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Edmonton Lakes


Don Andersen
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Dave

 

I agree with you on the above. But From what I have noticed and others I have talked to, it seems we have all noticed the same. Walleye lakes where the populations are so great, the fishing for other species bites...(for lack of a better term) Perch populations are way down, and pike are scrawny, not to mention the increasing lack of whitefish. (but whitefish pops are even more affected by over fishing in the winter months, which is a whole new topic which I'll let someone else open....).

 

Lakes like South Buck which has a minimum keep size of 50 cm(if I remember correctly) have lots of fish... hundreds and hundreds all in that 48-49.5 cm size. As soon as one grows beyond that 50cm size and is caught its gone. this lake still has an ok perch population and the pike are normal sized and healthy. Look at a lake like Calling. This lake your allowed 1 walleye a day, any size. THis lake has very beafy pike and a heck of a lot of perch too.

 

I agree that we need to bring are walleye populations back up, but They gotta do something about the rest of the fishing in Alberta. SLot size these walleye, and allow some to be kept over a year. say maybe 3 days a month on varying sizes. and have different lakes in similar areas... that way it keeps the number of fisherman down per lake. or maybe like hunting, you get tags.... maybe 2-3 walleye a year per person on certain lakes.... I dont know. It could be expesive, but what is our fishies worth.

 

Any how... There is a a problem. and no, I'm no expert.... but we gotta do something about the other fish in this province ei pike, whitefish, and perch... or we may just end up with nothing but walleye and stocked trout lakes...

 

 

my 2 pennies worth... take it for that.

Again interesting perspective. However, the problems with Wab, Pigeon, Gull etc with regard to the pike and perch is that there have not been successful spawns for several years in a row.

 

I read in a biologists report (wish I had photographic memory...) that the pike and white spawns for Wabamun in particular - have been unsuccessful for the 3rd year running. No little ones - and harvest of the big ones - means the few fish you get - will be in the little 4 and 5 year classes.

 

What's an angler to do!

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What should have been done is that F&W should have cracked down on poachers and limits sooner, before it actually became a problem. I don't remember who said it, but to say that alot of these lakes have too large of catch limits is complete bullshit!...I have to say. I have seen the limit of every species of fish decline consistently since I was a little boy barely able to cast a line...why is that, poor fish management and people keeping more than their limit...plain and simple. I have released literally hundreds of fish this year, and do you know how many I have kept...One, and that was out of beaumont, and only because it wasn't going to survive. Personally I don't care if I keep a single one...I am not a meat fisherman, but don't tell me that the limits are too high...almost everywhere I look the walleye limit is zero and yet I can't keep them off my line.

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I would agree that fisheries management in Alberta

has historically been slow to respond to situations where fish stocks are in trouble.

It's hard to blame the mangers at SRD, as they get the tripple whammy.

Firstly, their budget for research, data gathering etc is limited.

Secondly, the regulation change process is cumbersome

and time consuming as many changes involve the federal govt.

And thirdly and most important, is political interference.

There is still a large harvest mentality out there in the public

and that influences the politicians, who put pressure on the professional mangers.

As a result, regulations are largely designed to maximize harvest,

rather than to optimize fish survival, stock recovery or habitiat protection.

The prime example is where the Minister overrode his paid professionals

and opened a fishery that was in danger, which subsequently collapsed again.

If we can educate anglers and change that harvest pressure,

maybe things will change, but don't hold your breath

for that to happen any time soon.

We know that pike stocks in many places have been in trouble for a while,

hence the spring spawn closures. Unfortunately, if mature fish

keep getting removed during the "catch" season,

a spring closure doesn't help as much as it should.

Perch decline can be attributed to many factors, including angling pressure.

But one factor not mentioned often, is the removal of happy salad and reed beds

to suit the desires of cottage owners.

Remove the habitat and there go the fish.

Other factors such as the three, going on four, year drought

which has affected both stream flows and lake levels can be blamed too.

That kind of natural variation in climate can multiply the effects

of other habitiat and angling stress on fish stocks.

Besides, perch, pike and walleye are at different places in the food chain.

It's a stretch to imagine that more walleye will change that.

So to attribute the decline in pike and perch to too many walleye

is, at best, overly simplistic.

Oh yea, it's not just the number of boats that affected the walleye collpse.

Its the advent of good fish finders and GPS receivers.

The rapid explosion in the availability and use of cheap GPS and fish finders

matches the rapid decline in walleye stocks.

Fishermen can now target accurately the small number

of prime walleye feeding areas in a lake

and thereby improve catch rates well over historical ones

that anglers and fisheries mangers base expectations on.

Multiply improved catch rates by larger numbers of successful fishemen

and it's no wonder the Walleye populations got in trouble.

Good thing for trout that fish finders and GPS are not as useful for that fishery.

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"Other factors such as the three, going on four, year drought..."

 

Drought?....I thought major flood and thundershowers this year would have alleviated some (all) of that problem. Bottom line, we could sit and talk about all the reasons why fish populations are suffering, but none of them are going to solve the problem....at least RAP is one way of direct action to help the fishing in Alberta....hopefully I never need to use them though.

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@gravityorange: Please read one of my previous posts in this thread. Depending on your angling method, of the "hundreds of fish" you have released this year the mortality rate could be a high as 30%. So for example, if we use a # of 300 fish that you caught and released on a fly (conservative 5% mortality)....it is possible that you killed about 15 fish. It is NOT the number of fish you keep and take home...it is the number you KILL. Please don't be smug enough to think the only one you killed is that one you took home from Beaumont.

 

Also, your last two posts are at best, mildly contradictory.....In one you speak of suffering fish populations, then in another tell us of the "hundreds of fish" you've released this year.....and the fact that you can't keep the Walleye off your line.

So, what is it?

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@Dave:

All very good and valid points! There are a myriad of complex factors that affect fish populations...and there is No universal answer as each fishery is unique.

It is those factors that we perhaps don't fully understand (and can't quite quantify), that may impact the fishery the greatest.

Case in point....the decline of the grayling habitat in Alberta....it is most likely due to lower stream flows creating higher water temps. In essence pushing a species out of its preferred temperature habitat. What caused the lower stream flows?....many factors (some controllable, some not)....but not the fisherman.

 

In closing, true fisheries management requires understanding and addressing as many of the impacts (stressors) as possible....unfortunately SRD only manages the fisherman.

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GRavity:

Yes drought.

The recent deluges and floods are short, relatively localized events.

This year, most happened over roughly a two week period and

ocurred mostly in the south east slopes of the Rockies.

Other parts of the province and other drainanges didn't see it.

Long term decline in water table and snow pack continues in much of Alberta.

If you want some idea of what the longer term efects are,

go out to Cooking or Beaverhill Lakes.

Their surface area has been reduced by about 1/3 in the last 5 years.

Yes, this year has seen some improvement.

but to restore things in parts of the province to what they were 10 years ago

will take several years of above average rainfall.

 

Flycaster

A C&R fisherman who, by releasing hundreds of fish, only kills 15 over a year

is still a better result for the fish than one bait fisher

who kills everything he catches, and who takes his limit on just four outings.

Just imagine the drop in total fish mortality if we converted some of those to C&R.

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I also might drive home and get in an accident or might get struck by lightning....I'm not going to sit here and have a debate with you about how many fish I "might" have killed....at least I know for a fact that they aren't sitting dead in my freezer. I never said that all of the fish that I released survived, but I thought the topic of conversation was how to prevent poaching and ensure the future of our fisheries, not figuring out a number that is impossible to calculate....for pete's sakes. As far as calling me smug, well....I just find that rude.

 

I think the fish population of all species has declined (since the early 80's) was my point....I'm not even going to try and figure out all the factors involved in the decreasing number. I also think the "0" limit on walleye in lakes where all I catch is one after another is bs, and the people doing the survey should start doing a better job.

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If you want some idea of what the longer term efects are,

go out to Cooking or Beaverhill Lakes.

Their surface area has been reduced by about 1/3 in the last 5 years.

 

1/3? Heck last year Beaverhill almost completely dried up... I used to go hunting there for geese. Last year there was almost no water left except for a small few acres near the south end. I was there earlier this year and it seems to have come back up. But then again I havent been out there for about 6 weeks. Have you? Is the water level getting any higher with all the storms lately? How about Rush lake.... there hasnt been water there in years....

 

I had hear Beaverhill was being partially drained by farmers looking for water for there crops.... cant confirm it.... but thats what i heard.

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  1/3? Heck last year Beaverhill almost completely dried up.. I used to go hunting there for geese.

:blink:

 

http://www.ibacanada.com/cpm_beaverhill.html

 

http://www.beaverhillbirds.com/bbolibraryspecialplaces.htm (Protected Places)

 

Beaverhill Lake was designated as an Important Bird Area (IBA) in 1997. The IBA program is sponsored by Birdlife International and is spearheaded in Canada by its co-partners, the Canadian Nature Federation and Bird Studies Canada. Its goals are: to identify sites that are critical to the long term viability of bird populations

with a focus on bird species that meet IBA criteria; to develop on-the-ground conservation plans through partnerships with local stakeholders; and to maintain ongoing local involvement in the protection and monitoring of the species and sites.

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I think he is talking about the fact that it is a bird conservation area and you are talking about hunting there.....I could be wrong, but thats what I get out of it.

as per 2004 Alberta Guide to Hunting Regultions

 

Pg 28

 

Under Restricted Lakes

 

Hunting game birds on the following lakes, over any island in these lakes or within 0.8 km(0.5 mi.) of the edge of the waters of these lakes is prohibited until November 1 (note additional restrictions below for Saskatoon Lake and Ministik Lake). Efforts are made to post signs near these lakes, but not all lakes may be so identified. It is the hunter's responsibility to know the restrictions in the area he or she hunts.

 

Prairie WMU's

 

160 Little fish lake (28-16-17-W4)

ect.

ect.

 

Parkland MWU's

 

Sounding Lake (36-37-3,4-W4)

ect.

ect.

242 Beaverhill lake (that portion lying in 50,51-17,18-W4 - approx. Southern 1/2 of lake)

ect.

ect.

 

I tried to find it on the internet but was unable to locate the proper site....

So anyway.... The North half of the lake is not a sanctuary, and the south half becomes available to be hunted as of Nov 1....

 

:rolleyes:

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Yeah, but how do they taste?

How do the geese taste? Well, as Tony always says....

 

Therrrre GRRRREAT!.....

 

very tasty, hope you get to try it one day, or, maybe you have....

 

I prefer WHite fronted goose over Canada goose...A little bettter flavour... and as a bonus you get alot of goose biots from those noisy birds....

 

 

Oh, by the way, do want to see a modern version of a wildlife santuary ... especially for geese? Just go to any local golf course..... :lol:

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so I guess geese hunting is not catch and release then....

 

 

 

 

 

:lol: ardy ar ar ar

 

JRR

Beleive it or not... I shot a duck one time and knocked it right out of the sky.... The bird completely folded when I shot it... and then hit the ground hard...when I went to pick it up the bird got up and flew away... I think I just knocked it out...

 

Guess he was wearing his flak jacket that day... I hate losing birds... hope it survived... thats the problem with Steel shot.... no killing power :angry:

 

 

Would that be considered catch and release?

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