What Trout Eat

Educational Signs at Muir Lake

The rainbow, brown, brook, and tiger trout raised in Alberta’s fish hatcheries are fed a crumble or pelleted mixture of protein and fat. When the trout are stocked in lakes and ponds throughout the province, they have a whole new menu to learn and sample. That menu is quite different from the one available to their cousins in flowing waters.

To provide information on the natural food items available to trout in stillwaters and to suggest angling strategies for imitating those items at each stage of their lifecycle, the Fisheries Enhancement Society of Alberta (FESA) developed and installed eight displays at Muir Lake, Alberta in 2003. This work was part of a larger project to establish a quality, aerated fishery at Muir Lake and also included the installation of plaques honouring individuals who had contributed significantly to the development of recreational angling in the province. The project received a National Recreational Fisheries Award.

By 2020 the displays were becoming unreadable due to the effects of weather and climate. Northern Lights Fly Fishers (NLFF) Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada decided to undertake the process of fundraising and research to update and replace them all.

The Alberta Angler Walk of Fame plaques and a new Muir Lake Welcome sign were installed in September 2020.  To secure the additional funding needed to replace the ‘What Trout Eat‘ Education Signs, NLFF applied for and received an Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) Conservation, Community and Education grant. ACA offered to do the graphic design, Lil Johns Sign Shop provided a significant discount on sign production and installation costs, and NLFF and the Edmonton Trout Fishing Club (ETFC) contributed funding.

Work on the educational signs began in January, 2021. They were completely rewritten, illustrated and redesigned and were installed at Muir Lake in September 2021.  There are QR codes on each display linking to this site.

View images of the displays

To view any of the displays please click on the link below:

Backswimmers and Water Boatmen
Damselflies and Dragonflies
Minnows and Sticklebacks
Scuds and Daphnia