Skip To Content

Gordon Lake

View Larger Map


Wood Buffalo AB

Aquatic biophysical inventory of major tributaries in the AOSERP study area. Volume 1: Summary report

Year: 1980

This report summarizes and compares the physical charac- teristics of nine streams within five watersheds (Firebag, Muskeg, Steepbank, MacKay, and Ells) in the AOSERP study area. The distri- butions and relative abundances of fish in each stream and watershed are also described and related to the physical characteristics that tend to promote or limit sport fish production. The system of reach classification and biophysical measurements developed by Chamberlin and Humphries (1977) was used throughout the present study. The detailed results of this study are presented in the accompanying atlas that forms Volume II of this report (Walder et al. 1980). From 16 to 24 species of fish were found in each watershed. Forage fish (lake chub, pearl dace, longnose dace, trout-perch, brook stickleback, slimy sculpin) and white and longnose suckers were the most abundant fish in every stream or river studied. The most important and widespread sport fish present were (in order of decreasing abundance) arctic grayling, northern pike, and walleye. Other species of sport fish (burbot, lake whitefish, mountain whitefish, yellow perch, Dolly Varden, and goldeye) were found in small numbers, and were almost always confined to the lower reaches of the rivers in proximity to the Athabasca River. A good correlation was found between physical characteristics of streams and the distributions and abundances of fish. Present information suggests that the following general ratings for sport fish potential can be applied to the five water- sheds that were studied: Firebag River watershed, excellent; Muskeg River watershed, poor to moderate; Steepbank River, moderate; MacKay River watershed, poor to p.ossibly moderate; and Ells River, excellent. These ratings are based only-on comparisons among the studied watersheds; they do not consider productivity of other water-or beyond the boundaries of the AOSERP study area.

Species distribution and habitat relationships of waterfowl in northeastern Alberta

Author(s): Hennan, E., & Munson B.

Year: 1979

The objective of the waterfowl segment of the AOSERP/Avifauna program consisted of determining waterfowl species abundance and diversity and habitat associations. During waterfowl aerial surveys the length of wetland edge surveyed in 1976 ranged from 373 to 453 km on 65± wetlands. Spring-staging totals for two surveys for this year were 1000 and 3600 ducks. Breeding-pair totals for three surveys ranged from 540 to 870. Two brood surveys revealed 225 and 463 broods; 3590 and 9318 moulting ducks were counted coincidentally. Five fall-staging surveys revealed a total of from 11 000 to 24 000 ducks. Aerial surveys conducted in 1977 were reduced in number and scope with less than half the number of wetlands surveyed in six surveys. Oil sands wetlands were more heavily utilized by diving than dabbling ducks. Analysis of variance for edge type/habitat next-to-edge combinations for diving and dabbling ducks revealed significant associations for both groups of ducks for breeding pairs: dabblers preferred emergent vegetation edge combined with a shrub habitat next-to-edge. Divers preferred, with decreasing preference: emergent vegetation/shrub, wet meadow/coniferous forest, emergent vegetation/wet meadow, and emergent vegetation/mixed forest. Analysis of spring-staging flocks of both dabblers and divers revealed some preferred habitat associations but those did not prove significant. Brood and moulter data showed no significant habitat relationships. Fall-staging divers exhibited significant relationships preferring: open water, shrub/shrub, flooded trees/mixed forest, emergent vegetation/shrub, and shrub/mixed forest. Fall-staging dabblers exhibited habitat preferences but these were not significant. The preferred wetlands types, in descending order, were: lakes with shallow-marsh aquatics, lakes with deep-marsh aquatics, open lakes, creeks, and rivers. The significance of individual wetlands in terms of duck numbers and densities varied throughout the season. However, certain wetlands appeared consistently important: Little McClelland Lake, West Muskeg Lake, Wood Slough, Gordon Lake, Saline Lake, and Algar Lake.