Ram River Bull Trout Assessment

Bull trout is a native sport fish species classed as Threatened in Alberta and is particularly sensitive to habitat change. A government-led initiative, the Native Trout Recovery Program, was implemented in 2017 to recover native trout throughout the Eastern Slopes of Alberta. The program involves implementation of recovery actions (e.g., trail remediation/closures, implementing industry best-management practices, and suppression of non-native species) in an adaptive management framework. In the fall of 2022, we used multiple redd surveys to assess the bull trout population in the lower Ram River watershed. Fall Creek remains an important spawning tributary in the watershed. We counted 54 bull trout redds on a survey of a 3.5 km reach of Fall Creek. We continued to use our solar-powered video recording system to count adult bull trout exiting the Fall Creek spawning area. We obtained 37 days of footage during the spawning migration counting 56 bull trout moving downstream past the cameras; an additional seven bull trout were observed upstream of the camera at the time of removal. This resulted in a ratio of 1.2 spawners per redd, an index that can be used to estimate bull trout abundance from future redd surveys. Our study provides managers with information on trends in bull trout redd distribution and abundance that can be used to evaluate bull trout response to recovery actions.


Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Canada Nature Fund, Government of Alberta, Sundre Forest Products – A Division of West Fraser Mills Ltd.

Annual Summaries

Title Year Category
Ram River Bull Trout Assessment 2018-2019 1
Ram River Bull Trout Assessment 2019-2020 1
Ram River Bull Trout Assessment 2020-2021 1
Ram River Bull Trout Assessment 2021-2022 1
Ram River Bull Trout Assessment 2022-2023 1