A fisheries and water quality survey of ten lakes in the Richardson Tower area, Northeastern Alberta. Vol I: Methodology, summary, and discussion

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  • A fisheries and water quality survey was conducted in September 1979 on 10 small lakes (67.4 to 338.9 ha) in the vicinity of Richardson Tower, approximately 140 km north of Fort McMurray, Alberta. The major objectives were: (1) to determine morphometric and water quality characteristics in relation to habitat requirements for indigenous and possible introduced species of fish; (2) to assess potential fish yield; and (3) to determine the susceptibility of the lakes to acidification. Maximum lake depth ranged from 6 to 16 m; mean depth varied from 1.9 to 8.0 m. Morphoedaphic indices varied from 16.7 to 54.3. Water quality was fairly uniform with moderate concentrations of dissolved sol ids total filterable residue slightly above 100 mg/L), calcium and bicarbonate at the major ions, and low phosphorus levels. Waters were clear, largely unstained, and generally well oxygenated. Water quality in most lakes was highly suitable for fish production. Ten species of fish were recorded. All lakes supported northern pike while only five contained walleye. Lake whitefish was present in all but one lake. Yellow perch, although recorded in seven of the lakes, were slow growing and small in size. Estimates of potential fish yield varied from 4.8 to 6.5 kg/ha/yr to 8.2 to 10.9 kg/ha/yr. Mean total alkalinity of the study lakes was 77 mg/L (1.53 meq/L). Although terrestrial buffering responses were uncertain, it appeared that lakes are not highly susceptible to acidification (i.e., at precipitation acidities foreseeable for the study area).

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