Albertans don’t like fishing – they love it. Our province has more registered anglers every year per fishable water body than almost any other province in Canada. While this enthusiasm is great, it also requires that we take steps to prevent overfishing.
To help ensure sportfishing in Alberta is done sustainably, ESRD requires that all adult anglers be licensed. Although children don’t need a licence to fish, they do need someone to teach them how – and if they don’t know anyone who’s already been ‘hooked’ by the sport, they might not have a chance to learn.
We want everyone to have the chance to develop a passion for fishing – and that’s where Family Fishing Weekends come in. For two weekends each year – one in July and one in February – a licence is not required for sportfishing on waterbodies with open fishing seasons (not in national parks).
This summer’s Family Fishing Weekend is July 13th and 14th – this Saturday and Sunday. It’s a great opportunity to teach those who are new to the sport – including children, colleagues, friends, and other family members – how to fish responsibly.
Click here for full details including qualifying information, where you can fish, and more tips on responsible angling practices.
Before you head out this weekend, please remember:
- This weekend is an opportunity to teach newcomers about responsible angling practices – all normal sportfishing regulations will still be in effect, and it’s important that you follow them.
- Minimize harm to fish when catch-and-release fishing by using barbless hooks and handling fish carefully before releasing them back into the water.
- To help prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species, please clean, drain and dry your boat and fishing equipment after using them.
- National parks are not included in Free Fishing Weekend locations – click here to see where to fish this weekend.
** Special safety information for Southern Alberta:
- For public safety reasons, it is strongly recommended that Albertans do not use rivers in the Bow, Oldman and South Saskatchewan River basins. Flows remain high and banks are highly unstable at this time, and there is still significant debris and sedimentation in the water. Turbid (muddy and cloudy) water reduces visibility for identifying hazards, making river use dangerous. Please report significant river hazards to the Energy and Environmental 24-Hour Response Line at 1-800-222-6514.