Walleye (Sander vitreus) and Northern Pike (Esox lucius) Angler Surveys on Four Central Alberta Lakes, 2021
High fishing pressure on populations of slow-growing and late-maturing species has previously resulted in the over-harvest of many of Alberta’s sport fish populations, highlighting the need to regularly monitor fishing pressure and populations. In 2018, Alberta Environment and Parks released updated management objectives for walleye (Sander vitreus) and northern pike (Esox lucius) in Alberta. In 2021, Alberta Conservation Association conducted angler surveys on four lakes in central Alberta to aid in achieving these management objectives.
Between May 15 and August 31, 2021, we performed angler surveys on Lac Ste. Anne, Gull, Buck, and Pigeon lakes. These angler surveys followed an instantaneous count methodology completed using boats or from shore during unsafe weather conditions. Estimated angler effort was 23,888.17 hours (4.22 h/ha) at Lac Ste. Anne, 38,551.75 hours (4.70 h/ha) at Gull Lake, 47,057.37 hours (18.53 h/ha) at Buck Lake, and 32,323.76 hours (3.32 h/ha) at Pigeon Lake. Estimates of angler effort at individual waterbodies and the distribution within a region are important to inform management decisions.