Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Walleye at Pigeon Lake, 1999


B. Patterson


To recover or maintain Alberta's walleye fisheries, a new walleye management strategy was implemented in 1996. In 1996, the walleye fishery at Pigeon Lake was classified as a collapsed/stocked walleye fishery and a zero (0) daily bag limit was implemented. In order to assess the status of the walleye fishery, a creel survey was conducted during May to August 1999. During the 1999 survey, the number of anglers was estimated at 3,420. The total angling effort was low at 1.1 hours / ha. The sport fishery reported releasing 602 walleye (0.30 walleye released / hour). Two walleye were illegally harvested.
Historical information indicates that the walleye population in Pigeon Lake was marginal. The walleye fishery was extirpated in the 1960s. Stocking efforts between 1979 and 1984 failed to re-establish the walleye fishery. More than 18.4 million walleye fry and fingerlings were stocked between 1994 and 1999. This effort seems to have produced a marginal population.
Based on the criteria used to classify walleye stocks in Alberta, the status of the walleye population in Pigeon Lake remains collapsed.

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