Kakwa River Watershed Arctic Grayling FSI Assessment
Alberta’s Arctic grayling population has declined as a result of habitat degradation and fragmentation, and overfishing. Resource development in the Kakwa River watershed has expanded over the last two decades and is suspected of negatively impacting Arctic grayling populations, but data are outdated. Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) conducted a two-year study assessing relative abundance, distribution, and population structure of Arctic grayling in the Kakwa River watershed. The goal of the study is to update Arctic grayling abundance data, which feed directly into the provincial Arctic grayling Fish Sustainability Index (FSI). We angled Arctic grayling throughout the Kakwa River watershed during July and August of 2016 and 2017. We sampled 117 sites covering a total distance of 55.8 stream kilometres. We captured 259 Arctic grayling in the lower three quarters of the watershed detecting Arctic grayling at 44% of sites. No Arctic grayling were captured upstream of both the South Kakwa River Falls and the Lower Kakwa River Falls. Relative abundance of Arctic grayling was low with a catch-per-unit-effort of 0.56 fish/hr (95% CI: 0.40 – 0.72). The data collected will aid in determining an Arctic grayling FSI score for the Kakwa River watershed and support regulatory actions to remediate the effects of industrial activities on Arctic grayling populations and their habitats.
Alberta Environment and Parks
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|Kakwa River Watershed Arctic Grayling Assessment (Year 1 of 2)||2016-2017||1|
|Kakwa River Watershed Arctic Grayling FSI Assessment (year 2 of 2)||2017-2018||1|