From peaceful solitude of fly-in northern lodges to casting for trout amid the dramatic landscape of the Rocky Mountains to dropping a line in one of Central Alberta’s many lakes, freshwater fishing enthusiasts find a lot to love in Alberta.
What do you need to know before you go?
Recreational fishing licences in Alberta are sold either online through albertarelm.com or through private licence issuers such as sporting goods stores, convenience stores and gas stations.
Everyone sportfishing in Alberta must hold an Alberta Sportfishing Licence, except those younger than 16 years, Alberta residents aged 65+ and First Nations people. Learn more at alberta.ca/fish-wildlife.aspx.
Before purchasing your recreational fishing licence or applying on a draw, you must also have an active Wildlife Identification Number (WiN) – activation requires a one-time $8 fee (plus GST).
Keep track of your fishing license electronically, read regulations, complete your harvest and effort reporting and more on the Government of Alberta’s AlbertaRELM App, available in the Apple App Store and in the Google Play Store. Remember you must be able to produce your paper or electronic licence when requested by an officer in the field.
Which fish is which?
Wondering just which fish is which? Check out the 2021 Alberta Guide to Sportfish Regulations, which offers helpful, easy-to-view photo identifications and descriptions, including a specific section for trout.
You’ll also find information about which species are threatened and which are species of special concern.
Because some fish are easily confused with at-risk species, if you can’t identify a fish, release it, Alberta Environment and Parks advises.
A variety of water bodies are also managed as put-and-take trout fisheries, stocked with catchable-sized trout. Visit mywildalberta.ca/fishing/fish-stocking/recreational-trout-stocking for locations and catch limits.
An experienced fishing guide can also offer local knowledge that can help ensure a trip that’s memorable for all the right reasons. For ideas, visit travelalberta.com or check in with the local tourist centre, chamber of commerce, or outfitter.