East Slopes Fisheries Inventory
Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout have seen their populations and distributions decrease from historical levels. These species are now listed under the Species at Risk Act, which has identified many anthropogenic threats to these species. The Native Trout Recovery Program is a collaboration of government and non-government organizations tasked with monitoring the populations and, through remediation activities, recovering the populations to a more sustainable level. The Upper McLeod River watershed was identified as a priority watershed for inventory work to assess the abundance status and distribution of Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout. In the summer of 2021, we used backpack electrofishing gear to sample 38 sites randomly distributed throughout four Hydrological Unit Code 10 (HUC 10) watersheds. We captured a total of 620 fish with rainbow trout being the most abundant and widely distributed species. Bull trout were only captured at a single site in the Gregg River HUC 10 watershed. This is the first year of a 2-year project with the remaining four HUC 10 watersheds to be completed in 2022. A final data report will be completed at that time. Results of our project will provide up-to-date information on population status of native Athabasca Rainbow trout and bull trout in the Upper McLeod River watershed.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada – through the Canada Nature Fund
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