Are you looking to give fishing a try? You’re in luck! The upcoming Family Day long weekend (Saturday, Feb. 18 to Monday, Feb. 20) is a Family Fishing Weekend in Alberta. The province hosts two Family Fishing Weekends each year: one on Family Day weekend and the other on the weekend following Canada Day. You can fish in Alberta during these two weekends without needing to purchase a fishing license.
Family Fishing Weekends are fantastic opportunities to try out a new activity while spending quality time with friends and loved ones, but there are a few essential things to keep in mind. Even though a fishing license isn’t required, Alberta sportfishing regulations still apply and must be followed. Remember that there are both default and site-specific regulations that may apply. The default regulations refer to lakes and streams not specifically listed in the Alberta Guide To Sportfishing Regulations (AGTSR). Site-specific regulations apply to the bodies of water specifically named and listed in the AGTSR. A fishing license will still be required when using a Special Harvest License.
There are a few more details to consider before dipping your hook in the water:
· Sportfishing Seasons: Fishing is only allowed during specific times of the year in most bodies of water. Different water bodies may have varying dates when fishing is permitted; in some cases, separate areas of the same lake may have different seasons.
· Catch Limits: The number of fish you can keep is species-specific, so proper identification is crucial. Some species of fish may also have to be over a specific size before you can keep them. Pictures of the various fish species are included in the AGTSR to help with identification. Catch limits may also be site-specific.
· Bait Restrictions: Individual water bodies may have specific regulations on whether bait can be used and which types of bait may be permitted.
For more detailed information, visit open.alberta.ca/publications/alberta-guide-to-sportfishing-regulations to access the AGTSR online. The Swan Hills area is in the NB2 watershed unit.
Have fun fishing, and stay safe out there!
By Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Original Published on Feb 15, 2023