Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Walleye at Lac La Biche, 1998


Bill Patterson, M. G. Sullivan


An intensive creel survey was conducted at Lac La Biche during the summer of 1998. The
total number of anglers was estimated to be 2552 (fishing for a total of effort of 7411 angler-hours).
The total angling pressure was extremely low: 0.32 hours / ha. A total of 1669 pike (2502 kg) was
harvested. The harvest rate for pike was 0.39 pike / angler-hours. Based on the reference points used to classify pike fisheries in Alberta, this fishery is considered to be “vulnerable.” Although young pike are relatively abundant, the absence of larger pike reduces the quality of the fishery. Excessive harvests of pike in the commercial fishery have resulted in a decline in quality of this once-popular fishery.
Because of heavy commercial harvests and low angling pressure, changes to the sport fishing
regulations at Lac La Biche will not restore this provincially important fishery. Restoration depends
wholly on major reductions in the commercial harvest of pike.

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