Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks for Northern Pike and Walleye

7 months ago

In Alberta, we manage fisheries according to the Fish and Wildlife Policy for Alberta and the Fish Conservation and Management Strategy to ensure conservation and sustainability, to meet constitutional obligations to First Nations, and to provide recreational opportunities. Alberta utilizes a comprehensive, science-based fisheries management system where standardized fisheries assessments allow biologists to determine the status of the fish populations and the sustainability of fisheries. This information, along with feedback gathered in consultations with Albertans, is used to develop a Recreational Fish Management Objective and set fishing regulations (and identify other management actions).

Management frameworks for fish species outline the management approaches for achieving a desired population status and type of fishery (e.g. Sustainable Harvest, Old Growth) while considering other factors such as biological capability and limitations. Currently, the Northern Pike and Walleye Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks are completed. These frameworks outline the range of recreational objectives and associated standard management tools to achieve the desired population and fisheries types.

Implementation of the Northern Pike and Walleye Recreational Management Frameworks and summary of year one survey results: What we heard

As part of Alberta’s fisheries management approach, Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks were developed for both northern pike and Walleye. These Frameworks were rolled out in 2017-2018 in a three phase approach to obtain public feedback.

  • In Phase One, we received public feedback on key management questions such as catch and release, Special Harvest Licences, season length and other discussion items. The message we received in Phase One was that for the majority of respondents, harvest was not the prime motivation for fishing and that healthy fish stocks was the goal.
  • In Phase Two, we asked for your feedback on these draft management frameworks and found strong support for the types of fishing opportunities, the tools that could be used for managing Alberta’s fisheries and a desire to see more fisheries managed for quality fishing opportunities.
  • In Phase Three, we consulted on some of the waters where fish populations are at a low to moderate risk status for long-term sustainability, and where new Recreational Fisheries Management Objectives (RFMO) were being proposed. During Phase Three, several open houses were held across the province to allow the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the Frameworks as well as the lake-specific regulations being proposed for their area.

The final summary of all three phases, including the results of each lake survey can be found at:

Consulting with stakeholders about management decisions is an essential step in managing fish populations and fisheries in Alberta. Thank you for providing suggestions into the consultation approach and survey design. We have incorporated feedback we received into this year’s process.