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Lac La Biche Fishery Restoration

Walleye Recovery Program

The Lac La Biche Fishery Restoration Program commenced in 2005. This program had two main objectives:

  • Recover the walleye population and improve the overall size and structure of the fish community, and
  • Improve fishing opportunities for future generations.

In order to achieve these objectives, Lac La Biche Fisheries Management implemented a six part management program that included:

  • Reducing commercial fishery quotas;
  • Additional restrictions to sport fishing regulations;
  • Population control measures for double crested cormorants;
  • Stocking walleye;
  • Protecting critical fish habitats; and
  • Ongoing monitoring of fish and fish harvest cormorant populations.

This program has resulted in notable changes in both the walleye and cormorant populations in Lac La Biche.

  • The walleye population has increased.
    • In 2005 there were effectively zero walleye in Lac La Biche. In 2014, through six years of stocking, that number increased to an estimated 250,000. These fish have yet to demonstrate that they can effectively reproduce naturally.
  • There are fewer cormorants.
    • At the peak in 2005 there were 16,000 breeding birds in the Lac La Biche area. Recently the numbers have been reduced to about 2,500.

Until the stocked walleye have the capacity to replace themselves through natural reproduction and maintain high densities, the population cannot be characterized as re-established. Because of this the regulation will remain as catch and release for the time being. Please, enjoy this newly created walleye fishery, but remember the success of this program and the recovery of the fishery requires your cooperation and responsible use.

Walleye Recovery Program Reports

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Updated: Aug 16, 2018