Fisheries Barriers in Native Trout Drainages

To effectively safeguard against extirpation of native fishes in Alberta (particularly bull trout, Arctic grayling, Athabasca rainbow trout, and westslope cutthroat trout), it is essential to protect genetically pure populations from hybridization and competition with invasive species such as rainbow trout and brook trout. In Alberta, several sub-populations of native trout remain genetically pure primarily because of waterfalls that impede invasion. Maintaining and isolating these headwater populations from invasion is critical to the protection and persistence of genetically pure fish. Cataloguing waterfalls is a necessary first step in prioritizing population recovery and building implementation strategies on a stream by stream basis. We collected known waterfall and other barrier data for the Peace River, Athabasca River, North Saskatchewan River, and Red Deer River basins into a centralized database. We selected the Narraway River watershed as the pilot study area. We gathered fish habitat and community data for the Narraway River watershed and identified 107 potential waterfall locations. We will complete valley confinement modelling and future ground truthing exercises at these locations to determine what fish passage barriers exist within the Narraway River watershed that can be used for population isolation management.


Alberta Environment and Parks, Environment and Climate Change Canada

Annual Summaries

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Title Year Category
Fisheries Barriers in Native Trout Drainages 2018-2019 1