*NOTE: Due to the illegal stocking of perch and pike, Hasse Lake was taken off the list of stocked trout lakes in Alberta. After suffering a sever winterkill in 2010 ESRD has decided to stock the lake with there own perch and pike instead of reverting back to a trout fishery.
Hasse has a good mixture of shallow and deep water but because of the low water level, launching a boat from the launch is next to impossible. If you're using a float tube, try using the beach. Lots of weed growth here making for good insect activity but three spine stickle back minnows were illegally introduced here years ago. Most trout over 13 inches will taste muddy from this lake. There was word of a complete winterkill at Hasse for the 2011 season but Pike & Perch do remain in the lake. In July 2011, Alberta Health Services advised the public to stay away from Hasse due to water tests that showed higher than usual levels of fecal coliforms, which are intestinal bacteria particles. This advisory was lifted before autum.
Directions: Follow the Whitemud Freeway west, the road ends at Hasse or follow Hwy 16A west about 5km past the town of Stony Plain then head south at the sign and follow sign directions. If you get as far as the Mohawk (located on the east side of 16A) then you've gone just a little too far.
Star Lake is my favorite Edmonton fishery. Star is consistently producing some large trout but don't expect high catch rates here as the trout are very fickle and feeding can turn on and off like a light switch with the switch being turned off more than on. Star lake reminds me of
Directions: From Edmonton take Hwy 16 west to Hwy 770 then 7km south and 3km west on Township Rd 524 (the road ends at Star, look for the sign).
aka: Cottage Lake
aka: Edmonton Beach
Boats are allowed here, pretty much any size within reason and gas or electric motors are fine with a 12km/h restriction. There is a private boat launch at
the lake is un-fish-able at times because of massive weed growth. I've also heard that there is some type of bacteria in the lake that makes the fish taste muddy, keeping any trout under 13 inches should taste ok though. (I practice C & R so that last complaint doesn't really bother me). I also think that this lake should be electric motors only but because of how resorty it is I doubt that will happen in the near future. *NOTE: As of 2007,
The lake is now stocked every spring with rainbow trout which started in May of 2003 thanks to the efforts of the Edmonton Trout Club, the Northern Lights Fly Tiers, the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club and Trout Unlimited Edmonton.
This project includes an enhanced fishery and with the help of two aerators, anglers will have a chance at larger then average trout. Also found at Muir Lake is the education center to teach anglers how trout fisheries rely on various organisms that live in and around the water. Other enhancements to look forward to are; the Walk Of Fame, honoring those who have enriched angling in Alberta and eventually a fly-casting platform.
Muir has in affect special regulations for anglers, which include:
Initially, the growth rates at Muir were lower then expected, we assume because of the lack of harvesting. The stocking in 2006 and 2007 was much lower leaving more bio-mass for the trout to grow. In 2007 we started seeing larger trout with some getting over the size limit mark of 50cm's.
The only negative feed back other then slow growth from the trout is the amount of weed growth. By the time August comes around, it's hard to get to the east side of the lake in a float tube due to the high growth in weeds. We talked about cutting the weeds back but no action had been agreed upon.
Directions: From Edmonton travel west on the Yellowhead (hwy 16) and turn north on Campsite Road then head west on 540. Turn south (left) just before the road bends north. From Stony Plain, head north on secondary highway 779 then east on 540. At the T-intersection, turn south (right) and take your first right (south) into the parking lot.
NOTE: Muir Lake was stocked with 5,000 17cm triploid rainbow trout in May of '08. As of the fall of 2009, water levels at Muir were exceptionally low and although we saw plenty of rain for 2010, reports came in of a partial summer kill. Sept/Oct of 2010 saw Muir fishing well but few trout over 22 inches had been reported. The 2012 season saw a lot of larger trout from 20-26" as well as high catch rates of trout in the 12-14" range. Few reports however have come in of trout being caught in the 15-18" range. Water levels have come back up for 2012 and the weeds did not flourish as we've seen in past years. Muir was stocked with 5,700, 24cm, triploid rainbows in May of 2012.
In 2002, the Edmonton Trout Club, the Northern Lights Fly Tyers & Fishers, the Edmonton chapter of Trout Unlimited, and the Edmonton Old Timers Fishing Club put togetherthe Muir Lake Project. Each of these clubs have two representatives that form the directors board for FESA (Fish Enhancement Society of Alberta). The project goals of FESA were to re-establish a trout fishery with exceptional angling opportunities, create a walk of fame honoring those who have enriched angling in Alberta and build an education center that connects anglers, trout, and simple life forms. They hope this project helps people understand the relationship between fish and their environment and how we need activists to ensure we can improve the quality of our fishing habitat in the future.
The concept of a trophy trout lake has been the topic of discussion amongst Alberta anglers for quite sometime, especially in areas that are distant to natural trout habitat. Beaver Lake south of Rocky Mountain House was the first to experiment with catch restrictions and lake aeration producing some very large Rainbow trout. Beaver Lake was used as a model for the Muir Lake Project and Stephen Spencer (Stony Plain area fisheries biologist) suggested a more restrictive limit than Beaver due to Muir's proximity to Edmonton. Some of these restrictions include:
The other important elements of this project are the Walk Of Fame and Education Center. The Walk Of Fame honors those who have enriched angling in Alberta. Our province has a rich history of people and groups that have gone to great lengths to restore damaged fishing environments or to protect existing ones. Every angler in Alberta owes a debt of gratitude for this work. The project plans to repay this debt by recognizing these contributions and helping to ensure that the legacy continues. The Education Center helps anglers with understanding how trout fisheries rely on imitating the various organisms that live in and around the water. The project plans also included building an interpretive area where people, young and old, can learn about the life cycles of these organisms and angling strategies used when imitating them. A spawning channel is currently being looked at for two purposes. First, as a tool for education and second, to help relieve stress on trout by letting them release their eggs rather than absorbing them back into their systems. A casting platform is also in the works for Muir Lake and should be completed by the summer of 2008.Muir Lake is located between highways 778 and 779 on #540. The Muir Lake Project is a privately funded project using raised or donated money. If you would like to get involved with this project please feel free to contact myself via e-mail at [email protected] or Tim Doskoch at [email protected].
Potholes lakes are smaller water bodies usually less than 40 acres in size although pothole lakes stocked with trout typically have a surface area larger than 40 acres. When observed from an aircraft these water holding depressions look similar to potholes in a road. Pothole lakes are leftovers that formed over 10,000 years ago by the great continental glaciers that occurred in 300,000 square miles of prairies in the Northern United States and West-Central Canada. Water is supplied to the potholes by seepage inflow of ground water, precipitation on the water surface and basin runoff. Depletion of pothole water results from seepage outflow, overflow and evaporation.
Throughout the prairie provinces and in the U.S., some pothole lakes, if deep enough and previously void of any game fish, are stocked as put and take fisheries to give anglers that don't live close to natural self-sustaining fisheries convenient fishing excursions. The trout stocked in these pothole lakes -usually rainbow trout- cannot reproduce without moving water and because of this; these lakes may be stocked frequently according to the amount of pressure they receive. On the flip side, these lakes may be deemed a quality fishery and have a delayed stocking schedule according to the type of management the lake is under. For example, most pothole lakes are managed as put and take fisheries usually with high keep limits (in Alberta, an angler may keep five trout per day). Most of these lakes are stocked once a year with some being stocked twice a year if angler pressure is exceptionally high. Then we have some pothole lakes managed as delayed harvest lakes or even trophy fisheries where you may see stocking happen every year, two years or even three years. These delayed harvest fisheries could have regulations where an angler may only keep one trout over 50cm (20 inches) per day or may have no harvesting at all. Both delayed and no harvest regulations give the trout an opportunity to grow to a good fighting size and in turn enhance the experience of the angler.