Last updated on 28 September 2016

SUMMARY

SUMMARY

IDENTIFICATION

SCIENTIFIC NAME(s)

Sander vitreus

SPECIES NAME(s)

Walleye, Yellow , Pickerel

Little or no genetic differentiation seems to exist between spawning sites of Walleye in Lake Winnipeg (Backhouse-James and Docker 2012), although more research is advised.


ANALYSIS

Strengths

The Walleye fishery is well regulated for commercial and recreational fishers in Lake Winnipeg. Walleye catches are regulated through possession limits, gillnet mesh size restrictions, quotas and fishery permits. The three major commercial fish species incl. walleye have been well managed under the quota system for the past 40 years.

Weaknesses

Historical CPUE of all three major commercial fish have to be re-evaluated and there is a need to conduct a robust stock assessment for walleye and other commercial fish species. Currently, there is a combined quota of Recommended Allowable Harvest (RAH) of 6.52 million kg for 3 commercial species). But, there is a need to stipulate Individual harvest quotas for Walleye and other 2 finfish species as the percentage of Walleye in the total catch has increased in the past 4 decades.

Options

There is a need to develop separate quotas for each of the RAH species; there is a need to develop reference point indicators to provide timely advice on increasing or decreasing quotas for individual species. There is a need to conduct regular monitoring of stocks and strengthen decision-making process for RAH species; Lake Winnipeg Task Force recommends that the current quota of 6.52 million kg for walleye, sauger and lake whitefish should be split into three separate quotas “in a ratio of 19% for sauger (1.24 million kg), 56% for walleye (3.65 million kg) and 25% for lake whitefish (1.63 million kg)” for future years (LWTF 2011). There is a need to conduct a new survey to evaluate harvest of fish by First Nations communities to assist future stock assessments.

There is a need to develop separate quotas for each of the RAH species; there is a need to develop reference point indicators to provide timely advice on increasing or decreasing quotas for individual species. There is a need to conduct regular monitoring of stocks and strengthen decision-making process for RAH species; Lake Winnipeg Task Force recommends that the current quota of 6.52 million kg for walleye, sauger and lake whitefish should be split into three separate quotas “in a ratio of 19% for sauger (1.24 million kg), 56% for walleye (3.65 million kg) and 25% for lake whitefish (1.63 million kg)” for future years (LWTF 2011). There is a need to conduct a new survey to evaluate harvest of fish by First Nations communities to assist future stock assessments.

FISHSOURCE SCORES

Management Quality:

Management Strategy:

≥ 6

Managers Compliance:

≥ 6

Fishers Compliance:

≥ 6

Stock Health:

Current
Health:

≥ 6

Future Health:

≥ 8


FIPS

No related FIPs

CERTIFICATIONS

No related MSC fisheries

Fisheries

Within FishSource, the term "fishery" is used to indicate each unique combination of a flag country with a fishing gear, operating within a particular management unit, upon a resource. That resource may have a known biological stock structure and/or may be assessed at another level for practical or jurisdictional reasons. A fishery is the finest scale of resolution captured in FishSource profiles, as it is generally the scale at which sustainability can most fairly and practically be evaluated.

ASSESSMENT UNIT MANAGEMENT UNIT FLAG COUNTRY FISHING GEAR
Lake Winnipeg Canada, Lake Winnipeg Canada Gillnets and entangling nets
Traps

Analysis

OVERVIEW

Last updated on 24 December 2012

Strengths

The Walleye fishery is well regulated for commercial and recreational fishers in Lake Winnipeg. Walleye catches are regulated through possession limits, gillnet mesh size restrictions, quotas and fishery permits. The three major commercial fish species incl. walleye have been well managed under the quota system for the past 40 years.

Weaknesses

Historical CPUE of all three major commercial fish have to be re-evaluated and there is a need to conduct a robust stock assessment for walleye and other commercial fish species. Currently, there is a combined quota of Recommended Allowable Harvest (RAH) of 6.52 million kg for 3 commercial species). But, there is a need to stipulate Individual harvest quotas for Walleye and other 2 finfish species as the percentage of Walleye in the total catch has increased in the past 4 decades.

Options

There is a need to develop separate quotas for each of the RAH species; there is a need to develop reference point indicators to provide timely advice on increasing or decreasing quotas for individual species. There is a need to conduct regular monitoring of stocks and strengthen decision-making process for RAH species; Lake Winnipeg Task Force recommends that the current quota of 6.52 million kg for walleye, sauger and lake whitefish should be split into three separate quotas “in a ratio of 19% for sauger (1.24 million kg), 56% for walleye (3.65 million kg) and 25% for lake whitefish (1.63 million kg)” for future years (LWTF 2011). There is a need to conduct a new survey to evaluate harvest of fish by First Nations communities to assist future stock assessments.

Canada, Lake Winnipeg
Canada
Gillnets and entangling nets

Last updated on 24 December 2012

There is a need to develop separate quotas for each of the RAH species; there is a need to develop reference point indicators to provide timely advice on increasing or decreasing quotas for individual species. There is a need to conduct regular monitoring of stocks and strengthen decision-making process for RAH species; Lake Winnipeg Task Force recommends that the current quota of 6.52 million kg for walleye, sauger and lake whitefish should be split into three separate quotas “in a ratio of 19% for sauger (1.24 million kg), 56% for walleye (3.65 million kg) and 25% for lake whitefish (1.63 million kg)” for future years (LWTF 2011). There is a need to conduct a new survey to evaluate harvest of fish by First Nations communities to assist future stock assessments.

1.STOCK STATUS

STOCK ASSESSMENT

Last updated on 24 December 2012

Due to significant uncertainty in fishery data for Lake Winnipeg; absence of complete estimates of fishery effort, MSY or other biological reference points cannot be calculated for the Walleye stock. Catch rates are at an all-time high and index-net series suggest that Walleye stock are healthy. Recent stock assessments have suggested that abundance in recent years is due to success of single age class in 2001 (LWTF 2011).

“Data on domestic or subsistence harvests of fish from Lake Winnipeg are generally unavailable, and there are no estimates of the harvests of the three quota species. Recreational harvests are similarly under-studied; only in the most recent national survey was there an attempt to determine walleye recreational harvest rates from Lake Winnipeg” (DFO 2007 in LWTF 2011).

Although there is an absence of reference points to estiamte hte health of Lake Winnipeg;s fish stocks, MFB has used the following three stock -monitoring criteria to calculate RAHs for the three finfish species: “Presence of 3 year classes at >15% each; Stable or increasing mean age; and Mean age of maturity < mean age of the catch” (LWTF 2011).

SCIENTIFIC ADVICE

Last updated on 21 February 2011

The Lake Winnipeg Task Force gave the following recommendations on state of fish stocks in Lake Winnipeg:
“The Task Force has reached three major conclusions as a result of its work:
1. The available fisheries information and analysis from sources consulted are inadequate to determine absolute estimates of current or past biological productivity for Lake Winnipeg, and the proper application of standard stock
assessment methods based on biomass or indices is not possible with the data at hand.
2. Because of the lack of data, the Task Force is unable to recommend either increases or decreases in a total Recommended Allowable Harvest (RAH) of 6.52 million kg for the Lake.
3. The uncertainty and lack of adequate information needed to make informed decisions about possible changes in RAHs will continue unless there are changes made to data collection by the MFB, FFMC, and fishers, and additional research is done to enhance our understanding of the fishery, the fish and the broader ecosystem” (LWTF 2011).

Reference Points

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

Reference points have not been precisely estimated for walleye stocks in Lake Winnipeg (LWTF 2011).

CURRENT STATUS

Last updated on 24 December 2012

Current estimates from creel and angler surveys have revealed that current biomass levels of Walleye are at a historical high and current fishing effort suggests that the stock is not overfished and overfishing is not occurring (LWTF 2011).

Trends

Last updated on 24 Dec 2012

Catches have documented since 1883 in Lake Winnipeg, with subsistence or non commercial harvest conducted in 1800s and most of part of early 1900s for the use as food for sled dogs. Subsistence harvesters caught around 342 tonnes of fish from Lake Winnipeg each year for the 1887-1909 time period (Heuring 1993; Franzin et al., 2003).

The percentage contribution of walleye has increased from 33% in 1940s to 40% by 1990s and 68% by 2000s, alluding to increase in biomass and corresponding increasing in its quota within the three Recommended Allowable Harvest (RAH) finfish species.

2.MANAGEMENT QUALITY

MANAGEMENT

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Recreational fishing license is required for angling, dip netting, spear fishing, bow fishing and seining (Manitoba Fisheries 2012).

1. Persons holding Conservation license have a reduced license limit of 4 walleye / person.
2. In Manitoba all anglers are required to use barbless hooks.
3. Persons of Status Indians and First nations are required to have a license to fish in Lake;s waters, and are exempt from angling and gear restrictions when fishing for food or subsistence purposes.
4. Commercial anglers may use one rod and line only, with the exception of ice fishing season when two rods or lines may be used.
5. Conservation license – Walleye possession limit of 4 (only one fish may exceed 55 cm); minimum length 71 cm (28 inches).
6. Regular license – Walleye possession limit of 6 (only one fish may exceed 55 cm).
&. Gillnet Mesh-size restrictions: Fishing communities in South Basin and channel fisheries can use nets upto 3 inches throughout the year; North Basin Inshore areas referred as “pickerel pockets” cannot use nets smaller than 3¾ inches in the fall and summer, and nets smaller than 4¼ inches in winter. White fish fleet can only fish in central part of North Basin using mesh nets of 4¼ inch or larger in size.
7. Seasonal opening and closure of the fishery.

In the Commercial fishery, catches of walleye are regulated through use of quotas, mesh size limitations for gillnets, in-season restrictions, and regulations limiting number of licensed fishermen.

Recovery Plans

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

None are envisaged under the current management plan as Walleye stock is healthy and current fishing effort poses minimal risk to the stock. The Walleye stock is managed through quotas in Lake Winnipeg.

COMPLIANCE

Last updated on 24 December 2012

Data from Manitoba Ministry of Water Stewardship suggests that compliance is relatively good for recreational and commercial fisheries in Lake Winnipeg.

3.ENVIRONMENT AND BIODIVERSITY

BYCATCH
ETP Species

Last updated on 21 February 2011

There are no reported interactions of fishing gear with protected, threatened or endangered species in Lake Winnipeg commercial or recreational fisheries.

Other Species

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Most of the by-catch finfish species caught in the fishery is retained for consumption or released alive when non-edible species are caught in this fishery. A detailed list of species caught in Lake Winnipeg commercial and recreational fisheries is given in (Franzin et al., 2003).

HABITAT

Last updated on 21 February 2011

Gillnets and Traps used in this fishery have very low to nominal impact on fishing habitats. Lost fishing gear can traps can cause ghost fishing and such impacts have to be quantified in Lake Winnipeg’s fisheries.

Marine Reserves

Last updated on 21 Feb 2011

There are no reported freshwater protected areas in Lake Winnipeg, but some areas are off limits to commercial and recreational fishers during some periods of the year.

FishSource Scores

MANAGEMENT QUALITY

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

There are specific management plans in place and managers make use of real-time monitoring for deploying in-year management measures, taking into account the spatial distribution of the resource or sensitive habitats that may require temporary closures.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Most of the key recommendations made by the scientific organization responsible for managing the fisheries are being taken into account by the management bodies via tangibly implemented conservation measures.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Total estimated catch, including estimates for non-reported landings, are below an advised TAC issued by the scientific body managing the stock.

STOCK HEALTH:

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 6.

Biomass estimates or relative abundance indices from scientific surveys indicate that current status is at or above historical average or median statistics.

As calculated for 2012 data.

The score is ≥ 8.

The stock is recognizably being harvested at levels that would sustain long-term catch and assure long-term continued supply from the stock.

No data available for biomass
No data available for biomass
No data available for catch and tac
No data available for catch and tac
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for fishing mortality
No data available for recruitment
No data available for recruitment
To see data for management quality, please view this site on a desktop.
To see data for stock status, please view this site on a desktop.

Download Source Data

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Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs)

No related FIPs

Certifications

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)

No related MSC certifications

Sources

Credits
DFO (Fisheries and Oceans Canada). 2007. Survey of recreational fishing in Canada 2005. Economic and commercial analysis and statistics. DFO, Ottawa, Ontario. 56 p.
Heuring, L. 1993. A historical assessment of the commercial and subsistence fish harvests of Lake Winnipeg. Master of Resource Management Practicum, University of Manitoba, 103 p.
Manitoba Fisheries. 2012. Manitoba Anglers’ Guide 2012, 13 pages.
Manitoba Water Stewardship. 2011. State of Lake Winnipeg: 1999 to 2007 Highlights, Manitoba Water Stewardship, 24 pages.
Stewart, K.W., Watkinson, D.A. 2004. The freshwater fishes of Manitoba. University of Manitoba Press, Winnipeg, Manitoba. 276 p.
  1. Franzin, W.G., K.W. Stewart, G.F. Hanke and L. Heuring. 2003. The fish and fisheries of Lake Winnipeg: the first 100 years. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 2398: v + 53p.http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Library/271094.pdf
  2. LWTF. 2011. Technical Assessment of the Status, Health and Sustainable Harvest Levels of the Lake Winnipeg Fisheries Resource, Lake Winnipeg Quota Review Task Force, January 11, 2011, 196 pages.http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/fisheries/commercial/pdf/lwtf2011.pdf
  3. Manitoba Water Stewardship. 2010. Manitoba Water Stewardship – Fisheries.http://www.gov.mb.ca/waterstewardship/fisheries

Appended content

References

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