Family Fishing Weekends

·2 min read

Have you been wanting to give fishing a try? The upcoming Family Day weekend is a Family Fishing Weekend in Alberta. From Saturday, Feb. 13 to Monday, Feb. 15, you can fish in Alberta without having to buy a fishing license. There are two Family Fishing Weekends each year in our province, the Family Day weekend and the weekend following Canada Day.

Family Fishing Weekends are great opportunities to try out a new activity while spending some quality time with the people you love, but there are still some things to keep in mind. Even though you don’t have to have a license to fish, the Alberta sportfishing regulations are still in place and have to be followed. Remember that there are default regulations and site-specific regulations. The default regulations refer to the lakes and streams not specifically listed in the Alberta sportfishing regulations documentation. Site-specific regulations apply to the bodies of water specifically named and listed in the regulation documentation. A fishing license is still required if you are using a Special Harvest License.

Here are some things to check before you drop a line:

· Sportfishing Seasons – There are certain times of the year where fishing is permitted. Different water bodies may have different dates where fishing is allowed; in fact, there may be varying dates for separate areas of the same lake.

· Catch Limits – This refers to the number of fish that you can keep. The catch limit is species-specific, so it is important to identify the fish you have caught. There are pictures of the different fish species in the Alberta Guide To Sportfishing Regulations to help with this. Depending on the species, the fish may have to be over a specific size before you can keep it. The catch limit can also be site-specific.

· Bait Restrictions – Different water bodies have varying regulations on whether bait can be used and what type of bait is allowable.

Please visit open.alberta.ca/publications/alberta-guide-to-sportfishing-regulations to access the Alberta Guide To Sportfishing Regulations online. The Swan Hills area is in the NB2 watershed unit.

Have a great time fishing! Remember to have fun and be safe.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette