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Old 05-29-2021, 08:03 AM
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Default Wabamun Lake Fishery Update

For those who fish Wabamun Lake, I've uploaded to my blog my latest fishery update.
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Old 05-29-2021, 08:31 AM
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Nice write up.

It’s hard to notice that the Govt royally screwed up that lake.

Introduced so many walleye, that the trophy like fishery collapsed and there is virtually no new recruitment. In 5-10 years these walleyes will die and what will be left?

They should’ve never introduced the walleye, and left the lake for the pike. Pigeon and Lac St. Anne are close and offer great walleye fishing.
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Old 05-29-2021, 10:08 AM
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So if they had just left things alone we wouldn’t be in this mess perhaps? Or maybe if they had socked a few million perch and forage fish we would be sitting on a true trophy pike fishery.

These are the same people that are tossing around the idea of stocking Channel Catfish into some Alberta lakes?
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Old 05-29-2021, 11:14 AM
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The over stocking of walleye is a horrible trend in Alberta. Myself I believe they should have left wab as a pike fishery.

Stocking of perch would have been an improvement but in my opinion it would have just limited the damage. Should have left the walleye out and focused on pike
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smoky buck View Post
The over stocking of walleye is a horrible trend in Alberta. Myself I believe they should have left wab as a pike fishery.

Stocking of perch would have been an improvement but in my opinion it would have just limited the damage. Should have left the walleye out and focused on pike

I should clarify. I was thinking a few million Perch and forage fish and no walleye.
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:31 PM
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I should clarify. I was thinking a few million Perch and forage fish and no walleye.
Yup that would likely seen interesting results. Might have people complaining the pike were too hard to catch because they were well fed lol
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Old 05-29-2021, 04:56 PM
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We need a new team of fisheries guys in this province. It's not rocket science, there's so much data available and success-failures from all over north America. Do they not check the viability or impact of dumping millions of predator fish into a lake and what that lake looks like after 5 or 10 years of protecting said predators? They just insist on doing whatever they want regardless of how successful fisheries are managed a few hours any direction. Why do you think all the formerly awesome pike fisheries are toast? Well, we killed all the females. So are they doing anything about it? No just a zero retention for 10 years. Big surprise there, wonder what happened and why it didn't work when the precious wallies are protected and a guy wants a fish for supper? It took em 20 good years to mismanage our few fisheries to the point of no return, solution???? Just leave it. It'll fix itself. What a farce.
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Old 05-30-2021, 09:43 AM
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I have fished alot of fresh water from northwestern ontario to into bc in my time. Trophy pike and walleye can co exist in the same body of water but it takes planning with a good execution. Wab is a really good example of failure.


1 they did not stock bait fish. They should have a bait fish hatchery right on the lake that takes them in milks a bunch of them then releases them spring and fall by the millions.

2. A slot size of 40cm or lower on walleye 1 a day. This gives a family a day out on the water and a decent meal at the end of it. Any walleye over 40cm is a mature breeder.

3. The white fish population needs help on this lake. In order to make big pike you need a healthy whit fish population. Time to start milking a couple hundred breeders during the spawn to be raised in a hatchery and released once they are 8 to 10" in length.

I think If these steps were taken it would be 5 years time we would start to see a population of larger pike in the lake and a sustainable no tag system for walleye were everyone can be happy.

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Old 05-30-2021, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Gbuss View Post
I have fished alot of fresh water from northwestern ontario to into bc in my time. Trophy pike and walleye can co exist in the same body of water but it takes planning with a good execution. Wab is a really good example of failure.


1 they did not stock bait fish. They should have a bait fish hatchery right on the lake that takes them in milks a bunch of them then releases them spring and fall by the millions.

2. A slot size of 40cm or lower on walleye 1 a day. This gives a family a day out on the water and a decent meal at the end of it. Any walleye over 40cm is a mature breeder.

3. The white fish population needs help on this lake. In order to make big pike you need a healthy whit fish population. Time to start milking a couple hundred breeders during the spawn to be raised in a hatchery and released once they are 8 to 10" in length.

I think If these steps were taken it would be 5 years time we would start to see a population of larger pike in the lake and a sustainable no tag system for walleye were everyone can be happy.

Gbuss
Agree only one other factor I would add stock appropriate numbers. Wab was bombarded with a high number of walleye basically putting them in the position to be the dominant predator in the lake. Even without stocking forage if the walleye numbers were stocked according to the forage availability it would have been a big improvement

The fact is lack of forage is a big factor in Wab. The only way I see it as sound management is if the long term goal was to suppress the pike population in favor of rebuilding a walleye dominated fishery after crashing the lake to an extent

That is the real question is if this was intentional or not.
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Old 05-30-2021, 11:01 AM
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So are there not any old-timer's on here who can verify that walleye were ever naturally present in Wabamun before all of this started, like way back in the 60's or early 70's. Before the power plant screwed up the lakes water temp.
I read in an article, that way back when, it was reported that "X" amount of pickerel was reported to have been netted from the lake, and then the author stated that this was probably a miss reporting of pike being caught.
Well I am Alberta born, and have also lived in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and grew up wrongfully calling walleye pickerel. And they are still commonly called this all over western Canada. But never have I ever herd a western Canadian refer to a Northern Pike as a pickerel. So I'm thinking if they reported pickerel being caught it was likely walleye.
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Old 05-30-2021, 12:02 PM
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Originally Posted by walleye guy View Post
So are there not any old-timer's on here who can verify that walleye were ever naturally present in Wabamun before all of this started, like way back in the 60's or early 70's. Before the power plant screwed up the lakes water temp.
I read in an article, that way back when, it was reported that "X" amount of pickerel was reported to have been netted from the lake, and then the author stated that this was probably a miss reporting of pike being caught.
Well I am Alberta born, and have also lived in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and grew up wrongfully calling walleye pickerel. And they are still commonly called this all over western Canada. But never have I ever herd a western Canadian refer to a Northern Pike as a pickerel. So I'm thinking if they reported pickerel being caught it was likely walleye.
There has been some argument whether walleye were ever in the lake. Old federal commercial fishing reports dating before 1920 refer to "pickerel" being caught. So, it's likely they were present. But there were no reports of walleye being caught since then. The lake got along without them for a long time. The Wabamun power plant was built in the 1950s, so the only effect it had on walleye was preventing them being introduced. What effect the lack of open water during the winter has had on the fish is yet to be studied, at least as far as I know.
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Old 05-30-2021, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Meredith View Post
There has been some argument whether walleye were ever in the lake. Old federal commercial fishing reports dating before 1920 refer to "pickerel" being caught. So, it's likely they were present. But there were no reports of walleye being caught since then. The lake got along without them for a long time. The Wabamun power plant was built in the 1950s, so the only effect it had on walleye was preventing them being introduced. What effect the lack of open water during the winter has had on the fish is yet to be studied, at least as far as I know.


Considering pike survive in colder lakes up north and get to trophy size along side walleye with no problems what so ever I think the lack of open water in the winter will not affect them considering the lake in places is over 40ft deep.

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Old 05-30-2021, 12:40 PM
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the walleye have eaten all the small whitefish that the pike relied on to grow big .
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Old 06-01-2021, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by walleye guy View Post
But never have I ever herd a western Canadian refer to a Northern Pike as a pickerel. So I'm thinking if they reported pickerel being caught it was likely walleye.
You may find this amazing but we have had plenty of eastern people move here over the years. At that time the person filling out the paper work could well have been educated in the east. I would also hazard to say most university educated people at that time received their education down east so the use of pickerel from a possible biologist would not surprise me really.
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Old 06-01-2021, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by walleye guy View Post
So are there not any old-timer's on here who can verify that walleye were ever naturally present in Wabamun before all of this started, like way back in the 60's or early 70's. Before the power plant screwed up the lakes water temp.
I read in an article, that way back when, it was reported that "X" amount of pickerel was reported to have been netted from the lake, and then the author stated that this was probably a miss reporting of pike being caught.
Well I am Alberta born, and have also lived in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and grew up wrongfully calling walleye pickerel. And they are still commonly called this all over western Canada. But never have I ever herd a western Canadian refer to a Northern Pike as a pickerel. So I'm thinking if they reported pickerel being caught it was likely walleye.

As far as calling a northern pike a pickerel it could be done if that person’s background was dealing with chain pickerel since they’re also a member of the esox family, and are basically a smaller northern pike, but more yellow with a slightly different pattern. At any rate I think most people agree that the walleyes are a problem, and should be reduced/removed.


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Old 06-01-2021, 04:21 PM
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Calling walleye pickerel seems to be a Canadian thing.
Drives me nuts. haha

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Old 06-01-2021, 05:06 PM
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Knowing a Walleye as a Pickerel is certainly a eastern Canadian thing. Know of a few older gentlemen who moved west many years ago always referring to a Walleye as Pickerel, a Northern Pike as a Jack or Jackfish, and a Burbot as a Ling Cod/Mariah.

Just fishing slang.
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Old 06-01-2021, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by walleye guy View Post
But never have I ever herd a western Canadian refer to a Northern Pike as a pickerel. So I'm thinking if they reported pickerel being caught it was likely walleye.
Of course not. Pike were pike and no Albertan has ever seen a true pickerel in the province. The mix-up never was between pike and pickerel, it was walleye and pickerel.

And since there are no pickerel in Alberta to compare and correct the misconception, the mix-up stuck...and twas ever thus since.

As you point out, the screw-up is old as they catch reports indicate. Decades and decades ago. Never really corrected. And it never will, as long as Costco, Safeway, Sobey's, and Save-On keep selling pickerel fillets on their stores.
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Old 06-01-2021, 06:57 PM
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Calling walleye pickerel seems to be a Canadian thing.
Drives me nuts. haha

Actually walleye is an American term. From Canadain DFO " In French, the common name is doré, which means golden. In English Canada, walleye are commonly called yellow pickerel or simply pickerel" So one would not be wrong to call a Sander vitreus here a pickerel.
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Old 06-08-2021, 10:31 AM
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Default Spencer Presentation

For those interested, Dr. Stephen Spencer, AEP Senior Fisheries Biologist, will give an online presentation to the Wabamun Watershed Management Council on the Wabamun fishery at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 15. The presentation is open only to members of the WWMC, but membership is free. If you wish to become a member, and receive updates about the lake and watershed, go to the WWMC website and then to Get Involved (drop-down menu at top). Otherwise send a message to info@wwmc.ca requesting membership with your name and postal address.

A Zoom link to the presentation will be emailed to all WWMC members on June 15 (maximum 100 participants). The presentation will be about 30 minutes long followed by a question period.
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Old 06-08-2021, 12:14 PM
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Pretty sure a lake the size of wab would of at one time had walleye present. It’s just to big and ideal to not have had them naturally. I don’t know of any other lake the size of wab in Alberta, Sask, or Manitoba that doesn’t have walleye.
Buffalo lake by Stettler is pretty big but nowhere near wab size is the biggest lake I know of that doesn’t have walleye. It is way shallower of a lake though.
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Old 06-08-2021, 01:02 PM
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Pretty sure a lake the size of wab would of at one time had walleye present. It’s just to big and ideal to not have had them naturally. I don’t know of any other lake the size of wab in Alberta, Sask, or Manitoba that doesn’t have walleye.
Buffalo lake by Stettler is pretty big but nowhere near wab size is the biggest lake I know of that doesn’t have walleye. It is way shallower of a lake though.
La Plonge in sask has no walleye....which I always found strange.
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Old 06-08-2021, 03:24 PM
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I used to think Pickerel was a Manitoba thing, but I've come to realize it's a dumb people thing. It's Walleye, period.
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Old 06-08-2021, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Don Meredith View Post
A Zoom link to the presentation will be emailed to all WWMC members on June 15 (maximum 100 participants). The presentation will be about 30 minutes long followed by a question period.
Hopefully a YouTube link will be available for those afterwards so all can listen in to what Bio has to say.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:00 PM
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I used to think Pickerel was a Manitoba thing, but I've come to realize it's a dumb people thing. It's Walleye, period.
Nothing to do with being “dumb”, just different names in different regions . I grew up in southern Ontario in the 70s and we went “ pickerel” fishing in the Thames River all the time. Never heard the word Walleye till I came out west.
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Old 06-08-2021, 08:57 PM
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I used to think Pickerel was a Manitoba thing, but I've come to realize it's a dumb people thing. It's Walleye, period.
aint that the truth
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Old 06-08-2021, 09:00 PM
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Growing up the old timers from east to west called walleye "pickerel" and many born and raised here I know still do today. They always said walleye was an American term. No self respecting Canadian called a pickerel a walleye. I never heard the term walleye growing up except for the original tv fishing show Red Fisher aired. After more started appearing the term walleye became very common in Canada. I can still hear my Grandfather saying "walleye" putting on a Yankee accent and shaking his head...LOL
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Old 06-10-2021, 01:01 AM
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Head east and call them walleye and people will snicker and think you're an American. Call them pickerel here and people will call you and idiot. None of it matters its just people being insecure.

I sure as he'll miss the big ol'pike at wab though! They really ruined that lake!
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Old 06-10-2021, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by ESOXangler View Post
Head east and call them walleye and people will snicker and think you're an American. Call them pickerel here and people will call you and idiot. None of it matters its just people being insecure.

I sure as he'll miss the big ol'pike at wab though! They really ruined that lake!
Amen to that. That water outlet near town....... the good ol days. I never did Crack the 20lb mark, but had several friends catch them. Could always count on some 15+lbs. Was pretty much guaranteed.... now. 47 17" walleye. It's entertaining but hopes of a trophy pike are pretty much gone.
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:40 AM
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Default Wabamun lake fishery update

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Originally Posted by Frank_NK28 View Post
Growing up the old timers from east to west called walleye "pickerel" and many born and raised here I know still do today. They always said walleye was an American term. No self respecting Canadian called a pickerel a walleye. I never heard the term walleye growing up except for the original tv fishing show Red Fisher aired. After more started appearing the term walleye became very common in Canada. I can still hear my Grandfather saying "walleye" putting on a Yankee accent and shaking his head...LOL
HAHA. This is exactly how I grew up fishing with my grandpa. All we ever caught were jackfish. Grandma used to scale them, cut them up into chunks, and fry them up. She always made sure us kids had a piece of bread handy in case we started gagging on on bone. LOL. We didn’t even know what a pickerel (walleye) was until a guy at St. Vincent Lake showed us one. Then we started catching the odd one at Moose Lake on buck tail jigs. Then we figured out about using shiner minnows as bait, and it was game on! Those were the best of times, back in the late 60’s and early 70’s. We did a lot of fishing together back then for those jacks and pickerel.

Last edited by trigger7mm; 06-10-2021 at 11:02 AM. Reason: Miss spell
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