Grandfather’s Trout - Grandkid’s Memories: Perspectives over Time for Alberta’s Fish Populations

September 8, 2016 :: Lorne Fitch
Moderated by Knud Petersen

In the business of conservation we are often so intent on staring into the fog called tomorrow, we rarely turn around and look back at the pathway called yesterday stretching behind us. This presentation will use archival images and information to paint a picture of the slippery hordes of native fish in Alberta’s past.

The current status of fish populations in the Eastern Slopes cannot be appreciated until we acknowledge where we were, by reviewing historical abundance and distribution. Only then, will we be ready to see where we need to be. By reviewing what was, perhaps we can see what can be.
Fish populations were reduced and lost because our understanding and comprehension of aquatic systems was so rudimentary. We rarely measured, we didn’t monitor and we didn’t pay attention. If a view of the past has taught us anything, it is if we don’t pay attention, things go missing.

We do not feel the need to mourn that which we do not understand enough to miss. A fundamentally important task is to provide perspectives on changes over time in ecosystem integrity and in biodiversity to avoid the syndrome of shifting benchmarks- like being satisfied with fewer and fewer native fish, poorer water quality and an industrialized landscape. 

Speaker:     Lorne Fitch

Lorne Fitch grew up on a mixed farm in west central Alberta. He left the farm but the experience of growing up in semi-wild circumstances never left him. Lorne has been a biologist for over 40 years, working mostly in Alberta but also in other parts of Canada and internationally with the many issues related to use of land and water.

Those experiences have allowed Lorne to conclude that how we treat the land and water is a result of how we see these elements, how we value them, and what our vision is for their future. It has led him to understand how knowledge levels affect people’s environmental opinions and has caused him to become an educator because if we want a future with clean water, productive soil, fish, wildlife and space, we must make proper choices now.

Lorne is the Provincial Riparian Specialist with the Alberta Cows and Fish program. He is also an adjunct professor with the University of Calgary

Moderator: Knud Petersen

Date: Thursday, September 8, 2016
Time: Noon - 1:30 pm
Location: Country Kitchen Catering (Lower level of The Keg) 1715 Mayor Magrath Dr. S
Cost: $12.00 (includes lunch) or $2.00 (includes coffee/tea)

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