Province lures fishermen back to a dozen Alberta lakes

The province has reopened a dozen more Alberta lakes for fishing this year.

Eight lakes in particular have been reopened for walleye fishing. Some of these lakes have been closed since 1996, when the province implemented major restrictions on walleye fishing due to population decline, the Alberta government said in a media release Saturday.

Some have been closed even longer than 1996 — Glennifer Reservoir, south of Red Deer, was last open to fishing 29 years ago.

April 1 marks the first day of the 2017 sport fishing season.

Alberta lakes that have reopened for fishing include:

- Walleye: Pine Coulee Reservoir, Burnstick Lake, Gleniffer Reservoir, Gull Lake, Lac Bellevue, Bourque Lake, Hilda Lake and Lac La Biche.

- Pike: Pine Coulee Reservoir, Magee Lake, Manatokan Lake, Bangs Lake.

- Yellow Perch: Strubel Lake.

To maintain walleye populations and prevent overfishing in the reopened lakes, the province is implementing a tag system that will work as a draw.

The 2017 Special Walleye Licence Draw runs from April 4 to April 27, and results will be posted online May 8. The cost of a tag is $11, two-thirds of which will be invested back into the provincial fisheries program, the province said.

"The reopening of these lakes demonstrates the importance of conservation and sustainable harvesting," Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said in a media release.

"Sound management of our lakes, streams and rivers will ensure Albertans will be able to fish for generations to come."