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Old 02-20-2018, 08:13 PM
dbaayens dbaayens is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Red Deer via Rocky
Posts: 26
Default River Closures - Take Action!

Alberta closing popular trout rivers to anglers for five-year period without action on underlying threats

Feb. 20, 2018 - The Alberta provincial government is set to announce the closure of five of Alberta's trout fishing rivers despite lack a of stakeholder consultation, and no visible coordination among the government departments, in order to protect threatened native trout species.

“Native cutthroat and bull trout need action to ensure their survival – but instead of protecting rivers from the effects of poorly designed roads or logging practices, the government has decided to penalize anglers as a token of action,” says Jordan Pinkster of the Alberta Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA).

“It starts with the Ram, the Clearwater and North Saskatchewan rivers, but we fear that other rivers in Southern Alberta could be next.”

Presented as part of the overdue North Central Native Trout Recovery plan (NCNT) Alberta Environment and Parks models show minimal benefit to trout survival as a result of banning catch and release fishing, whereas the same models show the impacts of public roads, industrial disturbances and forestry as having a major effect on the survival of native trout species.

“While we support expanded protections – including restricting fishing methods and creating a classified waters system similar to British Columbia's – there is no indication the province is taking the real threats to native cutthroat and bull trout survival seriously,” says Pinkster.

“The problem has been left with Alberta Environment and Parks without any sign that Energy and Infrastructure, Agriculture and Forestry or Alberta Transportation are taking responsibility for their role in protecting the province's aquatic ecosystems.”

Consultations with the public took place in December but further planned meetings were never held. A survey only reached a small portion (0.4%) of Alberta anglers through Facebook, inexplicably ignoring the established email survey system used successfully every year to measure fishing and hunting success rates. If there was a real desire for angler feedback, the proven system would have been used.

“I disagree with the proposed closures as there is no publicly available baseline data to support them” says outdoor writer and photographer Duane Radford.

Carl Hunt, retired eastern slopes fisheries biologist, added “addressing hanging culverts, sedimentation causes, and restricting herbicide spraying are all easy fixes that would be far more meaningful towards an important environmental issue.”

The Alberta BHA urges the province to keep the Ram, Clearwater, Kakwa, Berland and North Saskatchewan rivers systems open to anglers, to re-open consultation with conservation groups and anglers, and lastly, to take real action on the underlying threats to Alberta's native trout species before it's too late, in the form of initiatives focused on long-term habitat quality and sustainability.


And you can help us out by adding your name to our letter -


The Alberta Backcountry Hunters and Anglers was founded to represent those hunters and anglers who spend their time recreating within the Alberta backcountry, and are concerned about the preservation of this habitat. Our members are, first and foremost, Albertans who are focused on protecting the wildlife habitat that all Albertans enjoy. The Alberta chapter is the fastest growing hunting and angling conservation group in Alberta, with a focus on habitat protection.

North Central Native Trout Recovery plan (NCNT) is part of the province's obligation to restore the native trout populations to sustainable levels. The department has chosen to take the approach of angling closures, with vague details on the other tenets of the plan, which should include habitat remediation, mitigation of sediment and phosphorous runoff, and suppression of non-native fish and other invasive species.

The plan was to also include stakeholder engagement, which has consisted of two open houses in Calgary and Edmonton, in late December, and a survey publicized through Facebook. No engagement activities were held in the communities most affected by the closures (Rocky Mountain House and Red Deer).

If stakeholder engagement was to be done to be inclusive of all those affected by the closures, there are 297,327 Alberta anglers in the AlbertaRELM database (as of 2016). The database tracks license purchases for anglers and hunters every year, issuing a series of harvest surveys that come with multiple reminders before the survey period closes. The information gives wildlife managers valuable information used to help determine the health of fish and wildlife across the province.

Alberta Environment and Parks and numerous independent fisheries biologists have determined the most critical impact on trout habitat is runoff from public roads, industrial disturbances, and forestry practices. If properly addressed, limiting these factors would have far greater success in recovering trout populations.

North Central Native Trout Recovery Details: http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/...y/default.aspx

Last edited by admin; 02-22-2018 at 01:19 PM. Reason: removed phone #'s
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Old 02-20-2018, 08:26 PM
59whiskers 59whiskers is offline
Join Date: May 2007
Location: South West Alberta
Posts: 351

If there was anybody I would listen to it is Duane Radford.
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