A Special Harvest Licence (SHL) is a way to share fish among Albertans when there are not enough fish for everyone to be able to keep their catch. Helping populations support themselves or help them recover ensures the sustainability of these fish populations and fisheries. This management tool is currently only used for walleye.
These licences are available through a draw system, similar to the hunting draw process. Tags are provided to anglers with the licence and are attached to the legal-sized fish the angler chooses to harvest.
Learn more about how Special Harvest Licences work and why we need them:
Changes to the 2021-2022 Walleye Special Harvest Licence
Many stakeholders expressed support for changes to the walleye Special Harvest Licence during Alberta Environment and Parks 2021-22 sport fisheries management engagement.
To increase the sharing of fish and allow more anglers to obtain a licence and tags, the following changes will be in place for the 2021-22 sportfishing season:
- If successfully drawn, a Special Harvest Licence holder receives 2 walleye tags, for Class B (43 – 50cm) or Class C (<43cm walleye) licences. The Class A licence is unchanged with 2 tags for > 50cm walleye.
- As priority points for Class C licences will not be valid in 2022, it is recommended anglers apply their Class C priority points to the SHL draw in 2021.
Draw Application Process
Please log into AlbertaRELM to view the class and number of opportunities available.
- Undersubscribed licences can be purchased after May 5, 2021 if all Special Harvest Licences are not applied for and subsequently drawn.
In the 2021-2022 fishing season, Special Walleye Licences will be available for:
Walleye >50 cm
- Lac Ste. Anne
Walleye 43-50 cm
- Lac Ste. Anne
Walleye <43 cm
- Lac Ste. Anne
Please refer to the current Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations for the open season dates.
Changes to the 2022-2023 Special Harvest Licence (Walleye tags)
For the 2022-2023 sportfishing season, to increase opportunity and reduce costs, the following changes will be in place:
- Class C priority points will no longer be valid. It is recommended anglers apply their Class C priority points to draws in 2021.
- Class C walleye licences will only be offered through a process similar to the undersubscribed process.
Special Harvest Licences for Walleye
- Special Harvest Licences are $11.00 (plus GST).
- Licences not allocated during the draw process (undersubscribed licences) will be available for reservation on a first-come, first-served basis from May 5, 2021 (9:00 am) online at albertarelm.com or at a licence issuer ($3.35 + GST per application).
- Normal licence restrictions apply regarding licence combinations and eligibility. For example, if you were already drawn in one of the Special Walleye Licence draws, you cannot obtain another licence through the undersubscribed process. An angler may hold only one Special Fish Harvest Licence for walleye per year.
- • Prior to purchasing, users must have pre-numbered Government of Alberta paper tags and wires. Paper tags are available:
For information about tagging your walleye, please see the current Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations.
If you need assistance, contact the Active Network AlbertaRELM Help Desk:
Updated: Mar 12, 2021