“Meaningful work to improve angling”
Studies provide a proactive approach in managing, sustain and enhancing the fisheries in our lakes, rivers and streams. SVSFE has taken on the initiative to pursue projects necessary to understand and cooperatively manage our fisheries with local fisheries managers and partners. These programs and projects have been beneficial for the local area and have attracted attention from the public. Many projects require continual or rotational surveys to validate results and to obtain a better understanding of the state of the fishery. In the end, decisions are based on assessment results which lead to quality management decisions.
SVSFE’s involvement in local surveys initiated the adoption of non-lethal techniques to collect current data on the health/state of our local fisheries. The program has evolved to utilizing non-lethal techniques of both trap netting & electrofishing to establish/collect baseline fish population data during the spring and/or fall open water seasons. “With electrofishing at night, 24-hour trap netting sites and seasonal sampling variations, most species and life stages will be well represented using the Non-Lethal Sampling Protocol (NLSP) model” (Kansas). Results aid in fisheries management objectives/plans. (Visit our Reports Page for summaries/final reports on activities)
Monitoring preferred spawning habitat and migration within our lakes and rivers is crucial in managing walleye fisheries. SVSFE utilizes various methods including radio telemetry tracking, placement of spawning mats, drift netting, guzzling for fish eggs and through visual observations. Findings have assisted in improving spawning habitat where required (See our Enhancement Page for recent projects)
Determining natural recruitment success and stocking efficiency on high pressure walleye fisheries has become a high priority for SVSFE and Fisheries Branch. Through recruitment surveys, we can:
- (1) work together in determining appropriate and more effective fry stocking rates,
- (2) help determine success of natural recruitment.
The objective is to utilize this simple method to monitor natural reproduction over time and help determine if/when management practices are needed by evaluating stocking effectiveness through OTC detection. “The use of OTC for mass marking fish is a method that is widely accepted and utilized by fisheries agencies across North America” (Kansas 2010). The recommended objective from fisheries branch is to stock lakes with walleye fry that need supplemental assistance due to high harvest rates and/or low to nil natural reproduction, and therefore making fry more available to lakes that require supplemental stocking.
SVSFE is aware of the economic importance recreational fishing brings to an area. By developing or expanding opportunities brings values to various community members. Lake explorations are annual investigations on lakes to either; rear/raise fish prior to stocking, or lakes to develop new fisheries (fish introductions). Contact us if you have questions about certain lakes or visit our Reports Page to review what we’ve been up to.
Interviews provide anglers a venue to voice their opinions on local stocking, values, opportunities and angling experiences. Interviews provide SVSFE awareness and motivate people to get involved. Typically, people are more prone to get involved if they can see the work that is being done. Interview input is a valuable to SVSFE and fisheries managers. Click here to submit your Angler Survey.
SVSFE has collect bathymetric data on several lakes in the Swan Valley Area. The group has partnered with various academic institutes and government over the years to develop the final product. SVSFE intends to distribution depth maps to the public, create informative signage at various lakes and utilize for management purposes. Signage will include a large bathymetric (depth) map as the main focal point, along with relevant information including sport fish species present, regulation references, lake statistics, management plans, etc. to improve overall angling experience to visitors. Visit our Go Fishing Page to access depth maps…more to be added every year.