by Morinville News Staff

A dozen new fishing destinations have been added this year, after the recovery of several lakes and fisheries closed for decades, the government announced Saturday.

The province will open eight lakes to walleye fishing this year, many of which have been closed since 1996 when Alberta introduced major restrictions to walleye harvesting after major population declines.

The new harvest opportunities include Pine Coulee Reservoir, Burnstick Lake, Gleniffer Reservoir, Gull Lake, Lac Bellevue, Bourque Lake, Hilda Lake and Lac La Biche for Walleye. Pine Coulee Reservoir, Magee Lake, Manatokan Lake, Bangs Lake will be available for Pike, and Yellow Perch can be harvested from Strubel Lake.

The province says it is implementing a tag system this year to prevent overfishing in the newly opened lakes and to ensure the health of walleye populations.

The draw system, which opens Apr. 4 and closes Apr. 27, will also support conservation efforts and ensure a sustainable harvest. Draw results will be posted May 8 at https://www.albertarelm.com/licensing.page. Tags cost $11, and approximately two-thirds of tag revenue will be re-invested into the provincial fisheries program.

“For many Albertan families, fishing is a bond that links multiple generations,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks. “The re-opening of these lakes demonstrates the importance of conservation and sustainable harvesting. Sound management of our lakes, streams, and rivers will ensure Albertans will be able to fish for generation to come.”

Although many lakes have not yet opened up for anglers, Apr. 1 marks the official beginning of Alberta’s 2017 sportfishing season.

The government has also launched a revision of mywildalberta.ca, which the government says makes it easier for anglers and hunters on the go.

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