Gateway Gazette

Funding for Alberta’s Fish Hatcheries

The province is investing in Alberta’s fish hatchery facilities to better support sustainable recreational fishing opportunities and a healthy aquatic environment.

Minister Nixon learning how to spawn trout at the Raven Creek Brood Trout Station.

The province will replace the Raven Creek Brood Trout Station and refurbish Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery and Allison Creek Brood Trout Station. Critical operating systems at each facility were at or beyond their expected service life.

The new Raven Creek facility will be larger to support increased stocking numbers and will include dedicated space for additional species, such as tiger trout and Arctic grayling.

Alberta’s fisheries management system aims to make our fisheries strong, healthy, vibrant and sustainable for future generations. About 300,000 anglers fish Alberta’s lakes and rivers every year, and for every dollar invested in the province’s fisheries, $20 is generated for the economy. Overall, sport fishing contributes more than $600 million annually to Alberta’s economy. The province’s fisheries also support jobs for Albertans – from tour guides, to outfitters and equipment rentals, to jobs in the tourism and service sector that support the meals, lodging and transportation required for fishing trips.

“Fishing is an important part of Alberta’s cultural fabric and supports countless jobs across the province. Replacing and upgrading fish hatcheries enables us to increase our stocking programs, while ensuring these facilities operate more efficiently and are better protected against disease. The result will be a fishery that is strong, healthy, vibrant and sustainable for generations to come.”Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks

“The investment announced today is great news for Alberta’s anglers, as it provides the basis for increased recreational fishing activities across the province and lays the groundwork for a wide range of fisheries enhancement possibilities in the future.”Todd Zimmerling, president and CEO, Alberta Conservation Association

Upgrades to Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery and the Allison Creek Brood Trout Station are underway. Fish production at all three facilities will be optimized through modernized operating systems, improved water quality and stronger biosecurity, and energy and water consumption will be reduced.

Funding for all three projects totals $43 million, with $16 million allocated in previous budgets.

The Raven Creek Brood Trout Station has been in operation since the 1930s and is one of Alberta’s oldest operating hatcheries. The current infrastructure was constructed primarily in the 1970s, with few modifications. The arrangement and space at the facility is no longer adequate for its role in the province’s stocking program, and the aging and deteriorating infrastructure presents an increased risk of exposure to waterborne fish disease.

Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery and Allison Creek Brood Trout Station were constructed in the 1970s and 1980s, respectively. Water treatment and filtration systems at both facilities were at the end of their service life.

The Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery plays an important role as part of Bow Habitat Station’s public education initiatives, allowing Albertans to get an up-close look at how trout are raised, and how the fish stocking program supports sustainable fishing opportunities in the province.

Quick facts

  • $26 million is budgeted for the Raven Creek Brood Trout Station, located near Caroline. Construction is expected to begin in the summer of 2021.
  • $12.6 million worth of upgrades to Sam Livingston Fish Hatchery, located in Calgary, are substantially complete. The facility is expected to be running at full capacity later this winter.
  • Improvements totaling more than $4 million are underway for Allison Creek Brood Trout Station, located in Crowsnest Pass. Upgrades are expected to be complete this summer.
  • The provincial stocking program stocks an average of 2.1 million trout per year into almost 240 water bodies throughout Alberta.

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