Alberta anglers fear stream closures coming; blame industry, recreation

EDMONTON — Some Alberta anglers are worried that the province is about to ban the sport in a number of popular rivers and say they are taking the fall for the government’s failure to deal with the effects of heavy industrial and recreational use.

“Anglers are being used as a scapegoat for what we see as broader problems,” Jordan Pinkster of the Alberta Backcountry Hunters and Anglers said Wednesday.

Pinkster said government officials outlined their plans to concerned groups at recent meetings.

“The plan talked a little bit about some of the habitat implications, but the real focal point is the angling closures,” he said. ”It’s the only thing they had any concrete information on.”

The proposed five year closures could include some of Alberta’s best trout streams such as the Ram, the Clearwater and the Kakwa rivers. It could also include popular rivers such as the North Saskatchewan.

A provincial spokesman confirmed consultations have been held.

“Alberta Environment and Parks routinely consults on changes to fishing regulations each year,” said department spokesman Matt Dykstra.

“No decisions regarding potential closures have been made at this time.”

Duane Radford, former fisheries director for the anglers, said it’s not fair to shut down a catch-and-release fishery when the real issue is sedimentation caused by roads, stream crossings, logging, random camping and off-highway vehicles.

“What the sediment amounts to is a death warrant for fish,” said Radford. ”It just reduces the overall productivity of a stream.

“If they have a problem, it’s primarily related to habitat issues, not angling.”

Previous studies have outlined problems in Alberta’s fish-spawning rivers. In 2015, a study found virtually all southern Alberta streams that spawn native trout were threatened by industrial development or overuse.

Scientists suggest land that contains trout streams shouldn’t have more than just over half a kilometre of trail, cutline or road per square kilometre. The 2015 study found disturbance density in parts of the Oldman River watershed was nearly 10 times that.

Just Posted

Alberta hiring more paramedics and buying new ambulances, none for Red Deer

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer is not concerned the provincial government didn’t… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Halifax airport operations normalize after Boeing 747 runway overshoot

HALIFAX — The Halifax Stanfield International Airport has resumed normal operations a… Continue reading

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

Red Deer RCMP ready for new mandatory alcohol screening law

Red Deer RCMP are ready to enforce a new law intended to… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Brothers, 20, face second-degree murder charge in death of teen: police

MISSISSAUGA, Ont. — Police west of Toronto say two brothers have been… Continue reading

A young mayor, his friend, and a fatal attraction to opioids

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

GM fights to retain key tax credit amid plant closing plans

WASHINGTON — General Motors is fighting to retain a valuable tax credit… Continue reading

TTC union asks provincial government to step in on transition to Presto

TORONTO — The union representing transit workers in Canada’s most populous city… Continue reading

Small pot growers find roadblocks on path to microcultivation licences

Yan Boissonneault’s daughter was turning blue. Without warning, his baby had stopped… Continue reading

Most Read