Status of Walleye Stock at Lac Bellevue, Alberta, 2003


Bill Patterson and Stephanie R. Grossman


To aid in the management and recovery of Alberta's walleye (Sander vitreus) stock at Lac Bellevue, the Alberta Conservation Association conducted a Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) survey on 23 September 2003 to collect data for the ongoing assessment of the walleye fishery at Lac Bellevue. Fall Walleye Index Netting provides both abundance and population structure information, and is used to assist Alberta Sustainable Resource Development in formulating sustainable management guidelines for the sport fishery.

Results from this survey indicate that walleye in Lac Bellevue had a moderately broad age-class distribution with 11 year-classes. The age-class distribution was unstable, with several weak or absent year-classes. Although Lac Bellevue was stocked with walleye fingerlings in 1991, 1992 and 1994 , only individuals from the 1992 year-class (age 11) were captured during our survey suggesting that the 1991 (age 12) and 1994 (age 14) year-classes make up little or no portion of the current fishery. The walleye fishery was composed of moderately fast growing fish, with both males and females reaching 500 mm FL by age 7. Both male and female walleye were mature by age 7, indicating a moderate maturation schedule. The estimated catch rate ranged from 16.8-25.0 walleye/100 m2/24 h (95% CI); n = 158.

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