Terms of Reference

Regional Advisory Meeting

Tathlina Lake Walleye

February 16, 2010

Hay River, Northwest Territories*

Chairperson: Michael Papst

Background

The commercial fishery for walleye (Sander vitreus) on Tathlina Lake, NT, has been closed since 2000 after a decline in catch-effort. Commercial fishing of Tathlina Lake walleye began in 1953 and has subsequently demonstrated multiple periods of sustained yields followed by poor harvest in the 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Various quotas have been established for the commercial fishery but have not been sustainable. Since the closure of the fishery in 2000, there has been periodic scientific experimental gill netting between 2001 and 2007 in order to collect biological and catch-effort information of walleye. The walleye from Tathlina Lake were last assessed by Roberge et al. (1988) using information collected from experimental sampling in 1979 and commercial plant sampling between 1975 and 1986. Tathlina Lake is also quite shallow (1 meter in depth on average) and therefore may be more susceptible to environmental changes in water level, ice thickness, dissolved oxygen levels,  temperature, etc.

Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Sector of Fisheries and Oceans Canada has requested science advice on the current status of the stock, recommendations on a total sustainable harvest level for 2010/11, and the development of a long-term monitoring plan for the fishery.

Objectives

The following objectives will be addressed:

  • Assess and report on the current status of the Tathlina Lake walleye stock including a review of any new information;
  • Highlight major sources of uncertainty in the assessment, and where appropriate, consider alternative analytical formulations of the assessment;
  • Provide a total sustainable harvest level recommendation for the 2010/11 fishery (i.e. the total sustainable level of harvest from all sources).
  • Develop a plan to assess the long-term sustainability of the commercial fishery (i.e. identify the information needs, timeframes, etc. including environmental monitoring protocols relevant to the sustainability of the fishery).

Products

The meeting will generate a proceedings report summarizing the deliberations of the participants. This will be published in the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat (CSAS) Proceedings Series. There will be a CSAS Research Document produced in relation to the working papers presented and reviewed at the meeting. The advice from the meeting will be published as a Science Advisory Report.

Invited Participants

Members of the community of Kakisa, DFO Science and Fisheries Management, and external experts.

References

Roberge, M.M, Low, G. and Read, C.J. 1988. An assessment of the commercial fishery and population structure of Walleye in Tathlina Lake, Northwest Territories. Can. Tech. Rep. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 1594. v + 54 p.

*Location updated June 4, 2012