Towards sustainable recreational fisheries on Papineau Lake
– Dr. Steven Cooke and Benjamin Hlina (Carleton U), Dr. Ellen Marsden (U of Vermont), Dr. David Philipp (U of Illinois), Julie Claussen (FCF), Dr. Mike Power (U of Waterloo)
The goal of this project is to understand the spatial ecology, population dynamics and fishery for lake trout, rainbow trout and black bass in Papineau Lake. This project will provide the data and tools to identify sustainable conservation strategies that will help ensure high quality fishing on Papineau Lake while protecting its natural assets for generations to come. Five specific objectives will contribute to this goal. 1) Identify the life history characteristics for lake trout specific to different sub-populations and/or ecotypes. 2) Characterize how adult lake trout, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass use different habitats (ex. depth and thermal habitat) on a seasonal basis (including spawning and overwintering locations). 3) Identify the level of reproductive success for lake trout, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass. 4) Determine why most lake trout in Papineau Lake fail to attain body mass greater than ~2kg. 5) Document the level of angler effort/harvest and their preferences and opinions for different management strategies.
During the first stage of this project, acoustic telemetry is being used to record the location of individually tagged fish, including their depth and temperature. Receivers have been placed around the lake to record coded signals from tagged fish that swim in their vicinity. Acoustic transmitter tags were surgically implanted in over 30 mature Lake Trout in September 2017 which will allow us to track their movements throughout the lake over time.
Project results will be regularly shared with community members in order to promote the need for management strategies that support sustainable recreational fisheries on the lake.