Mackenzie River Exploratory Fishery 1989-1993; Investigation of the Population Structure of Broad Whitefish (Coregonus nasus) and Biological Analysis and Population Assessment of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Inconnu (Stenodus leucichthys), and Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis).
An exploratory fishery was carried out in the Mackenzie River Delta between 1989 and 1993 at the request of the Inuvik Hunters and Trappers Committee to assess the commercial fishery potential in this area. Data collected during this exploratory fishery was used in two technical reports. Broad whitefish were the target species of this fishery (DFO Technical Report 2180), however other species such as northern pike, inconnu, and lake whitefish were also harvested (DFO Technical Report 2330).
Biological data from broad whitefish (fork length, age, gonadosomatic index and instantaneous mortality) were analyzed to assess the impact of an exploratory fishery in the Mackenzie River Delta. The data were collected using variable mesh experimental gill nets and commercial harvesters' 139 mm (5.5”) mesh gill nets. The data suggest that the broad whitefish population might be separated, with larger mature spawners gathering in the main channels prior to spawning and smaller, immature or resting fish staying in side channels away from strong currents. From this analysis we conclude that the size and structure of the broad whitefish population(s) found in this area are stable at the current level of total harvest (commercial and subsistence combined) There may be room for increased harvests but to what level is uncertain.
Biological data from northern pike, inconnu, and lake whitefish were analyzed to assess the impact of the fishery on population abundance and structure. All three by catch species support subsistence fisheries in the Mackenzie Delta. lnconnu and lake whitefish migrate substantial distances, crossing land claim borders and are likely fished by a variety of user groups. Northern pike, on the other hand tend to be non-migratory with localized populations that are mainly fished by people living in the near vicinity. A concern was that commercial fishing pressure might reduce the numbers of fish available to subsistence users. Based on trends in size and age frequency, age at maturity, sex ratio, growth rates, and mortality rates, we conclude that inconnu and lake whitefish populations in the Mackenzie Delta have remained healthy and stable at the current harvest levels, however northern pike populations showed a decrease in the proportion of older fish, possibly indicating over-fishing of local stocks. lnconnu and lake whitefish may be able to withstand increased harvest, but to what extent is unknown, given that little reliable information is available on subsistence harvest levels in this region. Increasing harvest levels of pike may be risky and we suggest that a reduction of current commercial harvest quotas be considered.
- Publisher - Current Organization Name: Fisheries and Oceans Canada
- Licence: Open Government Licence - Canada
Data and Resources
|Mackenzie River Exploratory Fishery 1989-1993; Investigation of the Population Structure of Broad Whitefish (Coregonus nasus) and Biological Analysis and Population Assessment of Northern Pike (Esox lucius), Inconnu (Stenodus leucichthys), and Lake Whitefish (Coregonus clupeaformis).|
Delivery Point: 501 University Cres
Administrative Area: Manitoba
Postal Code: R3T 2N6
Electronic Mail Address: email@example.com