Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Walleye at Moose Lake, 2000
To recover or maintain Alberta's walleye fisheries, a new walleye management strategy was implemented in 1996. Previous to the management strategy implementation a creel survey was conducted at Moose Lake from May to August 1995. Based on the strategy, the walleye fishery was categorized as collapsed. Consequently a catch and release (zero possession limit) was implemented for walleye in April 1996. The walleye fishery was reopened April 2000 and 1 walleye larger than 50 cm (total length maximum, TL max) daily possession regulation was implemented. In order to determine the status of the walleye fishery at Moose Lake, a creel survey was conducted during June to August 2000. During the 2000 survey, the number of anglers utilizing the creel site was 1,063. The estimated number of anglers during the survey was 9,957. Angling pressure was 6.7 angler-hours / hectare. This is an 8% decrease since the 1995 survey (7.3 angler-hours / ha). The angling pressure in 1986 was 15.7 hrs / ha.
The estimated harvest of legal-size walleye was 1,404. The catch rate on walleye >50 cm (TL max) increased from 0.006 / h in 1995 to 0.051 in 2000. The angler’s total reported catch rate increased since 1995 from 0.216 walleye / h to 0.704 walleye / h. Based on the criteria used to classify walleye stocks in Alberta, the status of the walleye fishery at Moose Lake is likely vulnerable to collapsed.