Fisheries Population Assessment of Little Red Deer River, Dogpound Creek and Beaverdam Creek 2003
Jay Wieliczko and Adam Rich
In June-July 2003 the Alberta Conservation Association collected sport fish abundance, size-structure and fish community composition informaton using electrofishing gear at established sites on the Little Red Deer RIver (n = 1) and Dogpound Creek (n = 3). Two new sites were also established on Beaverdam Creek. These data may be useful for evaluation of area riparian protection projects undertaken through the Buck for Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Program, and more recently through the Little Red Deer River Watershed Iniative. Fisheries information was entered into the Government of Alberta's Fisheries Management Information System, Project ID: 4687.
Brown trout and mountain whitefish abundance was greatly reduced at the Little Red Deer River and Dogpound Creek sites in 2003. The length-range of sport fish in the catch was narrower and mean size was generally smaller. Northern pike were not captured in Dogpound Creek in 2003 although they were observed at two of the three sites in 1997. Similarly, brook trout were captured in the uppermost site on Dogpound Creek in 1997 but not in 2003.
Identifying the cause of these apparent changes to the sport fishery is beyond the scope of this report. However, drought conditions throughout the watershed in 2001-2003 reduced stream flows and resulted in elevated water temperatures and documented fish kills which likely contributed to the observed decline in sport fish abundance and distribution.