Sustainable Yield Exploration for a Commercially & Recreationally Important Northern Fish Species, Lake Trout (Salvelinus namaycush), Through Data-Limited Modeling



H. Chymy – University of Manitoba & Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
M.Y. Janjua – Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada
K. Howland – Freshwater Institute, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Winnipeg, MB, Canada


Identification of stock reference points, which are valuable to management, is frequently complicated by a lack of adequate data. Models are helpful in providing a conceptual foundation to evaluate data and determine optimal management options from reference point estimates. Certain types of catch-based surplus production models are now being utilized with data-limited fisheries given their less stringent data requirements (primarily time-series catch data) for estimating model outputs. Although Lake Trout are an important component of the largest commercial freshwater fishery in the north, Great Slave Lake (GSL), N.W.T, there has been minimal research attention and monitoring of harvested populations. The main objective of this study is to identify the most appropriate model for the fishery through a comprehensive review of data availability for the fishery and comparative analysis of available data-limited models. This will allow for estimation of abundance and maximum sustainable yield (MSY) (a valuable management reference point used to identify the maximum annual harvest that can safely be removed from the population) for the first time for this fishery through proper application of model-based stock assessment methods; this being an important step in provision of sound advice for sustainable management of this sensitive species.

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