Yellow Perch Winter Angling Survey in the Northwest Boreal Region
Brian Lucko and Kevin Potter
A roving creel survey with simple random sampling was implemented on nine lakes in the Northwest Boreal Region of Alberta. Information was gathered regarding the characteristics of the yellow perch (Perca flavescens) sportfishery, and to a lesser extent, walleye (Stizostedion vitreum), and northern pike (Esox lucius). Survey data from four of the nine lakes were also compared to a 1993 winter angling survey. The estimated total harvest for yellow perch varied from 0 to 2187 ± 1465 individuals (95% C.I.). The estimated total effort varied from 37 ± 66 to 8272 ± 7238 angler/hours. Estimated total fishing pressure varied from 0.03 ± 0.01 to 10.18 ± 2.31 angler-hrs/hectare. In total, 907 anglers were interviewed with 76% harvesting no perch while 0.55% harvested a limit of 15. Overall, 53% of anglers were dissatisfied with their fishing experience and 59% stated that perch fishing has declined from the past. In comparing the 1993 and 1998 creel data, the perch catch and harvest was higher in 1993. Poor angling experiences increased from 24% in 1993 to 55% in 1998. Due to a low yellow perch harvest at three of the four lakes, an accurate comparison of the population dynamics could not be made. Further studies should be conducted to gather long-term trend data on yellow perch densities and population structures to help in the decision of management strategies.