North Saskatchewan Walleye project update

Introducing walleye #35596

Starting last summer, members of the Northern Lights chapter have been angling for walleye in the North Saskatchewan River and recording data as part of a collaborative study with biologists at Alberta Environment and Protected Areas.  The goal is to learn more about walleye populations in the Edmonton area.  When the team from NLFF catches a walleye,  they record the size and location of the fish and inject it with a PIT tag (Passive Integrated Transponder) if it doesn’t already have one.  The PIT tag is about the size of a grain of rice and is similar to the microchip tags that veterinarians use on cats and dogs.  A hand held scanner is used to read the unique identifier on the tag.  The study is in flight, but some interesting information has been identified by the team.

  • Most walleye are recaptured in the same pool where they were initially tagged.
  • There is very little migration of walleye between pools.
  • There are probably far less walleye in the river than originally thought
  • Recapture rates are quite high.  Walleye #35596 has been caught 7 times already.  It was originally tagged on Aug 2 last year and caught 2 more times in August, then again on May 31 (twice that day!)  and June 5 and June 6.  

There’s still lots of work to do, but some of the findings so far are very interesting.