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The Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre is currently recruiting candidates for an aboriginal fisheries technician intern position set to begin this spring. We look forward to hearing from you! The ad can also be downloaded here:
This year’s Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) on White Lake was a great success! Pic Mobert First Nation, in partnership with the A/OFRC, completed a FWIN survey on White Lake to assess the relative abundance and status of the Walleye population. Using data from past FWIN surveys on White Lake, we will be able to monitor trends over time in Walleye abundance and help Pic Mobert First Nation in making future management and conservation decisions.
A/OFRC field crews were assisted by Pic Mobert First Nation’s Lands & Resources Assistant and a Pic Mobert First Nation Crew Member to conduct the FWIN survey. A total of 30 nets were set from October 2nd to October 5th. Water temperatures ranged from 11°C to 14°C during this period. In total, 1045 fish representing seven different species were captured.
The largest catches of fish included; Walleye (365), Cisco (341), Yellow Perch (161), and Northern Pike (116). Other species that were captured included; Whitefish (27), White Sucker (34), and Burbot (1).
White Lake is a relatively large, shallow, and turbid lake. The combination of these three factors makes White Lake a highly productive Walleye fishery. The majority of White Lake is than 20m in depth, which is the optimal depth range for Walleye. Walleye are also a photosensitive species meaning they are sensitive to bright daylight intensities. Given that White Lake is relatively turbid, it is believed that this turbidity enables Walleye to thrive. In addition to these favourable abiotic conditions of White Lake, the fish community of White Lake provides ample forage species for Walleye to feed on (i.e. an abundance of Yellow Perch and Cisco). Overall, these characteristics give rise to White Lake’s unique and abundant Walleye population.
The Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries
Resource Centre (A/OFRC), in partnership with Mattagami First Nation and the
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), have completed a Fall Walleye
Index Netting (FWIN) survey on Mattagami Lake. The objective of this study was
to evaluate the population status of Walleye in Mattagami Lake relative to
regional provincial benchmarks and to engage Mattagami First Nation in all
aspects of data collection.
A total of 28 net sets were
completed from October 6 to October 10, which is the prescribed number of net
sets required for a lake the size of Mattagami Lake. Water temperatures during
this time ranged from 14.0°C to 12.5°C and an equal number of nets were set in
the shallow (2 m to 5 m) and deep (5 m to 15 m) depth stratums. A total of 466
fish were captured representing 8 different species, including; Walleye (176),
Pike (60), Lake Whitefish (65), Smallmouth Bass (3), Herring (54), Yellow Perch
(84), White Sucker (22), and Burbot (2). The overall catch-per-unit-effort
(CPUE), which is a measure of relative abundance, was 16.6 fish per net and 6.3
Walleye per net. The largest Walleye was captured in Pine Lake (northeast arm
of Mattagami Lake) and weighed a total of 4.3 kg or 9.5 lbs. The most
productive Walleye nets were those set in the northern (yellow) arm of Mattagami
Lake (6.8 Walleye/net), while nets set in the central (purple) and southern (green)
arms of Mattagami Lake yielded fewer Walleye (6.1 Walleye/net and 5.6
The A/OFRC and the OMNR would like to sincerely
thank all community members of Mattagami First Nation for their assistance
throughout this project. Mattagami First Nation crew members assisted the
A/OFRC with setting and lifting nets, biologically sampling fish, filleting and
cleaning fish, and cooking at the fish fry where community members got to
indulge in freshly caught fish from Mattagami Lake. A final report will be
generated in the next couple of months and presented to Mattagami First Nation
in January 2014.