728 x 90

SVSFE Continues Seasonal Work


With the changing of the seasons, Swan Valley Sport Fishing Enhancement (SVSFE) took the time to reflect on a successful 2017, and a look forward to the ambitious 2018 plans laid before them.
“In 2017, we stocked Char in Glad Lake and reintroduced Musky to the ‘Ducks’,” said SVSFE Project Manager and Fisheries Technician Holly Urban.
“We also made improvements to the winter trail at Armit Lake, and the fish habitat at the Wellman Lake Reef.
“To round out the year, we held another Fish Camp, and installed fishing docks at Marge Lake and Deep Lake,” continued Urban.
SVSFE also partnered with Swan Valley RISE on a trails project, funded through Partners 4 Growth, to collect information on trails in the Valley. They expect to release that information soon.
“Technicians will be assisting Swan Lake Watershed Conservation District with operations of the newly installed water control structure at the Honoway Fishway,” said Urban.
And as the spring approaches, SVSFE is preparing for their 32nd annual banquet with a few new changes for the popular event.
“We are really grateful for the ongoing community support for our group over the last 30 years,” said Urban.
Looking forward to 2018 projects, SVSFE is incredibly motivated as they have a number of projects to complete.
“We plan to take lake inventory assessments of four lakes and investigate one lake for possible sport fish introductions,” said SVSFE Fisheries Technician Brock Koutecky.
“Ongoing depth mapping and beaver dam maintenance will again be on the docket.”
In terms of trout and walleye programs, maintenance programs for both fish are ongoing, along with investigations of streams and lakes, and transferring and stocking fish in needed locations.
“We will also continue our muskellunge introduction in the Duck Mountains,” said Koutecky.
SVSFE will also be continuing to work with provincial groups and government officials to help in the early detection of the invasive zebra mussels.
Due to the large number of anglers in the region, SVSFE will be tackling some projects to improve their experiences.
“We have voluntary online surveys we use to gauge a variety of aspects, and prizes can be won by submitters,” said Urban.
“We also installed angling docks, including one at Black Beaver Lake over the winter, and will be installing one at Verrall Lake in summer.”
SVSFE is also in the planning phases of making improvements to some select filleting shacks in both the Duck and Porcupine Mountains.
Along with the many physical projects, SVSFE also values education, as it plays an important role in their mandate.
“We are hoping to hire two summer students this year, as well as provide funding for an annual high school bursary,” said Koutecky. “We have also supported the Envirothon teams with a donation towards their Churchill trip.”
A few schools will be rasing fingerling trout in their classrooms, and SVSFE hopes to assist these schools with field trips a little later this season.
“We also have our annual Family Fishing Day, and the popular Fish Camp, both of which expose families and young children to the sport of fishing, while learning from experienced anglers,” concluded Koutecky.
For a full summary of their projects visit starandtimes.ca and locate this story.
And, to keep up with all that SVSFE is doing, follow them on Facebook or visit them at

Highlights from 2017

  • Char stocking in Glad Lake
  • Re-introduction of Musky to the “Ducks”
  • Fish Habitat Enhancement to the Wellman Lake Reef
  • Improvements to the Winter Trail into Armit Lake
  • 2017 Fish Camp
  • Fishing Dock Installations – To Marge Lake (Ducks), and Deep Lake (Porcs)

What’s new for 2018? SVSFE Upcoming Projects

As always, SVSFE is constantly building partnerships to do meaningful work. Recently partnered with Swan Valley RISE on a Trails Project (funded through Partners 4 Growth) to collect information on various trails in the area. From hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, etc., the idea was to gather info and supply the trail data to public through various media. This information should be available soon!

Technicians will be assisting SLWCD with operations of the newly installed water control structure at the Honoway Fishway. The control structure was installed to facilitate fish passage during critical spring spawning migrations on the Swan River.

Our 32nd Annual Banquet is approaching fast. This year we are shaking it up a bit. We have decided to open the doors up at 5pm for a cocktail hour. Our intentions are to give people more time to get in the doors, enjoy cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and activities prior to supper. This is a great event and the community has really supported our group over the last 30+ years! The Boat Raffle tickets are out now too!

Fisheries Field Work – SVSFE was successful in sourcing government funding again this year through the Fisheries and Wildlife Enhancement Fund. Money from this fund has financed numerous projects in the area since 2009 for the enhancement of our recreational fisheries. (Nearly one million dollars has been granted to SVSFE from this fund). As usual, our projects host a variety of assessments and initiatives within a short field season. Plans for 2018 include:

  1. Trout Maintenance Programs – Glad Lake, East Blue Lake
    1. Removing non-trout species from select lakes to increase future trout stocking success – These are both a continuation of multi-year projects.  
  2. Lake Inventory Assessments – Childs Lake, Whitefish Lake, East Angling Lake, Marge Lake
    1. Scientific programs designed to assess current status and suggest future management objectives of select angling lakes.  
  3. Lake Investigations – Piasta Lake
    1. The determine lake suitability for possible sport fish introductions
  4. Depth Mapping
    1. Depth mapping numerous backcountry lakes in both Duck Mountains and Porcupine Provincial Forest. Maps created from this information are available on our website
  5. Beaver Dam Maintenance – Annual Program
    1. Removal of fish barriers along North Creek and Lagoon Creek at Whitefish Lake to increase fish movement, creek utilization, and overall recruitment success in the only naturally sustained walleye fishery in the Swan Valley area.
  6. Trout Stream Investigations – Roaring River, and Pine River (Both within Duck Mountains)
    1. To evaluate fish habitat and trout stocking/recruitment success on select trout rivers
  7. Walleye Recruitment Studies – Wellman Lake –
    1.  To evaluate natural recruitment vs stocking success. This will in turn help develop more effective walleye stocking strategies. In addition, SVSFE will be monitoring the success of the recent reef enhancement from 2017.
  8. Beautiful Lake Walleye Transfer – Annual Project
    1. Transferring walleye from Beautiful Lake to other lakes in the Duck Mountain Provincial Park and Beyond.
  9. Trout and Walleye Stocking  - Annual Program
    1.  Assist Sustainable Development with trout and walleye stocking
  10. Muskellunge Stocking
    1.  To continue with our muskellunge introduction program to a Lake in the Duck Mountain Provincial Forest.
  11. SVSFE Angler Survey’s – Annual Program
    1. Voluntary online angling surveys that SVSFE uses to gauge a variety of sport fishing aspects – We provide a draw system where prizes can be won by submitters annually.
  12. SVSFE Early Zebra Mussel Detection Program – Annual Program
    1. SVSFE is working with provincial groups and government officials to help in the early detection invasive species (Zebra Mussels). Reminder – Clean, Drain, and Dry your watercraft. 

Improving Angling Experiences –

  1. Angling Dock Installations – most recent - Black Beaver Lake, and Verrall Lake
    1. SVSFE is always striving to enhance angler’s experiences. One way is by improving access. There are many angling docks available supplied by SVSFE, the latest locations include, Deep Lake, Beaver Lake, Perch Lake, Marge Lake, West Blue Lake, Spray Lake, Marge Lake and this summer – Verrall Lake. This winter a dock was transported into Black Beaver Lake dock with the construction funded by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
  2. Improvements to Filleting Shacks – this is still in the planning phases, but the group has discussed purchasing and installing solar lights for a selected few filleting shacks in the Duck and Porcupine Mountains.  


Education always plays an important role in SVSFE mandate.

  1. Summer Students – Pending Funding Approval – SVSFE hopes to hire two summer students for the months of July and August. Funding applied through the Service Canada Summer Jobs Grant.  
  2. High School Bursary – Provide funding for Annual Student Bursary
  3. Envirothon Donation –  Supported Envirothon Teams with a donation towards their trip to Churchill this year.
  4. Trout in the Classroom – Annual Program – This year a few schools are participating in raising trout in their classrooms. The students care for fingerling trout throughout the school year and are later released into local trout waterbodies. SVSFE hopes to assist schools with possible field trips come spring.
  5. Family Fishing Day – Annual Program - SVSFE, and The Swan River Elks put on Family Fishing Day where families can come out for a free lunch, and win a variety of prizes via an afternoon of fishing facilitated by local community groups.  
  6. Fish Camp – This is a great opportunity to get children exposed to nature and the sport of fishing. These young anglers learn the essentials of outdoor survival and have the chance to learn from some experienced anglers. Scheduled for August 2018 at Wellman Lake United Church Camp. Follow us on Facebook to find out when camp registration opens.