Upper McLeod River Native Trout Inventory
Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout abundance and distribution has decreased from historical levels in Alberta. These species are listed under the Species at Risk Act, which identifies many anthropogenic threats to native trout in the province. Alberta’s Native Trout Recovery Program is a collaboration of government and non-government organizations tasked with assessing native trout populations and, through remediation activities, recovering at-risk populations. The Upper McLeod River watershed is a priority for assessment. In the summer of 2022, we used backpack electrofishing gear to sample 38 sites randomly distributed throughout four sub-watersheds within the Upper McLeod River watershed. We completed an additional 15 sites in the Upper McLeod above Beaverdam Creek sub-watershed initially sampled by the Government of Alberta (GoA) in 2017. We captured a total of 2,101 fish, with rainbow trout being the most widely distributed species across the four sub-watersheds. Bull trout were the most abundant fish species in the Upper McLeod above Beaverdam Creek sub-watershed. This is the second and final year of the project with four additional sub-watersheds completed in 2021. A final report summarizing our results will be complete by April 2023. Project results provide up-to-date information on the population status of native Athabasca rainbow trout and bull trout in the Upper McLeod River watershed.
Alberta Native Trout Collaborative, Fisheries and Oceans Canada – Canada Nature Fund, Government of Alberta
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