The Facts About The Alberta Fishing Season
Alberta is a province in Canada which is divided in three fish management zones:
ZONE 1 Eastern Slopes Zone ; ZONE 2 Parkland-Prairie Zone ; ZONE 3 Northern Boreal Zone ;
The dates of open and closed seasons depend on the fish management zone where you are. Each zone is divided into "watershed units" in order to expand on specific regulations established to meet water body and fish population needs. There are some site-specific regulations for each Watershed Unit of the Fish Management Zones.
In case you are wondering how the fish management boundaries are determined you should know that this are based on three ecosystem zones as follows: - the Eastern Slopes, - the Parkland-Prairie - the Northern Boreal.
In consequence the fishing season can start and end on pretty different dates. Still, to have a general idea we will tell you that in most the season begins in May and lasts until October depending on weather.
This is usually the season but it depends from one year to another. If we take a look at the past 20 years we will discover that the season started June 16 and ended august 31 with no restriction all over this period, from 1987 to 1997, while between 1997 and 2007 there are usually different regulations between June 16-August 31 and between September 1 and October 31; In order to have a great fishing adventure you should only come during the season, bring with you an Alberta fishing license and clothes for any weather condition that may arise and the Alberta guides will take care of the rest.
On the other hand you should pay attention at the "limits". The fact that you have a fishing license and you are during the season doesn't necessary mean you can keep as many fishes as you want. In Alberta, possession limits are the same as daily catch limits. For example you can keep up to five trout and arctic grayling combined, the same number of mountain whitefish, only three walleye and sauger combined and three northern pike. In the same time, during the fishing season, you can keep up to 15 yellow perch, 10 Lake Whitefish and Cisco (tulibee) combined and 10 goldeye and mooneye combined.
Some other important regulations let you use only one when angling into open water and two lines for ice-covered water. During the fishing season it is illegal to possess live bait fish as well as to possess live game fish, unless the fish have been legally caught and are in the immediate vicinity of the waters from which they were taken.
Be aware of the fact that Live fish and live fish eggs cannot be placed in any waters except those from which they were taken. The bait must be attached to a hook used in angling; otherwise it cannot be set out or used to attract fish. In the end I can only add, as a personal observation, that during the season Alberta is one place worth visiting for a fisherman as well as for anyone else who loves nature!