Anglers urged to follow safe fish handling procedures


fishingOngoing hot weather combined with low water levels are resulting in high water temperatures in rivers and streams across Southern Alberta.

There is an increased risk to fish populations resulting from the stress of current conditions combined with catch and release angling. Until conditions improve, Albertans are encouraged to follow safe handling procedures to minimize fish mortality.

While anglers should be mindful throughout the Southern Alberta region, extra caution should be taken in the following areas:

  • Castle River and tributaries from Highway 3 upstream to Westcastle River;
  • Oldman River from Racehorse Creek downstream to Oldman Reservoir; and from Highway 2 near Fort Macleod downstream to Highway 3 in Lethbridge;
  • Crowsnest River from Crowsnest Lake downstream to Oldman Reservoir;
  • Belly River downstream of Secondary Road 800;
  • Waterton River downstream of Waterton Reservoir;
  • St. Mary and tributaries downstream of St. Mary Reservoir;
  • Sheep River from Gorge Creek downstream to Highwood River;
  • Highwood River from Kananaskis Country Boundary downstream to the mouth of Bow River; and
  • Bow River from the Western Irrigation District weir to Bassano Dam.

angler with fishTo minimize risk to fish in Southern Alberta, anglers are encouraged to be mindful of the following angling practices:

  • Fish in stocked ponds and lakes;
  • Fish early in the mornings; and
  • Minimize handling time and release fish as quickly as possible.

Alberta Environment and Parks staff will continue to monitor water levels and temperatures and may consider initiating angling restrictions if necessary.