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Old 07-14-2017, 03:45 PM
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Don Meredith Don Meredith is offline
 
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Default Wabamun Lake Fisheries Management

For those of you who regularly fish Wabamun (or used to), here is the government's take on how it's being managed:
https://albertaep.wordpress.com/2017...-wabamun-lake/
You might wish to comment.

I wrote about the Wabamun fishery update in the June AO:
https://donmeredith.wordpress.com/20...ishery-update/
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:36 PM
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Lol did they do any research at all before they wrote that lol
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:07 PM
A187 A187 is offline
 
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They wrecked the Pike fishing in that lake. Used to be top notch.

****ing walleye
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:40 PM
ddddd05 ddddd05 is offline
 
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Thanks for the post Don! Great information!
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:00 PM
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Not sure if this sentence is yours Don or you referenced it from somewhere but this statement has 0 validity. Wabamun is nowhere near the same lake it was in 2013 and anyone that fished it then and now knows that.

Quote:
Northern Pike: Trophy status for this species is confirmed for the lake. The status is based on the large pike being caught and a 2013 survey of anglers coming off the lake, in which more than 80% supported having opportunities to catch trophy pike.
This lake is such a simple case study it is so frustrating that the biologists let this happen. Imo it borders on negligence especially considering how myself and other anglers warned them of all the signs of an imminent collapse and they chose to do nothing...

For a summary that should make sense to people here is Wabamun's fish history in a nut shell.

Prior to the oil spill in 2005 there wasn't a walleye population worth mentioning and pike were open to retention. Hot water from the plants kept the lake a prime location to grow big pike fast and the retention kept pike numbers somewhat in check which allowed a healthy whitefish population to thrive which also in turn helped to grow big pike.

After the spill retention was closed and pike numbers started to increase. Over the next almost decade the pike population reached ridiculous levels which decimated the whitefish population and the health of the pike was already on the brink of collapse due to overpopulation and lack of feed. The lake was a ton of fun because you could go out and catch 50-100 fish in an evening and usually get a 15+ lber or two as well as many 10 lbers.

Then they decided to stock 11 million walleye which fully decimated the forage base in the lake leaving the walleye population stunted and killed off a huge portion of the pike population. Almost all the smaller pike are now unhealthy and there are few pike in what used to be the average size(24-34 inches). The big pike population has always been hurt primarily by catch and release fishing but in the past it wasn't an issue as there was always enough younger healthy pike quickly growing up to replace them but that isn't the case anymore and the big pike population is dwindling more and more each year.

So now we sit with a lake devoid of whitefish, perch and forage base. Millions of dinky walleye are found in every corner of the lake as well as a few pathetic pike along with the odd big one that is becoming harder and harder to find.

What will happen to the lake? As fisheries comments show they assume now it will be 5-7 years more before the walleye fishing will be even possibly worth considering for retention. The pike population will not grow back with all the walleye around as is clearly obvious if you look at the other similar case studies such as Pigeon and Ste. Anne. So maybe in 5-10 years we will have some more decent walleye and some more whitefish. If they open it to walleye after 5 years(which is probably unlikely) then the pike might make a come back 10-15 years from now. Just my guess but going to be a while before it ever gets remotely close to as good as it was just a few years ago.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavYak View Post
Not sure if this sentence is yours Don or you referenced it from somewhere but this statement has 0 validity. Wabamun is nowhere near the same lake it was in 2013 and anyone that fished it then and now knows that.



This lake is such a simple case study it is so frustrating that the biologists let this happen. Imo it borders on negligence especially considering how myself and other anglers warned them of all the signs of an imminent collapse and they chose to do nothing...

For a summary that should make sense to people here is Wabamun's fish history in a nut shell.

Prior to the oil spill in 2005 there wasn't a walleye population worth mentioning and pike were open to retention. Hot water from the plants kept the lake a prime location to grow big pike fast and the retention kept pike numbers somewhat in check which allowed a healthy whitefish population to thrive which also in turn helped to grow big pike.

After the spill retention was closed and pike numbers started to increase. Over the next almost decade the pike population reached ridiculous levels which decimated the whitefish population and the health of the pike was already on the brink of collapse due to overpopulation and lack of feed. The lake was a ton of fun because you could go out and catch 50-100 fish in an evening and usually get a 15+ lber or two as well as many 10 lbers.

Then they decided to stock 11 million walleye which fully decimated the forage base in the lake leaving the walleye population stunted and killed off a huge portion of the pike population. Almost all the smaller pike are now unhealthy and there are few pike in what used to be the average size(24-34 inches). The big pike population has always been hurt primarily by catch and release fishing but in the past it wasn't an issue as there was always enough younger healthy pike quickly growing up to replace them but that isn't the case anymore and the big pike population is dwindling more and more each year.

So now we sit with a lake devoid of whitefish, perch and forage base. Millions of dinky walleye are found in every corner of the lake as well as a few pathetic pike along with the odd big one that is becoming harder and harder to find.

What will happen to the lake? As fisheries comments show they assume now it will be 5-7 years more before the walleye fishing will be even possibly worth considering for retention. The pike population will not grow back with all the walleye around as is clearly obvious if you look at the other similar case studies such as Pigeon and Ste. Anne. So maybe in 5-10 years we will have some more decent walleye and some more whitefish. If they open it to walleye after 5 years(which is probably unlikely) then the pike might make a come back 10-15 years from now. Just my guess but going to be a while before it ever gets remotely close to as good as it was just a few years ago.
X2

Thanks for posting Don

I would make some additional comments but it just makes me so sad to see what they have done to Wab that I just can't
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  #7  
Old 07-16-2017, 10:15 PM
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How many other lakes have they wrecked?

Very sad to see Wabamun come to the state that it is in.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RavYak View Post
Not sure if this sentence is yours Don or you referenced it from somewhere but this statement has 0 validity.
I paraphrased from the government's fishery update.
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  #9  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:34 AM
SNAPFisher SNAPFisher is online now
 
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Interesting. I don't fish Wab so I don't have the experience to back up anything. I do have a friend that does often and he showed me a picture of a nice 24-25 lber, pike, from 2 weeks ago. I'll follow-up and see what he thinks about Wab over the past 10 years.
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  #10  
Old 07-17-2017, 07:26 PM
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There's so many walleye in the lake any fish under 10 inches is doomed including 99 percent of the minnows of every species that swims there probly even their own baby's so all the age classes these days aren't surviving were gonna be left with only a cpl age classes of walleye and the odd other fish that makes it...pretty sad when you really think about it
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  #11  
Old 07-18-2017, 07:41 AM
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I think its time to introduce smallmouth bass and musky to that lake and let the experiment continue! :P
But in all seriousness they need to allow walleye harvest to thin out the numbers, I don't bother to fish there anymore...
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Old 07-18-2017, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Meredith View Post
For those of you who regularly fish Wabamun (or used to), here is the government's take on how it's being managed:

https://albertaep.wordpress.com/2017...-wabamun-lake/

You might wish to comment.



I wrote about the Wabamun fishery update in the June AO:

https://donmeredith.wordpress.com/20...ishery-update/


Awesome article! Great read with lots of information. Well done my friend. I'll be sure to pass this along to a few buddies


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  #13  
Old 07-20-2017, 07:28 PM
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EZM EZM is offline
 
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I posted my thoughts on the website.

I think it's pretty simple, and been covered here on numerous occasions.

Too many walleye, too fast, stunting the pike and leaving them sickly thin.

Walleye are not food sources - they are competitors for food.

To a person who has fished this lake and used to call it "my home lake" it's pretty dramatic and sad to see what happened there.
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  #14  
Old 07-20-2017, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EZM View Post
I posted my thoughts on the website.

I think it's pretty simple, and been covered here on numerous occasions.

Too many walleye, too fast, stunting the pike and leaving them sickly thin.

Walleye are not food sources - they are competitors for food.

To a person who has fished this lake and used to call it "my home lake" it's pretty dramatic and sad to see what happened there.
100% agree. This topic is beat to death every year! Wabamun is just another mediocre lake now. Oh well.
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