good killers, you put 'em in there, they could have a good time chomping down on their little buddies."

Then comes restoring the bull-trout population, probably through restocking with adult and juvenile fish, along with fry and eggs. Pacas said only wild fish would be used, to avoid disease and other problems from hatcheries.

Jeff Perodeau, owner of Banff Fishing Unlimited and a member of an advisory committee for the project, said most people accept the concept but flinch at the methods.

Poisons that attack the gill system of fish also affect gill-breathing insects and other aquatic life, he said. To anglers, Perodeau said, the result is purely negative: "They see it as a bunch of dead fish."

TirionC
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:08 am

Re: Isabella Lake, Banff

Post by TirionC » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:21 am

I think this lake is full of beauty! thanks for telling us about it!

McLeod
Posts: 83
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2009 1:04 pm

Re: Isabella Lake, Banff

Post by McLeod » Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:51 pm

Which lake ? details ?

Post Reply