Walleye Population Estimate and Creel Survey of Fawcett Lake 2003
Greg Fortier, John Tchir, Lorraine Sawdon
A walleye (Sander vitreus) population estimate was conducted on Fawcett Lake in order to provide managers with information on adult walleye densities. A creel survey was conducted in conjunction with the population estimate to provide fisheries managers with current information on angling pressure, catch and harvest for walleye and northern pike (Esox lusius). The creel survey also provides managers with population parameters specific to the fish being harvested by anglers.
The adult walleye population was estimated using mark-recaputre techniques. Walleye (6102) were tagged from the Mink River inlet in Fawcett Lake, Alberta from 8-20 May 2003. Trap nets were used to initially capture the fish. Fish were recaptured in test-nets. Maximum likelihood estimation was used to obtain a combined estimate of 64,560 walleye (>279 mm) in Fawcett Lake. When analyzed separately the adult population was estimated at 39,450 males and 23,330 females (when estimated separately). This yields a total of 18.9 fish/ha, or 11.55 male fish/ha and 6.83 female fish/ha.
Based on the results of the creel survey, it was estimated that 5000 (95% CI 4340 – 5840) anglers visited Fawcett Lake from 16 May to 1 September 2003 exerting an estimated 24,110 (95% CI 20,790 – 27,430) hours of effort, or 7.06 hrs/ha (95% CI 6.09 – 8.03). Total catch per unit effort (TCUE) of walleye was 1.14 fish/hr, northern pike TCUE was 0.52 fish/hr, and yellow perch (Perca flavescens) TCUE was 0.03 fish/hr. It was estimated that anglers harvested 1525 walleye (1276.48 kg; 0.374 kg/ha) and 256 northern pike (597.08 kg; 0.175 kg/ha).