Gateway Gazette

Removing Barriers and Improving Stewardship, Wildrose Releases Plan for Alberta Fisheries

EDMONTON, AB: Strengthening environmental land and water protection, ending bad practices, and improving access to Alberta’s fisheries highlight the Wildrose Plan for Alberta Fisheries released yesterday by Wildrose Shadow Environment & Parks Minister Todd Loewen.

With angling and fishing an important part of Alberta’s economy and outdoor culture, the plan focuses on improving management of wetlands and other waterways while removing barriers that currently exist throughout the system.

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Use slot limits to increase angling opportunity while still meeting conservation requirements;
  • Ensure lake aeration is done using proven techniques and investigate opportunities to expand lake aeration;
  • Change regulations to improve predator control in ecosystems across Alberta;
  • Expand Alberta’s current stocking programs to improving angling opportunities;
  • Develop prevention and response plans to invasive species in Alberta’s water habitats;
  • Review existing harvest management strategy and determine whether a commercial fishery is viable on a lake-by-lake case to manage certain fish populations; and,
  • Expand options for industry so projects can lead to increased permanent wetlands and fish habitat.

“Albertans care deeply about being good stewards of our environment, improving our land, air, and water, while enjoying the outdoors,” Loewen said. “This plan today strikes that balance by removing barriers to accessing Alberta’s fishing spots, while at the same time improving and fixing current practices managing our wetlands and fish population.”

Last spring, thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of Alberta’s lakes as a result of unproven aeration methods. This is not only sad and wasteful in its own right, but meant less opportunity for anglers and significant losses in sales for Alberta’s outdoors and fishing community.

Loewen said this is one of the many reasons why it’s so important for the government to properly manage and support Alberta’s fisheries.

“Fishing is an important pastime for many families, but it’s also a way of life for thousands of Albertans,” Loewen said. “It’s critical we get this right, not just for today, but for future generations.”

The report can be read here.

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