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Ministry responsible: Environment and Parks
In the early 1990s, Lac Bellevue was stocked with walleye. Walleye numbers there remained low for many years and in 2010, the population was assessed as being in a state of high risk, meaning they had a reduced likelihood of long-term sustainability.
In the early years of the last decade, anglers began reporting increasing catches of young walleye. A 2015 fishery survey found high abundance of walleye, mostly of a single age-class.
This information led the Alberta government to re-assess the current management of Lac Bellevue, which due to its small size and ease of access, is highly vulnerable to over-fishing.
The assessment made is that reducing the extremely high abundance of adult walleye is beneficial to promoting recruitment of fish born in the lake. This also provides a harvest opportunity for anglers.
In early 2017, using an online survey, Albertans were asked whether they preferred to retain the current regulation – 0 limit, catch and release – intended to fully protect adult walleye, or if they supported the harvest of a targeted amount of walleye with a special harvest licence.
- 66.7% of respondents supported using a special harvest licence to harvest a targeted number of walleye
The special harvest licence will be used to permit anglers to harvest up to 2500 walleye in 2017.
The new walleye regulation will be:
- Walleye limit 0, except for holder of a special harvest licence and tags may retain walleye of a size, number, and at the times specified on the licence.
Survey period – February 2 to 13, 2017
Survey results – March 21, 2017