Fisheries Management

COVID-19 response: temporary closures

The Government of Alberta has temporarily closed front counters at all Fish and Wildlife offices across the province.

  • You can contact Fish and Wildlife offices using the phone numbers listed on the Fish and Wildlife - Contacts page.
  • For recreational sportfishing or hunting information, please visit AlbertaRELM or call the AlbertaRELM Help Desk at 1-888-944-5494.
  • Vehicle access is now permitted at parking lots and staging areas in provincial parks and public land. Facilities like playgrounds and washrooms remain temporarily closed. For more information, visit the Alberta Parks advisories page.

For more information about Alberta’s COVID-19 response, visit COVID-19 info for Albertans.

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 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.

Frameworks

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 FMO. To learn more, check out this infographic:

Engaging Albertans

Alberta Environment and Parks is committed to open and honest dialogue on fisheries management through providing science-based information and involving the public in management decisions.

Ways in which Albertans are involved include:

  • participating in online engagements

  • public meetings and open houses
  • committees
  • other forums
  • getting involved in a non-governmental stakeholder group interested in fisheries may provide additional opportunities.

Thanks to all who provided their feedback on fisheries management engagement this year! For more information on the results of engagement visit:

Diverse Angling Opportunities

A result of proper management and engagement is diverse angling opportunities. Check out the opportunities from this year’s engagement.

Related Information


Updated: Sep 2, 2020