ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Biology of the Three Morphotypes of Arctic Char in the Nettilling Lake System: Developing Sustainable Commercial and Subsistence Fisheries in Nunavut's Two Largest Lakes

Project Leader(s)

Fisk, Aaron

In 2013, a previously unknown arctic char migration was discovered on the Amadjuak River, which flows from Amadjuak Lake into Nettilling Lake to the North. Nettilling Lake is the biggest lake in the Eastern Arctic and is the sixth largest lake in Canada and has both sea-run and resident char within its waters. The subpopulation of sea run char is estimated to be the largest in Nunavut; no estimates of the resident char population have ever been made. Nettilling Lake also has the largest commercial quota in Nunavut, none of which is being harvested due to a lack of economic viability. The discovery that substantial numbers of char migrate south enriches our knowledge of this ecosystem, and raises the possibility that a viable winter fishery could be established. This project will gather biological samples, and tag and monitor the char in the river in the summer, and in the winter will explore the many small frozen lakes along the southern shore of Amadjuak Lake to look for and tag char at their furthest point of migration. The results from this project will inform future efforts to understand and sustainably manage the Amadjuak and Nettilling Lake winter fisheries. Contributes to IRIS: 2