COLD LAKE -
The province is hoping to catch some feedback from local anglers as they host a series of fisheries management open houses across the province.
Alberta Environment and Parks will be reeling in the thoughts of locals during their event at the Cold Lake Energy Centre on Monday, Jan. 20. Attendees will have a chance to provide feedback on current regulations and offer suggestions for changes they would like to see starting at 4:30 p.m.
Travis Ripley, executive director for Fish and Wildlife Policy for Alberta Environment and Parks resource stewardship division, said, “These engagement sessions are really a key opportunity for anglers to come out in person, talk to a biologist or fishery manager, get some of their information put into the mix around what could change, and allows the department to consider changes to the sport fishing regulations in the future.”
He continued, “We get a good sense of what they’re seeing out on the waterbodies. There are important aspects to consider whenever we’re making any type of regulatory or policy changes when it comes to fishing… It’s about getting a real good sense of what they’re seeing on the landscape and being able to talk to them about what we’ve been hearing about those same lakes or areas.”
Local volunteer fisheries biologist Ray Makowecki said it’s encouraging to see the government “is willing to listen to the people and what they’re saying.”
“A lot of anglers would like to see more simplified regulations. Right now, many lakes where there’s a bit of a harvest you have to get tags. You have to apply, and you might not get tags for walleye. The anglers are saying that there’s an abundance of walleye, and the data from any of these lakes supports that conclusion,” he continued.
It’s feedback like this that has Ripley encouraging everyone to attend one of the 11 open houses happening Jan. 13 to 31.
The information gathered at these events will be considered before any changes are made to the regulations, which comes into effect April 1.
Anglers who are unable to attend the open house, or would like to submit feedback online can do so at TalkAEP.Alberta.ca.