BANFF — As some federal officials work to determine how widespread whirling disease is across Alberta, others are considering whether they need to remove all of the fish or even drain Johnson Lake in Banff National Park.
The first-ever case of the contagious fish disease in Canada was confirmed in the small, shallow lake in mid-August.
During an expert panel discussion on whirling disease at the North American Lake Management Society symposium in Banff last week, officials with Parks Canada said they are now determining how to deal with Johnson Lake.
“It has the characteristics of a potential hot spot,” Bill Hunt, manager of resource conservation with Banff National Park, said in an interview after the session. “We are very concerned about Two Jack and Lake Minnewanka, which preliminary results indicate that they don’t have whirling disease.
“We need to sample more, but what actions can we take and what’s the feasibility of trying to reduce the risks at Johnson Lake?”
Hunt said one consideration is the removal of all of the fish and even draining part or all of the 20-hectare lake.