Angler Survey in the Berland River Watershed
The Native Trout Recovery Program (NTRP) is a government-based initiative used to promote the recovery of declining native trout and whitefish populations along the eastern slopes of North Central Alberta. The Berland River watershed is a focal system in the NTRP, as recent fisheries sustainability index (FSI) analysis indicate that native trout and whitefish populations in the system are at a high- to very high-risk state compared to provincial standards. Given the Berland River is open to public recreational fishing, angling pressure constitutes a potential threat that could impact fish populations, yet very little recent data exists on it. We conducted an aerial type angler survey to estimate angling effort on the Berland River. Results from the study will assist in effective management and contribute to species recovery as part of the NTRP. Between June 1 and September 15, 2019, we completed 23 instantaneous aerial (rotary wing) angler counts on the Berland River from the mouth, upstream to the convergence of the North Berland and South Berland rivers. We counted 28 anglers over the study period, averaging 1.2 ± 1.78 (±SD); we did not observe anglers during 14 (61%) of the flights. Using bootstrapping methods, we estimated a total angling effort of 1,595 h (77–2,541, 95% CI) on the Berland River, and the majority of the effort occurred on weekends in August and September. It is likely that unseasonably high stream flows affected angler counts in the Berland River in 2019. Therefore, angling effort estimates in this report may not have adequately captured the level of effort in a typical year.
Alberta Environment and Parks
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|Angler Survey in the Berland River Watershed||2019-2020||1|