Sylvan Lake council rejects fishing ban

Marina Bay Homeowners Association wanted year-round fishing ban

Sylvan Lake town council did not bite on a recent request that fishing be permanently banned at Marina Bay.

A representative for the Marina Bay Homeowners’ Association floated the idea at an April meeting. The association says anglers using a small park in the area often handle fish improperly, leaving dead fish and garbage strewn about.

Federal fishing regulations prohibit fishing within Marina Bay, which has been designated as a natural spawning habitat, from April 1 to June 30. The homeowners association had proposed that ban be extended all year.

Sylvan Lake communications officer Joanne Gaudet said council decided to support existing fishing regulations enforced by the federal government.

Gaudet said staff met with Alberta Fisheries and Wildlife officials to discuss the homeowners association request.

“In that meeting we did learn that amendments to fishing regulations are determined at the federal level and applications can take anywhere from 12 to 24 months in processing,” she said.

Any proposed amendments would also require provincial government support.

Permanent fishing bans are not taken lightly by regulators.

“Decisions permanently prohibit fishing would require scientific support of biological concerns,” she said.

This is not the first time the issue has come up.

“The province has received multiple requests from the (Marina Bay Homeowners Association) to extend fishing restrictions year-round in the marina, and at this point the severity of the request/situation does not meet the requirements of biological distress,” says a report to council.

An increase in dead and dying fish would prompt an “investigation and extensive field studies to determine if biological factors are at large.”

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