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 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 multi-year WSCT population monitoring study in four HUC10 watersheds in the upper Oldman River (UOM) WSCT core area. The objective of the study is to collect fish data at reference sites for five years to determine natural fish population variations within the UOM core area. These data will be used to detect population response to the new PLUZ restrictions. In 2018, ACA completed fish surveys at 39 electrofishing sites in streams of the UOM core area. Overall WSCT catches were highest in the Livingstone River watershed, followed by the UOM watershed. The lowest catch rates were in the Dutch Creek and Hidden Creek watersheds where we captured few juvenile WSCT. We will continue to monitor these four watersheds to examine the ongoing effects of the recent changes to land use in the Livingstone-Porcupine Hills PLUZ.
Alberta Environment and Parks
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|Westslope Cutthroat Trout Population Monitoring in the Upper Oldman River||2018-2019||1|