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Local Issue, World Problem: Farm at Diefenbaker

CANADA - Lake Diefenbaker is one of the most popular and cleanest lakes in southwestern Saskatchewan, but future plans for three additional fish farm pens along the lake are causing some concern about the environmental impact to the man-made lake.

According to the Leader-Post, Wild West Steelhead is an Edmonton based aquaculture company that plans to expand its production on the lake.

But some residents fear there may be an accident, reports the news agency. It is feared that a number of fish pens may break, allowing thousands of mature fish to enter the lake, which can hurt the lake's ecosystem and cause other environmental damage.

According to Gary Dunn, president of the Elbow and District Wildlife Federation, approximately 600,000 to 700,000 fish have escaped from the fish farm since it started business in 1992. And "it essentially changed the fish dynamics of this lake significantly," Dunn said.

Some other concerned residents believe that more testing needs to be done, in order to determine if the fish pens are hazardous to the environment. One of the major concerns is the effect the fish farm will have on water quality.

Ellen Hardy

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