Angler Survey on the Clearwater and North Raven rivers, Alberta, 2019


Kevin Fitzsimmons


The Clearwater River, Elk Creek (a main tributary to the Clearwater River), and the North Raven River are popular fishing destinations in westcentral Alberta. Alberta Environment and Parks identifies angling effort and angling mortality as key threats to fish populations, yet despite their popularity with anglers, the current level of angler use of these streams is unknown. From June 1 to September 30, 2019, Alberta Conservation Association conducted an angler survey to estimate angling effort on the Clearwater River, Elk Creek, and the North Raven River, providing information that will aid Alberta Environment and Parks in managing these fisheries. 

We conducted aerial surveys for instantaneous angler counts and used bootstrapping to derive estimates and confidence intervals for angling effort. During 26 instantaneous counts, we observed 94 anglers on the Clearwater River, 14 on Elk Creek and 56 on the North Raven River. 

From June 1 to September 30, 2019 anglers fished for an estimated total of 7,214 hours (95% CI = 4,177 – 10,717) or 58 h/km (95% CI = 33 – 85) on the 125-km section of the Clearwater River, 1,162 hours (95% CI = 388 – 2,027) or 33 h/km (95% CI = 11 – 58) on the 35-km section of the Elk Creek, and 4,283 hours (95% CI = 2,190 – 7,041) or 119 h/km (95% CI = 60 – 194) on the 36-km section of the North Raven River. Atypically protracted spring and early summer high waters in 2019 may have reduced angler use of the Clearwater River. 

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