Amendments to Alberta’s fisheries regulations will provide new opportunities for the private stocking of tiger trout, establish a fishing guide licence to raise the bar on training and qualifications for fishing guides, and help municipalities address the ongoing issue of abandoned ice fishing shacks in the spring. There will also be opportunities to fish for more species on more lakes, and more fishing opportunities for young people.
“Fishing is an important economic driver in rural communities, and an activity many Albertans have rediscovered in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Anglers, fishing guides and aquaculture stakeholders have asked us to improve fairness and consistency, provide additional fishing opportunities and reduce red tape to allow for more stocking of more species, and that’s what these amendments will achieve. Most importantly, these changes will ensure Alberta is home to healthy fisheries for generations to come.”
“Through the Sylvan Lake Management Committee, a voluntary ice fishing shelter registration program has proven immensely successful, all but eliminating the issue of abandoned shelters in the spring, and thereby protecting the health and safety of our beautiful lake. The health of Alberta’s waterbodies means generations of Albertans can continue to enjoy these important resources. We are incredibly excited, as a lakeside community, to learn that a mandated registration program is set to roll out across the province, as this has been a long-term goal of ours, and one that will ensure ongoing protection of our aquatic ecosystems.”
Amendments to Alberta’s ministerial and general fisheries regulations help modernize our fisheries framework. Amendments also align with Alberta’s new Métis Harvesting Policy, which ensures that qualified Métis people have the ability to hunt, fish and trap for food.
Earlier this year, the province announced investments totalling more than $50 million in Alberta’s four provincial fish hatcheries will expand and modernize operations to support a larger, more efficient and more disease-free fish stocking program.
About 350,000 anglers fish Alberta’s lakes and rivers every year, with sport fishing contributing more than $600 million annually (direct and indirect spending) to Alberta’s economy.
- These amendments are separate from the normal, annual adjustments to sport fishing rules in Alberta.
- There will be new opportunities for small business private aquaculture facilities to culture and stock tiger trout into private ponds.
- New fishing opportunities for Albertans include additional opportunities to harvest crayfish or obtain a salvage fishing licence.
- Regulation amendments will promote family fishing by allowing youth to harvest fish under another angler’s special fish harvest licence, provided the licence holder is present.
- New identification requirements for ice fishing shelters will promote conservation and stewardship by making owners responsible for removing their shelters prior to ice-off.
- Creation of a new licence category for fishing guides will lead to enhanced conservation and the angling experience for guided anglers by ensuring guides are adequately trained in safety and decontamination protocols that help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species and disease, and the service they provide meets expectations for quality.