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Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) informs proponents and stakeholders about the location of  Aquatic Species at Risk by providing maps of species' location (distribution) and critical habitat. In December 2016, DFO moved to a new online mapping and guidance platform
(http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/species-especes/fpp-ppp/index-eng.htm). This platform provides links to areas in Canada that have aquatic species at risk listed by the Species at Risk Act (SARA).  These maps are a useful resource for integrating Species at Risk Act legislation into the Projects Near Water <http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/index-eng.html> self-assessment process.  In addition to these public-facing maps, DFO utilizes location information for fish and mussel species during our internal Fisheries Act review process. Data provided by partners ensures that accurate and complete  
information support both the public-facing maps and DFO's internal process for reviewing project submissions and permit requests. DFO requests your assistance in updating our database by contributing information for both listed and non-SARA listed fishes and mussels. These data can include newly collected (2016) or previously not submitted.

Please send your data by Friday, March 10th, 2017. Any data received after this date may not be included in the new maps until the next map release.  Note:  Data submitted for SARA permit compliance should not be resubmitted. We ask that all fish and mussel data use the format defined in the attached Fish and Mussel Template 2017. The first row is an example.  
Please remove this row from any data submissions. If you have alternative means for sharing aquatic species data (e.g. webmapping services) please let us know and we can follow up accordingly.
Thank you for your assistance. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, Andrew
Andrew Doolittle,  GIS Analyst

Phone: (905)336-6441
Fax:     (905)336-4447

Fisheries Protection Program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
867 Lakeshore Rd., Burlington, Ontario L7S 1A1
Government of Canada

On Behalf of:

Cindy Mitton-Wilkie
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Central and Arctic Region
A/Team Leader, Client Liaison, Partnerships, Standards and Guidelines
867 Lakeshore Road, Burlington, Ontario, L7S 1A1
tel. / tél.: (905) 336-4821
cell: (905) 630-8053
e-mail: cynthia.mitton-wilkie@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

FPP web site / site web:  
RFCPP web site / site web:  
General inquiries: 1 855 852-8320
Project Referrals:  



Whirling disease in Bow River watershed

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has declared the Bow River watershed infected with whirling disease and the province of Alberta a buffer zone.

Click here for full story; Feb 10th 2017


Questions and Answers Whirling Disease

Question: Has Whirling Disease been detected in water bodies outside of the national park?

Not at this time. We have collected 700 fish samples outside of the national park to determine if the disease is present. A private facility has been engaged to conduct testing of the samples Results are expected in early September.

Depending on the results of our testing, our response efforts (if required) will follow protocols already in place for aquatic invasive species, as the pathways of introduction and spread are very similar for fish disease and parasites.

Question: What is the province of Alberta doing in response to the identification of whirling disease in Johnson Lake?

Once we were informed that whirling disease might be present in Banff National Park on August 11, a response team was immediately established composed of emergency managers, fisheries biologists and hydrologists.

Since August 12, Alberta Environment and Parks has taken approximately 700 samples in waterbodies downstream of Banff National Park, including the bow river, and sent them to a testing facility. This is in addition to ongoing testing by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

As a precautionary measure, Alberta has also put a hold on its fish stocking activities until individual fish farms and hatcheries are tested for the presence of the disease. This optimizes our chances of not spreading the disease in Alberta.

Alberta Environment and Parks’ Aquatic Invasive Species program and our Rapid Response Plan are being used to assist with public education and support early detection of the disease at our various watercraft inspection stations.

We are working with key stakeholders to brief them on this issue and enlist their help in our plan to educate the public and help prevent the spread of the disease.

As we receive more information, we will initiate operational planning for all contingencies to ensure we are well prepared for whatever test results might indicate.

Question: What can Albertans do to help prevent the spread of whirling disease?

Albertans can prevent the spread of waterborne diseases and aquatic invasive species by remembering to always clean, drain and dry all aquatic equipment including watercraft, waders, nets and all fishing gear. It is imperative that all standing water is drained prior to leaving a waterbody, including draining the ballast, bilge and live wells. It is now illegal to transport a watercraft with the drain plug in during transport in Alberta.

Aug 25, 2016 Whirling Disease - Questions and Answers © 2016 Government of Alberta Page 1 of 2

If you suspect a case of whirling disease, call the Aquatic Invasive Species Hotline: 1-855-336-BOAT (2628). We also ask you to record the following information so our experts can follow up on your report. Please do not kill the fish for this purpose:

  •  Date and time 
  •  River, stream, or lake name 
  •  Best coordinates you might have, GPS coordinates would be very helpful.
  • What did you observe? Approximate numbers of fish, fish species, size, how did they look or act? 
  •  Photographs are helpful

More information on the disease can be found at:

What does this mean for sport fishing in Alberta?

At this point there is no change on sport fishing with the exception of Johnson Lake in Banff National Park which is now closed. Once the testing is complete, further management actions may be required which could include things like imposing catch and release restrictions on certain waters. It is too soon to speculate, but our actions will be supported by the science and we will move forward in collaboration with best advice, stakeholders and the public.



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