Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Northern Pike at Beaver Lake, 2000


B. Patterson


To recover or maintain Alberta's northern pike (Esox lucius) fisheries, a new pike management
strategy was implemented in 1999. In 1999, the pike fishery at Beaver Lake was classified as vulnerable (stable-recreational) and a 63 cm maximum total length (TL max) minimum size limit, 3 fish daily possession limit on pike was implemented in the sport fishery. In order to assess the status of the pike fishery at Beaver Lake, a creel survey was conducted during May to August 2000. During the 2000 survey, the number of anglers utilizing the creel site was 1,278. The estimated number of anglers was 7,770. Angling pressure was 7.3 angler-hours / hectare. Angling pressure has decreased 27% from 10.0 angler-hours / ha in 1998.
Twenty-four pike were observed harvested during the survey. Four of which were sublegal size.
The estimated harvest of legal-size pike (>63 cm TL max) was 121. The observed harvest rate on legal-size pike was 0.005 fish / hr. The reported release rate on sublegal-size pike (<63 cm TL max) was 0.350 fish / hr. Reported catch rates are likely exaggerated. The estimated release rate on sublegal size pike was 0.130 fish / hour. The estimated total catch rate would be 0.135 pike / hr (0.005 + 0.130).
Based on the criteria used to classify pike stocks in Alberta, the pike fishery at Beaver Lake is
likely collapsed.

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