Summer Sport Fishery at Figure Eight and Sulphur Lakes, Alberta, 2011
Melissa Buskas and Clayton James
Put-and-take or stocked fisheries are a popular management tool used by fisheries managers to create additional angling opportunities. In Alberta, stocked fisheries support roughly 25% of all angling pressure province-wide. A priority for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development is to assess the effectiveness of these fisheries by monitoring angler participation. In the summer of 2011, we conducted creel surveys on two of these stocked fisheries; Figure Eight and Sulphur lakes. The goal of these surveys was to collect information on angling effort, catch rate, sport fish yield, and population structure, to facilitate future decisions regarding regulations and stocking rates, to ensure angler participation within these fisheries is maintained or increased.
Based on 697 angler interviews, angler effort at Figure Eight Lake was 105.0 h/ha (95%CI = 89.8-120.9). The total yield of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) was 686.4 kg (95%CI = 573.7-809.5) or 17.6 kg/ha (95%CI = 14.7-20.8). The sampled population had a length distribution ranging from 175 to 520 mm total length (TL) (n = 84), with the majority of the fish between 350 to 500 mm TL. The mean lengths (±SE) for sport-harvest and testangled fish were 414 ± 7 mm (n = 60) and 336 ± 14 mm (n = 24), respectively. Of all the rainbow trout harvested and test-angled during the survey, 2.4% (2 of 84) were of quality size (>50 cm).
Based on 397 angler interviews, angler effort at Sulphur Lake was 51.0 h/ha (95%CI = 42.2-60.2). The total yield of rainbow trout was 448.3 kg (95%CI = 368.5-535.4) or 8.5 kg/ha (95%CI = 7.0-10.1). The lengths of the fish sampled ranged from 275 to 527 mm TL (n = 155), with three strong length-classes at 350, 400, and 500 mm TL. The mean lengths (±SE) for sport-harvest and test-angled fish were 391 ± 8 mm TL (n = 68) and 355 ± 5 mm TL (n = 87), respectively. Of all the rainbow trout harvested and test-angled during the survey, 3.2% (5 of 155) were of quality size (>50 cm). Total yield of brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) was 145.3 kg (95%CI = 120.4-171.7) or 2.7 kg/ha (95%CI = 2.3-3.2). The sampled population had a length distribution ranging from 182 to 465 mm TL (n = 93), with three strong length-classes at 250, 350, and 400 mm TL. The mean length (±SE) of brook trout was 369 ± 4 mm TL (n = 42) for sport-harvested fish and 266 ± 10 mm TL (n = 51) for testangled fish.