Status Assessment of the Northern Pike Sport Fishery, Lake Wabamun, 2001


B. Patterson


To recover or maintain Alberta's northern pike (Esox lucius) fisheries, a management strategy was implemented provincially in 1999. Consequently, the Lake Wabamun northern pike fishery was classified as vulnerable. A maximum total length (TL max) minimum size limit of 63 cm with a 3 fish daily possession limit was implemented on the northern pike fishery.

In order to assess the status of the northern pike fishery at Lake Wabamun, a roving type creel survey was conducted during May to August 2001. During this survey, the number of anglers interviewed was 432. The estimated number of anglers during the survey period was 9,464. Angling pressure was 3.4 angler-hours / hectare (hrs/ha).

In total Twenty-six pike were observed harvested of which twelve were sub-legal size. The harvest rate was 0.018 fish / hr. The estimated harvest of legal-size pike (fish >63 cm TL max) was 494. The estimated total harvest of pike (including illegal-size fish) was 712 pike.

The reported release rate on pike >63 cm (TL max) was 0.049 fish / hr and on sub-legal size northern pike (<63 cm TL max) was 0.832 fish / hr. The estimated release rate on sub-legal size pike was 0.259 fish / hour. Therefore the estimated total catch rate for pike including fish harvested, released and an angler exaggeration factor of 10% for legal-size released pike was 0.282 fish / hr.

Based on Provincial Fisheries Management criteria to classify northern pike stocks, the fishery at
Lake Wabamun remains vulnerable.

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