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

Author(s)

Corey Rasmussen, Craig F. Johnson, Mike Blackburn

Summary

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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