Happy spring. I hope you’re enjoying the weather and making plans to spend some time on the water soon (either on Stoney Lake or elsewhere).
I have lots of updates but I’m going to just focus on a few things for this first post of the season and save the rest for later.
This winter, we received more generous support from the Szego and Ingleton families for the project, primarily to fund the purchase of acoustic transmitters to put into fish. Their generosity means the project will continue to grow this year as we had hoped.
We also received a donation from the Kawartha Lakes Chapter of Muskies Canada, and a small research grant from Muskies Canada. Those funds have been used to purchase transmitters to put into muskies, which was always our hope with this project. Muskies Canada has a strong history of supporting research. Fun fact: muskie anglers rarely harvest any of their fish (the release rates are ~100%), and the fish that are released have very high survival if best practices for angling are used (source).
In the end, because of the donations above, and because of further support from our DFO partner (Dr. Jake Brownscombe) and other grants I hold at Trent, we have 173 transmitters in hand for 2023. The plan is to allocate those tags for: walleye (60), smallmouth bass (44), muskellunge (20), yellow perch (24), and black crappie (25). We’ve already tagged 19 walleye this year (41 to go). Muskies (‘the fish of 10,000 casts’) will be a particular challenge, but we’re hoping our friends in the Kawartha Lakes Chapter of Muskies Canada will help a bit on that front.
To that end, we’ll be on the lake over the next couple weeks trying to capture and tag as many fish as possible before the water gets too warm (we tend to avoid doing surgeries on fish at about 21°C or higher). If you or anyone you know is going to be on the water fishing and would like to help catch fish for the project (especially on weekdays), get in touch with me. email@example.com