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

VIDEO: Daisy Duke joins Red Deerians at Collector Car Auction and Speed Show

The original Daisy Duke took a break from Hazzard County to meet… Continue reading

Police informer talks about his role in Castor undercover sting

Jason Klaus and Joshua Frank were convicted of triple murders last month

City of Red Deer invites residents to Let’s Talk

Interactive public forum to be held April 7

Lessons in altruism learned by Red Deer students

St. Francis of Assisi School launches community foundation project

Sylvan Lake council approves fire pits and mobile stage

Large fire pits for group gatherings will be located on pier next winter

WATCH: Central Alberta’s sexiest show

The sexiest show in Central Alberta took over Westerner Park this weekend.… Continue reading

Driver crashes into Red Deer business while fleeing police

A car smashed through a Red Deer business’ front window while fleeing… Continue reading

UPDATED: ‘New wave’ of anti-pipeline protests return to Trans Mountain facility

About 100 demonstrators with Protect the Inlet marched to the Burnaby terminal Saturday

Groups expressing concern about jobs funding rules await final decision

OTTAWA — It was Valentine’s Day when an Alberta church was told… Continue reading

New Brunswick boxer David Whittom dies months after suffering brain hemorrhage

New Brunswick boxer David Whittom, who had been in an induced coma… Continue reading

Superstore chain Fred Meyer to stop selling guns, ammunition

PORTLAND, Ore. — Superstore company Fred Meyer will stop selling guns and… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month