Fish limit, forestry closures and strikes, and by-elections

Snippets from May 24 and 25 Lakeside Leaders


Frank Brown ran Fawcett Lake Resort. He reported that a change to the fish limit on Fawcett Lake caused a 33 per cent decrease in his business in May.

On all other Alberta lakes, the limit was 10 walleye per day and 10 in total. However, on Fawcett Lake it was five walleye per day and 10 total.

A survey in May and June of 1977 estimated that in two months 5,205 lbs of walleye were caught in Fawcett Lake. Of these, 70 per cent were immature.

The report also said that low numbers of walleye in Baptiste Lake, Lac La Biche and Lac St. Anne, meant anglers were focusing on Fawcett Lake.

Brown wondered why limits weren’t put on those lakes.

No advanced warning was given of the new limit, but it was advertised in newspapers in Edmonton, Calgary, and on road signs.

The Leader had found out that Fish and Wildlife field staff had recommended lowering the limit on all walleye lakes in Alberta. There seemed to be no indication why Fawcett Lake was targeted.

Zeidler Lumber Company mill in Smith was closing, which was causing economic concerns. Therefore, 70 to 80 people attended a meeting to establish the Smith Development Council. The elected council consisted of: Joe Hugo (chair), Leonard LaFrance (vice-president), Arlene Olafson (secretary), Maureen Patches (treasurer), and the following directors – Ed Yoder, Frank Brown, Nadine Elgert, George Orr, Wayne Rempel, Bill Brown, and Don Strid.

Jack Bunting of the Regional Development Branch of the Department of Business Development and Tourism attended the meeting and was to act as a consultant.

In other lumber news, Alberta Aspen Board remained closed. The whole forest industry had a slump in the mid-1970s, but was bouncing back everywhere but in the Slave Lake and Smith area.

The Town of Slave Lake held a by-election. Bruno Jaurnell and Tony Lestar were elected. Lestar was on the previous council. Only 212 people voted. The third place (and unelected) candidate was Anne Zuberbier.

Gateway Aviation from Edmonton was considering resuming scheduled flights to Slave Lake. Town of Slave Lake council had two reservations. First of all, flights would have been only Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, from Edmonton to Slave Lake, so a three-hour business meeting would become a three-day trip. Second, Gateway wasn’t planning on hiring anyone local to sell tickets. Instead, someone would have to volunteer to do it for free.

“The days of twice a day service to Slave Lake are over,” said Town of Slave Lake councillor Doug Beechey, “because the boom days have gone and no-one needs it anymore.”

By-law officer Ed Frausel taught Kindergarten students how to ride a bicycle. The Pedal Pushers course took three days.


‘Dispute at Ziedler’s may end soon’ was the top headline on the front page. A strike had been going on for six years at Ziedler Forest Industries in Mitsue Industrial Park.

Outside interest had waned, but the workers were adamant that the battle was just beginning. This could include a round with the owner Margaret Zeidler. A mediator had been appointed to try to broker a deal.

Two days of heavy rain got people talking about the July 6, 1988 Slave Lake flood. At that time, the rains started three days before the flood. However, town manager Bernie Kreiner said that more than just the total amount of rain caused floods. Prior to the May 1989 rains the ground was very dry, so unlikely to flood. Before the July 1988 flood it was saturated, so flooded.

Constable Alex Courtorielle of the Slave Lake RCMP was teaching CJ Schurter Elementary School Kindergarten students how to ride a bike. They did most of the riding in the parking lot of the Elks Hall, near the school.

Milton Threadgold won an Improvement District #17 Division 5 by-election. He won two-thirds of the 64 votes. There were 899 eligible voters. Lorne Larson was running against him. Division 5 included Canyon Creek, Widewater, Wagner, and Marten Beach.

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