Yellow Perch Stocked Ponds
ACA has been exploring alternative species to stocked trout to increase opportunities for anglers in Alberta. This project was developed to determine whether select ACA waterbodies can support yellow perch populations that produce both harvestable-sized fish and satisfied anglers. Yellow perch are more tolerant to lower water quality than stocked rainbow trout and anglers have shown strong interest in stocking yellow perch in the province. In 2020, we set out to develop a yellow perch stocking plan and conduct an experimental transfer of yellow perch to an ACA stocked pond. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, our planned field program was modified, and we conducted test angling at ponds suspected of having existing perch populations to confirm their presence and determine population characteristics such as size and age structure. We completed test angling at Fort Lions Community Park Pond at West Rivers Edge (Ft. Lions Pond), Taber Trout Pond, and Don Sparrow Lake. We caught 50 yellow perch at Ft. Lions Pond that ranged in size (fork length) from 66 to 254 mm with a mean of 104.3 ± 43.2 mm and weight from 3 to 222 g with a mean of 22.6 ± 43.0 g. Ft. Lions Pond perch ages ranged from 1 to 3 years old. We caught 10 yellow perch at Taber Trout Pond that ranged in size (fork length) from 141 to 186 mm with a mean of 167.6 ± 12.1 mm and weight from 34 to 80 g with a mean of 58.2 ± 11.8 g. Taber Trout Pond perch ages ranged from 2 to 3 years old. No fish were caught at Don Sparrow Lake, suggesting that perch do not offer a noteworthy fishery at this pond. Multi-year age classes at Ft. Lions and Taber ponds suggest that perch are successfully spawning and overwintering, and thus have potential to maintain self-sustaining populations.
Alberta Environment and Parks
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