You’ve never seen freshwater sport fish like the ones in Saskatchewan’s 100,000 lakes and rivers. Below are some of the more common species.
Record size: 8.33 kg/18.40 lbs, Tobin Lake, 2005 (ice fishing)
Average weight: usually 0.5-1.5 kg (1-3 lbs)
Also known as a pickerel, walleye is the provincial fish of Saskatchewan. It prefers deeper waters but can be found throughout Saskatchewan in all but the shallowest lakes. It’s renowned for its flavor and can be caught with light tackle – jigs, live bait or spoons.
Record size: 19.4 kg (42 lb. 12 oz.), Lake Athabasca, 1954
Live release record: 141 cm (55 in.), Mirond Lake, 2008
Average weight: 1-2.5 kg (2-5 lb.)
Northern pike, the most widely distributed sport fish in Saskatchewan, is considered one of the fiercest and most thrilling of all freshwater game fish. The northern pike generally prefers shallow weed areas in lakes. Use in-line spinners, crank baits or spoons to catch one of these monsters.
Record size: 24.6 kg (54 lb. 4 oz.), Wollaston Lake, 1995
Live release record: 132 cm (52 in.), Lake Athabasca, 2000
Average weight: 1-1.5 kg (2-5 lb.)
Saskatchewan’s only native trout is common to the cool, clear and deep waters in the northern half of the province. In summer, the lake trout prefer cold, deep holes in all but the far northern lakes; therefore steel line or jigging is usually advised. In early spring and fall, it is closer to the surface. Casting or trolling crankbaits, spoons, or even flies work best.
World record: 21.77 kg (48 lb.), Lake Diefenbaker, 2009
Average weight: 0.5-1.8 kg (1-4 lb.)
Rainbow trout is known for its flashy and exciting fighting style when hooked, often treating anglers to spectacular jumps and long runs. Use light spinning or fly tackle, lures with worms or miniature marshmallows, or a variety of small spoons or spinners to catch it.
Record size: 1.96 kg (4.3 lb.), Fond du Lac River, 1966
Live release record: 96.5 cm (22 in.), Grease River, Lake Athabasca, 2002
Average weight: usually under 1 kg (2 lb.)
Favouring the cold, clear lakes and fast-moving streams of northern Saskatchewan, the Arctic grayling is a spectacular fighter, known to leap clear out of the water when hooked. Try dry fly-fishin with dark flies such as black gnats, dark cahill or brown hackle. Casting very small spinners or jigs also works well.
Record size: 3.5 kg (7 lb.), Loch Leven, 2004
Average weight: 0.5-1 kg (1-2 lb.)
Record size: 1.26 kg (2 lb. 12.4 oz.), St. Brieux Lake, 2012
Average weight: around 250 g (0.55 lb.)
Other species commonly caught in Saskatchewan include:
- Whitefish, commonly distributed across the province;
- Sauger, found in the Saskatchewan and Churchill River systems;
- Goldeye, found in the Saskatchewan River system and Cumberland Lake area;
- Brown trout, stocked in several waters of southern Saskatchewan;
- Splake, a brook and lake trout cross, stocked in several waters;
- Smallmouth bass, stocked around the Rafferty reservoir in southeast Saskatchewan.