Status of Walleye Fishery at Buck Lake, Alberta, 2004


Bill Patterson and Stephanie R. Grossman


To aid in the management and recovery of Alberta's walleye (Sander vitreus) stocks, the Alberta Conservation Association conducted a Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) survey in Buck Lake from 14 to 16 September 2004. The purpose of this survey was to collect data for the ongoing assessment of the walleye fishery at Buck Lake. The FWIN approach provides estimates of both fish abundance and population structure that can be used to assist Alberta Sustainable Resource Development in sustainable management of the sport fishery.

Results from this survey indicate that Buck Lake had high densities of 6- to 8-year old fish compared to other categories (i.e., ≤ 6 y and 9 -10 y). The age-class distribution was narrow and three year-classes (1996 - 1998) made up more than 80% of the total catch. The walleye fishery was generally composed of slow growing fish (i.e., no fish reached 500 mm in fork length) that appear to mature relatively early; males matured at age-4 and females at age-5. The mean catch rate of walleye (maximum likelihood estimate) was 44.3 walleye/100m2/24h and is considered to be a high density population.

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