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Northern Pike and Walleye Management Frameworks

Alberta Environment and Parks Policy and Operations Divisions for Fisheries Management have identified the need to update the province’s Fisheries Management Program to align with Alberta’s Fish Conservation and Management Strategy.

As part of this fisheries management initiative, we have developed draft Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks for Northern Pike and Walleye.

  • In Phase One of this project, we received public feedback on key management questions such as catch and release, Special Harvest Licences, season length and other discussion items.

  • In Phase Two, we asked for your feedback on these draft management frameworks.

Phase Three: Recreational Fisheries Management Objectives Consultation

This initiative has now reached Phase Three. In this Phase, we are beginning to consult 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 are being proposed. The consultation and implementation of the Northern Pike and Walleye management frameworks are expected to occur over the next two to three years.

Learn more about this fisheries management initiative by reviewing the Backgrounder and related resources linked on the right side of this page. Most importantly, share your input with us, by completing the surveys linked below. Each survey covers waterbodies within a particular Fish Management Zone (FMZ) as follows:

FMZWaterbodies for Consultation
ES2Gleniffer Lake
ES3Gregg, Jarvis, Little McLeod [Pegasus] and Minnow Lakes
ES4Crooked, Iosegun, Raspberry and Sturgeon Lakes
NB1Amisk, Elinor, Ethel, Hilda, Hope, Lac La Biche, Moose, Seibert, Skeleton, Spencer and Tucker Lakes
NB2Fawcett and Wingami Lakes
NB3Haig, Joker, Legend, Muskwa, Nipisi, Round and Utikuma Lakes
NB4Gregoire [Willow] Lake
PP2Buck, Buffalo, Sylvan and Wabamun Lakes


Surveys close on December 12, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Notification on Fishing Regulation Changes

We will also be providing notification on changes to regulations where northern pike and walleye populations face a high or very high risk to their sustainability, and where recovery is the only management option available to ensure species conservation objectives are met.

This information will be posted as soon as it is available. Please refer to the notification tab for more details.

Alberta Environment and Parks Policy and Operations Divisions for Fisheries Management have identified the need to update the province’s Fisheries Management Program to align with Alberta’s Fish Conservation and Management Strategy.

As part of this fisheries management initiative, we have developed draft Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks for Northern Pike and Walleye.

  • In Phase One of this project, we received public feedback on key management questions such as catch and release, Special Harvest Licences, season length and other discussion items.

  • In Phase Two, we asked for your feedback on these draft management frameworks.

Phase Three: Recreational Fisheries Management Objectives Consultation

This initiative has now reached Phase Three. In this Phase, we are beginning to consult 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 are being proposed. The consultation and implementation of the Northern Pike and Walleye management frameworks are expected to occur over the next two to three years.

Learn more about this fisheries management initiative by reviewing the Backgrounder and related resources linked on the right side of this page. Most importantly, share your input with us, by completing the surveys linked below. Each survey covers waterbodies within a particular Fish Management Zone (FMZ) as follows:

FMZWaterbodies for Consultation
ES2Gleniffer Lake
ES3Gregg, Jarvis, Little McLeod [Pegasus] and Minnow Lakes
ES4Crooked, Iosegun, Raspberry and Sturgeon Lakes
NB1Amisk, Elinor, Ethel, Hilda, Hope, Lac La Biche, Moose, Seibert, Skeleton, Spencer and Tucker Lakes
NB2Fawcett and Wingami Lakes
NB3Haig, Joker, Legend, Muskwa, Nipisi, Round and Utikuma Lakes
NB4Gregoire [Willow] Lake
PP2Buck, Buffalo, Sylvan and Wabamun Lakes


Surveys close on December 12, 2017 at 4:30 p.m.

Notification on Fishing Regulation Changes

We will also be providing notification on changes to regulations where northern pike and walleye populations face a high or very high risk to their sustainability, and where recovery is the only management option available to ensure species conservation objectives are met.

This information will be posted as soon as it is available. Please refer to the notification tab for more details.

  • Notifications of Regulation Changes to Recover Fisheries

    22 days ago

    NOTE: A number of waterbodies in Alberta have been identified as having conservation concerns (Fish Sustainability Index 2 or less) and require management actions to recover fish populations. Detailed information on these waterbodies will be provided here in the coming days.

    Catch-and-release angling regulations are proposed for 2018-19 with the intent to recover fish populations to a level where other options can be considered. These changes are necessary to achieve long-term sustainability.

    Waterbodies will be re-assessed to determine the status of fish populations following the introduction of management actions over the next three to five years. Given the... Continue reading

    NOTE: A number of waterbodies in Alberta have been identified as having conservation concerns (Fish Sustainability Index 2 or less) and require management actions to recover fish populations. Detailed information on these waterbodies will be provided here in the coming days.

    Catch-and-release angling regulations are proposed for 2018-19 with the intent to recover fish populations to a level where other options can be considered. These changes are necessary to achieve long-term sustainability.

    Waterbodies will be re-assessed to determine the status of fish populations following the introduction of management actions over the next three to five years. Given the need for recovery management actions there are not options for additional allocation of fish until recovery is demonstrated. Regulation change notifications for recovering fisheries are listed below. If you have specific questions or feedback on any of the waterbodies listed please email AB.Fisheries@gov.ab.ca

    The Government of Alberta is committed to ongoing engagement with Indigenous communities in the conservation and management of the province’s fisheries. Harvesting of fish for food by Indigenous persons with rights is the highest priority for the allocation and use of fish, second only to fish conservation.

    The primary means by which this use is managed is through the issuance of a free domestic fishing license, which authorizes the use of a gillnet in specified waters, following certain rules put in place for conservation. Domestic fishing licences are an important tool for the management of Alberta’s limited fish resources.

    Fall Index Netting (FIN) is used by Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) to monitor Northern Pike and Walleye populations. For available FIN summaries, please refer to the AEP website at:

  • Draft Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks for Northern Pike and Walleye

    22 days ago

    In Alberta, we manage fisheries according to the Fish Conservation and Management Strategy to:

    • ensure conservation and sustainability
    • meet constitutional obligations to First Nations
    • provide recreational opportunities

    Alberta utilizes a comprehensive, science-based fisheries management system where 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 (RFMO) for a given fishery.

    Management frameworks... Continue reading

    In Alberta, we manage fisheries according to the Fish Conservation and Management Strategy to:

    • ensure conservation and sustainability
    • meet constitutional obligations to First Nations
    • provide recreational opportunities

    Alberta utilizes a comprehensive, science-based fisheries management system where 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 (RFMO) for a given fishery.

    Management frameworks for fish species outline the recreational fishery management approaches possible for achieving a desired population status and fishery type while considering other factors such as biological capability and limitations. The draft Northern Pike and Walleye Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks outline the range of recreational fishery types and associated fishery management tools, including regulations, being considered to achieve the desired population and fisheries types for these two species.

    The application of the finalized frameworks is anticipated to take some time and will be completed through a phased approach. It is also important that Albertans understand these changes and the linkage between Recreational Fishery Management Objectives and the actual fishing regulations.

    Draft Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks for Northern Pike and Walleye Survey: What We Heard

    In the last survey, we asked you to review and comment on the draft Northern Pike and Walleye Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks. Overall, we heard there is:

    • Strong support for the draft Recreational Fisheries Management Frameworks, and the types of recreational management objectives proposed.
    • Strong support for the change in regulations for active and passive management.
    • A desire from respondents to see more fisheries managed for Quality Harvest and for Old Growth opportunities.

    In the first survey we asked you about preferences for how you’d like to see these fish populations managed, to get a sense of where your values and interests lie toward several key management questions, such as catch and release, harvest, Special Harvest Licences, season length, and length of time to recovery. We heard:

    • For the majority of respondents, harvest is not the prime motivation for going fishing. While the goal for fish populations is to have them healthy and robust enough to allow harvests, the majority of respondents have indicated they prefer healthy stocks.
    • Special Harvest Licences (SHLs), an example of a quota licence, are well supported as a management tool. Approximately 75 per cent of respondents support an SHL system, and two-thirds of respondents support using an SHL system for Northern Pike. Respondents noted that the SHL system should look at ways to reduce administrative costs, lessen complexity and enhance opportunities.
    • The active and passive management approach was supported.
    • A precautionary approach to regulations was generally supported over a more liberal approach at remote lakes.
    • Pilot regulations were supported only where there was low, or at most moderate risk to the fish population’s sustainability or recovery.