Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Walleye at Touchwood Lake, 1997


Bill Patterson, M. G. Sullivan


In order to classify the status of the walleye fishery and monitor the effect of a protected
slot size limit at Touchwood Lake, a creel survey was conducted during the summer 1997. The
angler use of Touchwood Lake had increased steadily since the 1991 survey. The number of
anglers was estimated 8187 in 1997, an increase of 63 % from 3036 anglers in 1991. The
estimated effort had also increased 67% from 2.8 angler-hours / ha in 1991 to 8.45 angler-hours
/ ha in 1997. The harvest of walleye had increased dramatically from 242 walleye in 1991 to
1261 walleye in 1997. The harvest rate of walleye below the protective slot limit regulation (420
– 530 mm total length, TL) has declined from 0.011 fish / hr in 1991 to 0.002 fish / hr in 1997.
The catch rate on harvested walleye > 530 mm, TL has increased from 0.012 fish / hr in 1991 to
0.037 fish / hr in 1997.
Based on the parameters for classification of walleye stocks in Alberta, the status of the
walleye fishery at Touchwood Lake was collapsed. The test fishery data shows several
recruitment failures and limited production of young walleye. The regulation recommended in
Alberta’s walleye management strategy for a walleye fishery with a collapsed status is a zero (0)
daily bag limit.

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