Northeast Slopes Fish Population Monitoring Data Report for 2002/2003 and 2003/2004


Corey Rasmussen, Craig F. Johnson, Mike Blackburn


The Northeast Slopes Stream Monitoring Program was developed from previous
initiatives of the Foothills Model Forest and the Tri Creeks Experimental Watershed
Research Project and implemented in 1998 by the Alberta Conservation Association.
The goal of the monitoring project was to describe fish population status and trends
in selected watersheds and thereby provide managers with information regarding
how fish populations are changing with increasing industrial and recreational
activities on the landscape.

Since the programs inception, stream monitoring sites have been established in 25
different watersheds within the McLeod, Athabasca, and Smoky River drainages near
Hinton, Edson and Whitecourt. In 2002/03, and 2003/04 the collection of population,
biological, and habitat data continued at 19 sites within 14 of the 25 watersheds. Fish
species captured during 2002/03, and 2003/04 sampling seasons included Arctic
grayling, bull, brook, and rainbow trout, mountain whitefish, burbot, spoonhead
sculpin, white and longnose sucker, pearl dace, and lake chub.

The Alberta Conservation Association anticipates the continuation of the monitoring
program into 2004/05 and the foreseeable future. The collection of monitoring data at
established index sites will decrease in 2004/05 as the Alberta Conservation
Association refines existing streamÔÇÉmonitoring protocols and develops a more
rigorous approach to defining fish population status on a watershed scale. Efforts
will also be focussed on developing and describing strong links between monitoring
data and fisheries management.

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