Fish

Fish Species at Risk Resources

Please note: species status as presented within publications may have changed since the publication date. Current general and detailed status is listed for each species.

Fish - General

Species at Risk Program Reports

Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 14, prepared by T. Thera and A. Wildeman. Progress Report for Study No. 3 of the Northern Watershed Project.
Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 45, by RL&L Environmental Services Ltd. (A member of the Golder Group of Companies)

Related Information:

Posted: Mar 4, 2013

Arctic Grayling

Scientific Name: Thymallus arcticus
General Status: Sensitive
Detailed Status: Species of Special Concern

Summary

The Arctic grayling is designated as a Species of Special Concern in Alberta as a result of its vulnerability to angling pressure and habitat destruction.

The Fisheries Management Division first developed a species management and recovery plan in 1997; the status of various populations is under review and an updated management plan is being written.

Preliminary indications are that the species has not responded to the 30 centimetre minimum size limit (with a daily limit of five grayling) introduced in 1987.

Detailed Status Report

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 57 (Update 2015), prepared by C.L. Cahill

Related Information:

Additional information for this species is available at:

Also see:

Updated: May 26, 2017

Athabasca Rainbow Trout

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus mykiss
General Status: At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Detailed Status Report

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 66, prepared by J.B. Rasmussen and E.B. Taylor

Recovery Plan

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 36, prepared by the Alberta Athabasca Rainbow Trout Recovery Team

Recovery Action Summary

Alberta Species at Risk 2013 – 2014 Recovery Action Summary

Updated: Jun 17, 2015

Brassy Minnow

Scientific Name: Hybognathus hankinsoni
General Status: Undetermined
Detailed Status: N/A

Summary

The brassy minnow is known from a few locations in the Milk River drainage and some isolated locations in northern Alberta only.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Brassy Minnow in Alberta– May 2015 (45 pages, 2.9 MB)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 68, prepared by D.S. Radford and M. Sullivan

Updated: Jun 3, 2015

Bull Trout

Scientific Name: Salvelinus confluentus
General Status: Sensitive
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

The bull trout is listed as a Threatened species in Alberta.

A Bull Trout Species Management and Recovery Plan was prepared in 1995; subsequently, the status of various populations was reviewed in greater detail and an updated conservation management plan was published in March 2012. A zero limit has been placed on bull trout in Alberta until such time as there is a harvestable surplus.

A major information and education initiative has been ongoing since the 1995 management plan was completed. The slogan "No black, put it back!" has been developed to reinforce the zero catch limit, as bull trout do not have any black spots or marks on their dorsal fins.

Trout Unlimited Canada has embarked on an extensive sign campaign along streams throughout the entire eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta to caution anglers not to keep any bull trout.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Bull Trout in Alberta – Sep 2009 (61 pages)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 39, 2009 update prepared by M. Rodtka

Archived Detailed Status Report

Status of the Bull Trout in Alberta – Jan 2002 (49 pages, 1.1 MB)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 39, prepared by J.R. Post and F.D. Johnston

Management Plan

Bull Trout Conservation Management Plan 2012-2017 – Mar 2012 (100 pages, <1 MB)
Alberta Species at Risk Conservation Management Plan No. 8, prepared by K. Rees, I. Girard, D. Walty and D. Christiansen

Related Information:

Additional information for this species is available at:

Updated: Jun 12, 2017

Deepwater Sculpin

Scientific Name: Myoxocephalus thompsoni
General Status: Undetermined
Detailed Status: In Process

Summary

The deepwater sculpin is not yet classified, but its status is of some concern. It is known only from Waterton Lakes in Waterton Lakes National Park.

This species has been assessed by COSEWIC and found to be Not At Risk in Canada.

Posted: Mar 4, 2013

Lake Sturgeon

Scientific Name: Acipenser fulvescens
General Status: Undetermined
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

This long-lived, slowly reproducing species has been experiencing long-term declines. In 2007 it was designated a Threatened species under Alberta's Wildlife Act, and also in 2007, COSEWIC recommended an Endangered designation for the Saskatchewan River population in Canada (pending listing under the Species at Risk Act).

In Alberta, a recovery plan is under development; an earlier Lake Sturgeon Management Plan was completed in 1996. The lake sturgeon populations in the North and South Saskatchewan rivers are being managed under different regulations starting in 1997. There is a zero catch limit is in effect for sturgeon in both the North Saskatchewan and South Saskatchewan Rivers.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Lake Sturgeon in Alberta – Jul 2002 (40 pages)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 46, prepared by L.A. Winkel

Recovery Plan

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 22, prepared by the Alberta Lake Sturgeon Recovery Team

Species at Risk Program Reports

Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 9, by L.A. Winkel

Related Information:

Posted: Mar 4, 2013

Pygmy Whitefish

Scientific Name: Prosopium coulteri
General Status: May Be At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

The pygmy whitefish is known from Waterton Lakes and a few locations in the Athabasca River drainage. Very little is known about the biology of this species in Alberta.

In 2000, this species was designated a Data Deficient species by the Endangered Species Conservation Committee. Small numbers were captured during targeted field work over several years, enabling a re-evaluation of the species' status, which resulted in its listing as a Threatened species in 2014.

Detailed Status Report

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 27, 2011 update prepared by M. Sullivan

Archived Detailed Status Report

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 27, prepared by W.C. Mackay

Recovery Plan and Action Summary

Updated: Aug 6, 2014

Rocky Mountain Sculpin

Scientific Name: Cottus sp.
Previous Common Names: St. Mary shorthead sculpin, eastslope sculpin
General Status: Sensitive
Detailed Status: Threatened

Detailed Status Report

NOTE: Status Report in 2004 referred to this species by its former common name, St. Mary shorthead sculpin

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 51, prepared by S. Pollard

Recovery Plan

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 27, prepared by the Alberta Rocky Mountain Sculpin Recovery Team

Related Information

Additional information for this species is available at:

Updated: Jan 14, 2015

Shortjaw Cisco

Scientific Name: Coregonus zenithicus
General Status: At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

In Alberta, this species only occurs in one location, Barrow Lake, found in northeastern Alberta. It was designated as Threatened in Alberta in 2007; this species occurs in several provinces outside of Alberta and is also listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act.

A provincial recovery plan was approved in 2007 and is now in the implementation stage. Federal recovery planning is in process.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Shortjaw Cisco in Alberta – Jan 2007 (29 pages)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 41, prepared by Mark Steinhilber

Recovery Plan and Action Summary

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 32, prepared by Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development

Species at Risk Program Reports

Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 3, by M. Steinhilber and L. Rhude
Alberta Species at Risk Report No. 82, prepared by M. Steinhilber

Related Information:

Additional information for this species is available at:

Updated: Mar 18, 2014

Stonecat

Scientific Name: Noturus flavus
General Status: At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

In Alberta, this species only occurs in the Milk River drainage. It was designated as Threatened in Alberta in 2007.

A provincial recovery plan is being developed by the Milk River Fish Species Recovery Team.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Stonecat in Alberta – Mar 2004 (34 pages)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 52, prepared by S.Pollard
Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 33

Related Information:

Additional information for this species is available at:

Updated: Feb 27, 2014

Western Silvery Minnow

Scientific Name: Hybognathus argyritis
General Status: At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

Little is known about the biology of western silvery minnow. It was designated as Threatened in Alberta in 2007, and is also listed as Threatened under the federal Species at Risk Act.

Joint provincial and federal recovery planning is being carried out by the Milk River Fish Species Recovery Team. A provincial recovery plan was approved in October 2008 and is now in the implementation stage; a federal recovery plan was also approved in 2008.

Detailed Status Report

Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 47, prepared by S. Pollard

Recovery Plan

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 16, prepared by the Milk River Fish Species at Risk Recovery Team

For more information, contact:

Related Information:

Additional information for this species is available at:

Updated: Jan 7, 2014

Westslope Cutthroat Trout

Scientific Name: Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisii
General Status: At Risk
Detailed Status: Threatened

Summary

Although some introduced populations or stocks of cutthroat trout are sustainable, pure native stocks, known as westslope cutthroat trout, are at risk because of their restricted and fragmented distribution and declines from hybridization, changes to habitats, and harvest though angling.

Westslope Cutthroat Trout are listed as Threatened in Alberta under the Wildlife Act, and federally under the Species at Risk Act.

Joint provincial and federal recovery plans have been developed and Alberta is implementing actions to promote recovery of the species collaboratively with partners and stakeholders.

Detailed Status Report

Status of the Westslope Cutthroat Trout in Alberta – Dec 2006 (47 pages, 1.2 MB)
Alberta Wildlife Status Report No. 61, prepared by A.Costello

Recovery Plan and Action Summary

Alberta Species at Risk Recovery Plan No. 28, prepared by the Alberta Westslope Cutthroat Trout Recovery Team

Related Information:

Updated: Aug 29, 2017

 

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Updated: Aug 29, 2017