Fall fisheries investigation in the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers upstream of Fort McMurray Vol I

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • Fisheries investigations were undertaken in the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers upstream of Fort McMurray in the fall of 1977. The major emphasis of these studies was to delineate actual and potential spawning areas for lake whitefish in the Athabasca and Clearwater rivers. Lake whitefish were found to spawn during mid-October in the mainstem of the Athabasca River from Fort McMurray upstream to Cascade Rapids, a distance of approximately 32 km. The major concentrations of spawning lake whitefish were immediately below Mountain Rapids (24 km upstream of Fort McMurray). There was no evidence of lake whitefish spawning in the Clearwater River. Spawning generally occurred in fast water over broken rock, rubble, and coarse gravel substrates. While recaptures were insufficient to calculate a population estimate by scientific means, the spawning population is large, certainly numbering tens of thousands of fish. Post-spawning tag returns indicate that the lake whitefish spawners moved downstream immediately after spawning, returning to the Peace-Athabasca Delta. The Athabasca River upstream of Fort McMurray provides critical spawning habitat for lake whitefish. Other important fish species, including goldeye, longnose sucker, walleye, and northern pike, also occur in the project study area.

  • Date created
  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Type of Item
  • DOI
  • License
    This material is provided under educational reproduction permissions included in Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development's Copyright and Disclosure Statement, see terms at This Statement requires the following identification: \"The source of the materials is Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development The use of these materials by the end user is done without any affiliation with or endorsement by the Government of Alberta. Reliance upon the end user's use of these materials is at the risk of the end user.