Tigers in Alberta? Sounds kind of fishy!

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What do you get when you cross a female brown trout and a male brook trout?

If you guessed tiger trout, you’re right!

We asked, and you told us Alberta.

A total of nine water bodies were selected as candidate waters for initial stocking trials of tiger trout. These waters were further assessed during the summer of 2015 for both biological and social acceptability of stocking tiger trout.

Lakes with biological information gaps were visited and assessed by fish culture staff during the summer of 2015. An online survey was developed for each of the nine waters proposed for the initial test stocking. The surveys were open to all recreational users at the lakes and ran from July 20 to August 28, 2015.

Fisheries Management received a total of 744 responses to the online social survey with an average of 77 per cent support for the stocking of tiger trout in the specific lake. Additionally, other agencies that have a vested interest in the management of these waters were consulted.

The result – in October, approximately 20,000 tiger trout were stocked into three Alberta lakes that met all biological and social requirements

  • Black Nugget Mine Pit (10 km east of Tofield) (8,000);
  • East Twin Lake (160 km north of Peace River) (1,000); and
  • Lower Chain Lake (50 km northeast of Athabasca) (11,000).

Why tiger trout?

A tiger trout stocking program has been requested by Alberta Fish and Game members, Edmonton Trout Clubs and through angler interaction at fishing trade shows.

20151005_111857Tiger trout have attracted significant attention from Alberta anglers who are interested in catching a new large and aggressive trout species, provide unique recreational opportunities, stimulate economic activity to the area stocked and improve angler satisfaction.

Tiger trout from the fish culture program were assessed by the Alberta Introductions and Transfers Committee and determined to be of low risk for disease introduction, genetic interaction and ecological impact in stocked waters where escape is unlikely.

The fish culture system can produce 20,000 to 40,000 tiger trout annually allowing for the stocking of a limited number of destination quality fisheries.

Voluntary catch-and-release

Tiger 8Fisheries management is proposing a two-year monitoring program of the initial stocking to gauge the performance (catch rate, angling effort, survival and growth) and dietary preferences of tiger trout with an overall objective of improving Alberta’s stocked fisheries and to help form best management practices for the stocking of this sterile hybrid in Alberta. Ecological effects on the aquatic community and behavioral patterns of tiger trout will also be monitored.

Until the spring of 2017, we ask that all tiger trout caught be voluntarily released. Tiger trout have not been defined as a sports fish in regulation and voluntary release is required to properly assess and monitor for tiger trout growth, survival, competition with and predation on stocked rainbow trout.

4 thoughts on “Tigers in Alberta? Sounds kind of fishy!

  1. Too bad this whole project is for the sport of fishing…. it would be more inspiring if “we” were actually doing something for the sake of sustainability, the environment or the species.

    • Hi Mel – thanks for your interest in the program. Generally speaking, the pilot was popular among anglers. We don’t have any specific statistics to share at this time but a review will be completed later this year to assess future stocking of these lakes and other possible opportunities in the province.

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