Assessment of the Status of the Sport Fishery for Walleye at Seibert Lake, 2000
To recover or maintain Seibert Lake’s walleye fishery, a protective slot size limit (420 – 530 mm total length maximum, TL max) regulation was implemented at Seibert Lake in 1991. In order to monitor the effect of the slot size limit, creel surveys were conducted during 1992, 1993 and 1994. In order to assess and possibly reclassify the walleye fishery a creel survey was conducted. During this survey, the number of anglers interviewed at the creel site was 947. The estimated number of anglers during the survey period was 2,910. The estimated effort was 11,709 hours resulting in an estimated angling pressure of 3.1 angler-hours / hectare. Angler pressure has remained relatively low since 1992.
The estimated harvest of legal size walleye during the 2000 survey was 381 fish. The observed harvest rate on walleye above the 530 mm (TL max) slot limit has remained extremely low; 0.006 (1992), 0.005 (1993), 0.008 (1994) and 0.004 (2000). The observed harvest rate on walleye below the 420 mm (TL max) slot has increased; 0.022 (1992), 0.022 (1993), 0.030 (1994) and 0.029 (2000). The observed illegal harvest rate of walleye 421 – 529 mm (TL max) has declined; 0.038 (1992), 0.028 (1993), 0.014 (1994) and 0.008 (2000).
The protected slot size limit regulation experiment at Seibert Lake has been ineffective in recovering the walleye fishery. Based on the criteria used to classify walleye stocks in Alberta, the walleye fishery at Seibert Lake is collapsed.