Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Pike at Baptiste Lake, 1999


B. Patterson


To recover or maintain Alberta's northern pike fisheries, a new pike management
strategy was implemented in 1999. In 1999, the pike fishery at Baptiste Lake was classified as vulnerable (stable-recreational) and a 63 cm (maximum total length) minimum size limit, 3 fish daily limit on pike was implemented in the sport fishery. In order to assess the status of the pike fishery at Baptiste Lake, a creel survey was conducted during May to August 1999. During the 1999 survey, the number of anglers utilizing the creel site was 1572. The number estimated number of anglers during the survey in 1999 was 4,089. Angling pressure (angler-hours/ hectare) was 14.9. This is a 25% decrease in angling pressure from 20.1 angler-hours/ ha in 1997.
The estimated harvest of legal-sized pike was 29. The catch rate on legal-sized pike (>63 cm max TL) has decreased from 0.02 pike kept / hour in 1997 to 0.002 in 1999. The estimated release rate on sub-legal pike was 0.068 fish / hour.
The majority of pike in Baptiste Lake are protected by the minimum size limit (63 cm TL max). Extremely few anglers were successful in harvesting a legal-sized pike and most anglers caught no pike.
Historically, Baptiste Lake was known as a superlative pike fishery. It was noted that it was very easy to catch lots of fish with average weights between four and 20 pounds.
Based on the criteria used to classify pike stocks in Alberta and historical information, the Baptiste Lake pike population is collapsed.

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