This Waterbody Wednesday takes us to a unique but well-known river west of Edmonton. The Upper Pembina River is the southernmost extent of the natural range of Arctic grayling in Alberta, and has been closed to angling since 2016 as part of a five-year recovery rest period. What do we know about this waterbody?
Work has been occurring on the landscape since the fishery closure in 2016 to help stabilize this important native fish habitat. Work includes water withdrawal restrictions in Dismal Creek, prioritizing watercourse crossing program activities and including strategic and operational measures into forest management plans within the watershed.
The fish population has been sampled using standardize techniques in 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021. While preliminary monitoring results are positive, recovery of Arctic grayling has not been fully achieved.
Bull trout, another species at risk, can also be found in the Upper Pembina, however they are at very high risk of local extinction within this watershed.
To learn more about the Upper Pembina, watch this video: Want to learn more about the status of this unique fishery and how biologists are looking to manage it going forward? Join us for an educational webinar on October 28 to hear from our fisheries staff and ask them questions! Register here: Can’t attend? Read the fact sheet and keep an eye on Youtube Channel for a recording of the session!