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North Raven River Trout Survey


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As you know, Don Andersen has been sounding the alarm that something seems to be wrong with Stauffer Creek. Our club, as well as others, have been supporting Don in this. Well, it seems someone has taken us up on our offer to "help in any way we can." John Tchir, fisheries biologist for the Clearwater area, is conducting a trout population survey on Stauffer this year, and he's asked for our help. The volunteers would not have a very odious task; scan the fish with a PIT tag reader, take a GPS reading and some notes about the location. Mr. Tchir has 2 tag readers and GPS units to loan us, and would like to meet with people that are planning to fish Stauffer this year. I'll be meeting John at noon, Friday the 21st, at the Stanley A. Milner library. Please let me know if you plan to attend.


Brian Meagher, TU biologist is also interested in this, and suggested that he might loan us another set of equipment, to be left in a locked box at the BFW parking lot. Details to come.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had a really great meeting with John Tchir, and I learned some very interesting stuff about the brown trout in Stauffer. First, I'm happy to allay everyone's fears about a population crash. Even at this stage, John has no concerns about the biomass (total weight of all the brown trout) at all. They haven't really analyzed the data yet, but he thinks that creek just might have more biomass in it than in 2005.


He also thinks the overall size class may have shifted upward....yup.


He dispelled an old myth about brown trout- Supposedly they're really territorial, and if you catch one in a certain spot you can come back a week or a month later, maybe even next year, and catch the same fish. As a rule, not so. The fish are moving all up and down that creek.


Here's the most interesting part- John has done surveys of fish from the Bow, and about 80% of the big fish have multiple hook marks in their mouths. John says there are a lot of big fish in Stauffer, and most of them do not have a single hook mark!


If you're planning to fish Stauffer, let me know and we'll arrange for you to pick up the PIT tag reader, GPS, and an information form. If it's your first time we'll do a one minute orientation, and after that there'll be a drop box set up so that you can just borrow the equipment anytime.

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  • 4 weeks later...



While it is encouraging that ESRD sees not a lot of change from 2005, the question still remains from 1985>2005 the trout population fell from 800/km>250/km. I had the first meeting with ESRD after the 2005 results were finally published in 2007.

I first got concerned in 2002 when my catch rates dropped.

Examination of the spawning areas year after year shows a dramatic decrease in spawning activity. Although the size may be up this hasn't apparently resulted in any increase in population. It still rest @ 1/3 of previous population runs.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi all, Greg here, going thru my emails I came across this opportunity from TUC.



Posted ImageTrout Unlimited Canada
Quick Links
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Fresh Water Clean Future!


Trout Unlimited Canada wishes to advise you of a volunteer angling opportunity to help collect valuable information on the Stauffer Creek/North Raven River fish population.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD) recently completed the tagging of numerous fish along with a population assessment on the Stauffer Creek/North Raven River.

AESRD is now looking to collect seasonal fish movement data within the Stauffer Creek/North Raven River. Pit tags, small "pill like" tags, have been implanted under the skin of a number of fish. The implanted PIT tags track fish movement within the river and allow for individual fish identification. Each tag emits a unique signal which can only be identified by a handheld PIT tag reading unit.

AESRD is looking for movement and recapture rates of fish in Stauffer Creek/North Raven River to better understand the population at this time.

Volunteers are asked to participate in the project by:
  • Obtaining and signing out a sampling kit prior to their outing.
  • Follow the simple instructions housed in the kit (using the PIT tag reader and GPS to scan any fish that you catch and record the locations of fish caught using the included GPS).
  • Fill out the included creel cards completelyduring your outing.
  • Return and sign back in the sampling kit and the competed creel cards at the end of your day.
Each kit is contained in a RED pelican case as displayed in the image below. Each kit is locked to avoid easy access to this equipment by people not participating in the project. If you participate in this project you are asked to please return the case to the same location you borrowed it from.

There are two tagging kits available for use:
  • One kit is housed at a private residence in Edmonton (10224-79st., N.W.) The kit will be under the steps at the side of the house. The lock Combination for the Edmonton kit is, 780.
  • Another kit is housed at a private residence in Red Deer (26 Wiltshire Place) This Kit will be located under a bush right at the north west corner of the house. The lock Combination for the Red Deer kit is, 403.

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For any additional information please contact Brian Meagher, TUC's Alberta Biologist viaemail or phone, (403) 209-5185.

The information gathered will be used to better manage and understand this unique fishery. We thank you for your support and any volunteer time you can add to this important project.





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