Chances are you will get many different responses to this question. There have certainly been some frustrated anglers over the years who have wondered why certain lakes have been limited to catch and release.
David Park is the Director of Fisheries Management Policy for the province. He agreed to sit down and talk about Alberta's fisheries management strategy and in particular, the way forward when it comes to providing more angling opportunities.
Video Interview with David Park
The province has made changes to allow for increased fish harvesting opportunities and they will open several lakes to walleye fishing this year. Many of the lakes have been catch-and-release only since 1996, when Alberta introduced major restrictions to walleye harvesting after major population declines. Fisheries that have recovered to a more healthy state can now provide options for harvest.
New fish harvest opportunities:
- Walleye: Pine Coulee Reservoir, Burnstick Lake, Gleniffer Reservoir, Gull Lake, Lac Bellevue, Bourque Lake, Hilda Lake and Lac La Biche
- Pike: Pine Coulee Reservoir, Magee Lake, Manatokan Lake, Bangs Lake
- Yellow Perch: Strubel Lake
To ensure the health of walleye populations, the province is implementing a tag system this year to control harvest in some of the lakes providing new harvest opportunities. The draw system will also support conservation efforts.
The 2017 Special Walleye Licence Draw begins April 4 and runs until April 27, with results posted beginning May 8 at https://www.albertarelm.com/licensing.page.
The cost of the tags is $11, roughly two-thirds of which will be invested back into the provincial fisheries program to further support the management of Alberta’s fisheries.
Anglers will have frequent opportunities to participate in online surveys and provide their feedback about the management of fisheries. Please check the TalkAEP website regularly to find active surveys and results of completed surveys.
For more information on the status of Alberta’s fishing resources and how it’s managed I encourage you to check out the following links: