Alberta has been barbless since April 2004 – and our fishing community has been a strong supporter of the barbed hook ban on provincial waters. Albertans understand the benefit of barbless hooks to maintaining healthy fish stocks for current and future anglers.
That’s why we are asking Alberta’s anglers to keep barbed hooks out of our waters as we work with our federal counterparts to fix an unfortunate oversight.
Last fall, a federal amendment to the Alberta Fishery Regulations inadvertently removed the barbed hook ban. The omission was not immediately noted and has affected about 600 Albertans who were ticketed for using barbed hooks.
Officials from ESRD and Justice and Solicitor General are working to rectify the problem by withdrawing charges and reversing wrongful convictions and fines for those individuals affected since September 2011.
It’s unfortunate that this situation has occurred, but we’re working with the Government of Canada to determine the appropriate next steps as we consider the current lack of a barbed hook ban.
We propose to consult with Alberta’s sportfishing community to review the need for a barbed book ban before we make a decision to request that it be re-introduced in the regulations. This will take some time.
In the meantime, we encourage Alberta’s anglers to continue to use barbless hooks and remember that we are promoting proper handling techniques for all fish to best ensure their survival once released.
We are blessed to live in a province with abundant natural beauty with immense recreational value, and we want to ensure we sustain that for the future.
For more information on angling in Alberta, visit MyWildAlberta.com.
Edited on December 20 to properly reflect the regulation affected.