Fish Tagging in Riding Mountain National Park

Riding Mountain National Park


Parks Canada logo intro

Creek shot with down pan

Pan shot downwars into the creek

Fish underwater shot. Animated title sequence: Seven Steps to Tagging Suckers at Bogey Creek - Riding Mountain National Park

Animated title sequence: Riding Mountain National Park works closely with the Clear Lake Golf Course to improve access to spawning habitat for white suckers

Animated title squence: The goal of tagging suckers is to monitor spawning activity in Bogey Creek

Animated title squence: Step 1: Net the fish

Parks employee netting fish in Bogey Creek

Animated title sequence: Step 2: Tag each fish with an identification number.

Medium Shot: Parks employee tagging a fish, while a second employee puts a fish in the holding tank

Close-up: Parks employee checking the tag

Aninated title squence: Step 3: Measure the fish.

Medium Shot: Parks employee measures the fish

Close-up: Parks employee measuring fish tail

Animated title sequence: Step 4: Determine the gender

Medium shot: Parks emplyee checking gender of fish by running hand over the suckers belly.

Animated title squence: Females are bigger and release eggs when you run your hand over them.

Close-up shot: Parks employee running hands over the fish belly.

Animated title squence: Step 5: Collect scales to determine age.

Close-up Shot: Parks employee removing scales from the back of a sucker.

Animated title squence: Step 6: Weigh fish

Medium Shot: Parks employee placing fish into scale

Close-up: Fish inside the scale

Medium Shot: Parks employees checking the weight

Close-up Shot: Parks employee holding white sucker

Animated title squence: Step 7: Release fish back into the creek.

Medium Shot: Parks employee releasing fish back into the creek.

Close-up Shot: fish swimming in the creek, pan up to the bank of the creek

Animated title squence:Through stream restoration efforts white suckers now have access to an additional 1.3 km of spawning habitat in Bogey Creek.

Animated title squence: Fish tagging helps Parks Canada measure the success of the Bogey Creek Project.

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Her Magesty the Queen in Right of Canda, Represented by Parks Canada, 2017.

Government of Canada symbol

Why we tag fish in Bogey Creek:

Riding Mountain National Park staff tag white suckers as part of a larger project with the Clear Lake Golf Course. The aim of this cooperative effort is to help maintain and improve spawning habitat for white suckers and to restore the streams running into Clear Lake.

Why suckers?

Suckers are a bit underrated, however, we think they are great! These fish are an important forage species and are a favourite food item for other predators such as northern pike and walleye. 

They are also great nutrient cyclers as they feed on minnows (dead or alive), aquatic invertebrates, fish eggs, or anything else they can find on the bottom of the lake.

What are we doing?

We are participating in a recapture study that assesses how many suckers use Bogey Creek for spawning each year. By tagging them, we can gain information to see if our stream restoration project is helping the fish.

Weighing and measuring the fish provides a better understanding of their overall health and helps determine if something in their habitat may be causing them stress. 

Collecting the scales helps to identify the age of the fish and further understand the demographics of the spawning population. Determining at what age individuals become mature and how long they live for can be another important indicator of overall stream and lake health.

 has helped us understand the spawning habitats of these fish and learn that white suckers do not always spawn in the same waterways, making stream connectivity important. Since 2011, we have tagged 976 white suckers with small floy tags, and successfully re-captured 24 fish in two different streams. 

By removing human obstructions and roadblocks, Riding Mountain National Park and the Clear Lake golf course have restored access to an additional 1.3 km of spawning habitat for white suckers in Bogey Creek, and improved water connectivity into Clear Lake.

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