Fisheries Management

In 2017, Alberta Environment and Parks is updating the recreational fisheries management frameworks for northern pike and walleye. Online consultation is now available for input on objectives and tools that can be applied to the future of fisheries management for walleye and pike lakes.

We are also providing notifications of proposed changes to recreational fishery management objectives and regulations in waterbodies that have been identified as having fish conservation concerns requiring recovery actions, particularly in regards to local northern pike and walleye fish populations.

About Alberta Fisheries Management

Alberta’s fisheries management program follows the provincial Fish Conservation and Management Strategy 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 1.9 fishers for every lake, while Alberta has 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 susceptible 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.

Fisheries Management Objectives (FMOs)

Fisheries management begins with science-based stock assessments and using standardized protocols for repeatable and comparable results. Based on assessments and consultations with stakeholders, Fish Management Objectives (FMOs) are set based on one of four categories:

  • Ecosystem Conservation
  • Habitat Conservation
  • Indigenous Fishery
  • Recreational Fishery

FMOs are the focal point of the management framework for a fish species.

Frameworks will identify the types of management objectives available to define the types of fisheries desired and link those to the tools that will most effectively help achieve those objectives.

Related Information

Updated: Dec 14, 2017