It’s been nine years since anyone registered a Master Angler Arctic Char coming out of Glad Lake, but one of Manitoba’s premier non-profit angling organizations is hoping to change that, with a little help from the MLOA’s Hunter and Angler Preservation Fund.
Swan Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement Inc., which is commonly cited as a cutting-edge and forward-thinking organization when it comes to the future of fisheries management in this province, received a $4,800 grant from the HAPF in 2015 to purchase Arctic Char eggs from a hatchery in Yukon in order to stock Glad Lake.
Located in Duck Mountain Provincial Park (and in close proximity to a couple of our member lodges!), Glad Lake consistently produced Master Angler char from 1990 until about 1998, thanks to a previous stocking effort, but the catches dropped off significantly in the new millennium and dried up altogether after 2007. Now SVSFE is hoping to bring them back.
“They did quite well there in the ‘90s,” said Holly Urban, project manager with SVSFE. “It’s kind of a unique species to offer anglers in our area. We are always trying to create unique opportunities for angling.”
Although the eggs arrived in November and have now hatched, the little fellas will remain in the friendly confines of the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery until 2017, to give them time to grow before being released into Glad Lake. Urban said that partnership with the provincial fisheries branch is critical to the anticipated success of the project.
To help make the environment more hospitable for the char, SVSFE performed a pike removal at Glad last summer. They will do the same this year, as well as every few years in the future. “We’re not trying to eradicate pike, just get some of them out,” Urban said. “It’s to give them a head start and to try to maintain it as a char fishery.”
Currently only one other lake, in the nearby Porcupine Mountains, offers fishing for char, and it’s generally winter-access only. Here’s hoping the Glad Lake char like their new home!