Considering the present situation, the province has teamed up with the Alberta Hunter Education Instructors’ Association (AHEIA) to help Albertans wanting to learn more about fishing.
“Many Albertans are practising physical distancing right now, so what better time to learn about our province’s wildlife?” said Environment and Parks minister Jason Nixon in a news release.
“Our partners AHEIA have generously offered to make the new Alberta Fishing Education Program available free of charge, and we hope Albertans – kids and adults – will take advantage of this opportunity. I recently took the course along with my two youngest children, and the three of us learned so much about the aquatic biodiversity of our province.”
The online eight-module program is the only one of its kind in North America and the free offer is being released at the same time as the province’s 2020 sport fishing regulations. It’s available on the AHEIA website.
“Given the current set of circumstances everyone is dealing with, we feel now is the perfect time to release the Alberta Fishing Education Program for free,” said Robert Gruszecki with the AHEIA.
“So that all Albertans – young and old – can take advantage of this extra time they may have found themselves with while they self-isolate or quarantine at home away from school and work.”
The aim of the program is to go beyond just providing information, but to give people confidence through understanding in the hopes that people are more responsible outdoors and help preserve Alberta’s wild places.
While there are many regulatory changes coming to many Alberta water bodies (details at open.alberta.ca/publications/alberta-guide-to-sportfishing-regulations), there is one that may make fishing easier.
The province has implemented an electronic sport fishing licence that can be downloaded via an app at www.AlbertaRelm.com. Other conveniences such as auto-renewal are being developed as well.
However, if an officer requests to see a licence, it is up to the individual to produce it either on paper or electronically. If not, the person could have face fines and the confiscation of their catch.
The fee for an annual sportfishing licence remains unchanged at $28 for 16 to 64 and free for those under 16 as well as 65 and older. There is a special Walleye licence application fee of $3.35 and then an $11 special Walleye harvest licence fee.