Alberta Fisheries Management – The Science of Fish

DSC05408Anglers in Alberta experience world-class fishing today, but this was not always the case.

Starting as early as the 1970s, Alberta’s sport fisheries declined to a shocking degree. Native trout like cutthroat trout and bull trout were rare catches in mountain streams. Lakes once famous for walleye and pike fishing were reduced to shadows of former quality. By the 1980s and 1990s, Alberta walleye fisheries were among the worst in North America; surveys at many lakes reporting 80 per cent of anglers catching nothing during a fishing trip. Angler numbers declined and with them went millions of dollars in lost economic activity. Continue reading

When is a species no longer ‘at risk’? Understanding the trumpeter swan’s recovery

It’s a good summer for birds in Alberta. Early this month, we announced that the peregrine falcon has returned to nest on the banks of the Pembina for the first time in half a century. And now, we’re happy to report that another bird species – the trumpeter swan – has been removed from Alberta’s list of Threatened species.

Photo of a group of trumpeter swans.

These two success stories aren’t accidents – they’re the result of our Species at Risk program. This program helps us take action when a species is threatened. To do that, we need two things – a warning that the species is declining, and an understanding of what’s causing the threat.

Numbers aren’t everything – how do we know when a species is at risk?

You might think that a species has to be pretty rare in order to be considered ‘at risk’ – but that’s not necessarily true. What’s most important is whether the population of the species is decreasing significantly over time. Continue reading