Assessment of the 2002 Summer Sport Fishery for Walleye and Northern Pike in Calling Lake, Alberta


Bill Patterson


In an effort to maintain, and in some cases, recover Alberta's walleye (Sander vitreus) and northern pike (Esox lucius) fisheries, Alberta Natural Resources Service implemented new management strategies in 1998 and 1999, respectively. In 1996, the walleye fishery at Calling Lake was classified as vulnerable and a 50 cm total length (TL) and three fishdaily bag limit was implemented. The pike fishery was calssified as vulnerable in 1999 and a minimum size limit of 63 cm TL, with a daily possession limit of three fish was implemented. In April of 2002, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development closed the north portion of Calling Lake to angling and the commercial fishery. During the open season (May 17, 2002 - March 14, 2003) anglers were allowed to harvest two pike and one walleye of any size from the south portion of the lake. 

Assessments of the walleye and northern pike sport fisheries were undertaken with a reduced-effort creel survey from May to September, 2002. Data from this survey showed that an estimated 7,167 anglers fished the lake. Angling pressure measured in 2002 exceeded that in 1996, though it was not substantially higher than historical levels. In contrast, there was a considerable increase in the walleye, but not the pike harvest since 1996. The yield of walleye, and pike, including incidental mortality, was estimated at 0.87 and 0.19 kilograms/hectare, respectively. 

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