Status of Walleye and Northern Pike Sport Fisheries at Lesser Slave Lake, 2005
Greg Fortier, Nathan Carruthers and Tyler Johns
The purpose of this survey was to describe the current level of angler use and provide data to fisheries managers to evaluate the status of the walleye (Sander vitreus) and northern pike (Esox lucius) sport fisheries on Lesser Slave Lake. This report describes the results of the summer angler survey on Lesser Slave Lake and is presented alongside results of the previous creel survey conducted in 1999.
An access point angler survey to quantify angling effort, catch and harvest rates of walleye and northern pike was completed at Lesser Slave Lake from 20 May to 28 August in 2005. The estimated number of anglers that fished the lake in 2005 was 115,000 (95% CL: 92,000 - 141,000 anglers), while the estimate of angling pressure exerted on Lesser Slave Lake was 281,000 angler-h (95% CI: 230,000 - 351,000 angler-h), or 2.37 angler-h/ha (95% CL: 1.94 - 2.96 angler-h/ha).
Total observed catch rate (TCUE) reported for walleye by anglers was 3.025 fish/h in 2005 and 2.045 fish/h in 1999. Total observed harvest rate (THUE) was 0.291 fish/h in 2005 and 0.187 fish/h in 1999. TCUE for the test angling was 2.528 fish/h in 2005.
In 2005, anglers reported catching 76,716 walleye during the survey period, of which 7,374 were harvested. The estimated total angler catch of walleye was 870,000 fish (95% CI = 694,000 - 1,094,000 fish) and the estimated total angler harvest was 82,000 fish (95% CI = 65,750 - 101,750 fish). The mean weight of harvested walleye was 0.92kg/fish resulting in an estimated total harvest of 75,440 kg (95% CI = 60,490 - 93,610 kg) or 0.636 kg/ha (95% CI = 0.512 - 0.792 kg/ha).
The mean length (± SD) of walleye harvested by anglers was 490 ± 45 mm TL (n = 412), whereas those captured through test angling was 434 mm TL (n = 220). The mean age of angler-harvested walleye was 8.7 ± 1.4 y (n = 415)
TCUE reported for northern pike by sport anglers was 0.091 fish/h, whereas TCUE for test anglers was 0.056 fish/h. Observed THUE of northern pike was 0.004 fish/h.
In 2005, anglers reported catching 2,312 northern pike during the survey, of which 103 were harvested. The estimated total angler catch of northern pike was 25,700 fish (95% CI = 21,000 - 32,500 fish) and the estimated total angler harvest was 1,060 fish (95% CI = 855 - 1,340 fish). The mean weight of harvested northern pike was 2.47 kg/fish resulting in an estimated total harvest of 2,618 kg (95% CI = 2,114 - 3,313 kg) or 0.022 kg/ha (95% CI = 0.018 - 0.028 kg/ha). The mean length of northern pike harvested by anglers in 2005 was 737 ± 147 mm TL (n = 28) and the mean age was 6.7 ± 2.2 y (n = 28).
Data collected as part of this survey were used by fisheries managers in formulating management regulations for the walleye and northern pike sport fisheries at Lesser Slave Lake.