Fisheries Management

About Alberta Fisheries Management

Alberta’s fisheries management program follows the provincial Fish Conservation and Management Strategy and other guiding documents and is built on an objective-based system which runs on scientific data and stakeholder input.

To learn the basics of how fisheries management works in Alberta, see:

Challenges to Alberta's Fisheries

The province has about 800 natural fish-bearing lakes and another 300 lakes that are stocked with trout. In comparison, other provinces, such as Saskatchewan, have tens of thousands of lakes. This means that Saskatchewan has about 1.9 fishers for every lake, while Alberta has about 375 fishers for every lake.

Additional challenges to fisheries management include:

  • short growing seasons that limit the productivity of fisheries
  • a relative lack of diversity in fish species

This results in sport fish species that are more vulnerable to being caught. With the provincial population's rapid growth and high demand on fisheries, managing resources is a challenge.

How Alberta's Fisheries are Managed

As the needs of Albertans change, so do management practices. Historically, fisheries have been managed with a focus on commercial fishing and feeding mink farms. This approach resulted in declines in some fish populations. Today, fisheries are managed with the needs of multiple stakeholders in mind, including Indigenous peoples, recreational fishers and even some competitive fishing events.


Frameworks identify the types of management objectives available to define the types of fisheries desired and they link those to the regulations and tools that will most effectively help achieve those objectives. To learn more, click to read the walleye or northern pike management frameworks,

Fisheries Management Objectives (FMOs)

From assessments to consultations with stakeholders, Frameworks outline the Fisheries Management Objective/s for four focal areas of management,

  • Indigenous fisheries
  • Recreational fisheries
  • Habitat
  • Ecosystem

Fisheries Management Objectives (FMO) convert management concepts into management actions.

For example, recreational fisheries are managed to provide diverse fishing experiences while still meeting FMOs. To learn more, check out this infographic:

Engaging Albertans

Every year, Albertans are invited to provide feedback on updates to sportfishing regulations and other management topics. This engagement opportunity, along with other public engagements related to fish, can be found on our fisheries engagement webpage:

Stay engaged by following our 'My Wild Alberta' Facebook page to learn more about angling, projects our staff are working on and public engagements.

Have a question or comment? Send your letter or email to our Outreach Services team, who will forward it to the appropriate fisheries personnel.

Environment and Protected Areas
Fish and Wildlife Stewardship
9920-108 Street
Edmonton, Alberta T6K 2M4

Related Information

Updated: Jan 30, 2024