Westslope Cutthroat Trout Population Monitoring in the Upper Oldman River Core Area
In 2018, the Livingstone-Porcupine Hills Land Footprint Plan was introduced by the Government of Alberta to reduce cumulative impacts on the landscape by changing land-use patterns to allow existing land footprints to recover. The resulting Livingstone Public Land Use Zone (PLUZ) encompasses the largest remaining westslope cutthroat trout (WSCT) core area in Alberta. Current land-use restrictions and habitat recovery activities in these critical habitats are anticipated to benefit fish populations and aid in species recovery. ACA is conducting a multiyear WSCT population monitoring study in four watersheds at the hydrologic unit code (HUC) 10 scale in the upper Oldman River (UOM) watershed. The objective of the study is to collect fish data at index sites for five years to determine natural WSCT population variations within the PLUZ. These data will be used to detect population response to the new PLUZ restrictions. In 2019, study year two of five, we completed fish surveys at 39 electrofishing index sites in streams of the UOM core area. Overall, WSCT catch per unit effort (CPUE) rates declined in 2019. Westslope cutthroat trout catches were highest in the UOM watershed, followed by the Livingstone watershed and lowest in the Hidden Creek and Dutch Creek watersheds. We will continue monitoring these four watersheds to examine the ongoing effects of the recent changes to land use in the Livingstone PLUZ.
Alberta Environment and Parks, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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|Westslope Cutthroat Trout Population Monitoring in the Upper Oldman River||2018-2019||1|
|Westslope Cutthroat Trout Population Monitoring in the Upper Oldman River Core Area||2019-2020||1|