Pekisko Creek Trout Recovery
Stimson Creek watershed is a refuge for Westslope cutthroat trout (WSCT) and bull trout (BLTR). Both populations continue to exist in the watershed despite the anthropogenically induced changes in fish habitat and fish communities from oil and gas development and agriculture, and the introduction of rainbow trout. Alberta Conservation Association completed an assessment to identify undocumented pure WSCT populations, determine abundance and distribution of both WSCT and BLTR, and BLTR spawning habitat distribution and redd density in the Stimson Creek watershed. We sampled fish using backpack electrofishing at 33 randomly selected sites in third order streams from July 4 – 27 and September 25 – 27. We measured size for all captured fish and collected tissue samples from WSCT and cutthroat - rainbow trout hybrids for DNA analysis. We captured 2,447 fish, consisting of 13 different species, five of which were sportfish. Rainbow trout catches were highest of all sportfish, representing 46.7% of the sportfish catch, followed by WSCT at 40.3% and cutthroat - rainbow trout hybrid at 11%; bull trout and mountain whitefish represented only 2% combined. Westslope cutthroat trout densities were highest in upper Pekisko Creek, Greenfeed Creek and Bear Creek. We observed six BLTR redds and ten adult BLTR in close proximity to redds downstream of McConnell Falls. Westslope cutthroat trout and BLTR populations continue to persist in the headwater streams of the Stimson Creek watershed but in low numbers.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Environment and Climate Change Canada
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|Abundance, Distribution, Spawning, and Thermal Habitat of Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout in the Stimson Creek Watershed (Pekisko Creek Trout Recovery)||2017-2018||1|