Fishery restriction on Red Deer River and tributaries
Anglers fishing upstream of Dickson Dam on the Red Deer River and its tributaries will be only allowed to catch-and-release
fish for the remainder of the season.
A zero harvest restriction will allow government experts to complete a proactive and thorough population sampling program
to determine if there were any impacts to fish stocks from a pipeline spill in early June.
Area Covered by Zero Harvest Regulation
Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development staff will assess fish populations and aquatic ecosystem health
through various sampling and monitoring programs. Initial efforts also focus on analyzing fish tissue for potential contaminants;
longer term monitoring will determine what, if any, changes to fish biology, ecology or physiology may have occurred as
a result of the spill.
The new regulation will be in place for the remainder of the 2012-13 angling season – and potentially longer – to ensure
sufficient data are available to understand the effects of the spill on fish populations within the affected area.
Anglers are asked to help fish conservation by obeying the zero harvest restriction.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Zero Harvest Restriction
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Why are you changing the regulation to zero harvest for such a large area?
This change is being implemented to reduce harvest of fish from the waters as a precautionary conservation measure in order
to help experts fully understand the potential impacts of the pipeline spill on local fisheries.
Additionally, a closed basin will provide the best support for fish population recovery, should impacts be detected.
Anglers will still be able to fish by way of catch-and-release within this area during the regular-listed seasons identified
in the Alberta 2012 Sportfishing Regulations.
What area is covered by the zero harvest regulation?
Anglers will not be allowed to harvest fish upstream of the Dickson Dam, including Gleniffer Reservoir and Dickson Trout
The area includes the main-stem of the Red Deer River from Gleniffer Lake to the Banff National Park boundary, and all flowing
Angler harvest in the affected area is still permitted in Burnstick Lake and in the following stocked trout lakes and ponds:
- Beaver Lake
- Birch Lake
- Dormer Lake
- Eagle Lake
- Yellowhead Lake
Specific regulations still apply, see:
What are the details of the fish sampling program?
Fisheries Management Branch, along with aquatic consultants retained by Plains Midstream Canada, will be assessing fish
populations and aquatic ecosystem health by conducting various sampling and monitoring programs:
- Initial efforts will focus on the analysis of fish tissue for potential contaminants to determine if there are any concerns
to human health.
- Additional studies are planned to survey fish populations in Gleniffer Lake this fall.
- Longer term studies will determine what, if any, changes to fish biology, ecology and physiology may have occurred as
a result of the spill.
- Monitoring of aquatic invertebrates is also planned, as aquatic invertebrates are among the main food sources for many
fish species and are a good indicator of aquatic ecosystem health.
How long will the fishing restriction be in place?
The new regulation will remain in place for at least the remainder of the 2012-13 angling season – and potentially longer
– to ensure sufficient data are available to understand the effects of the spill on fish populations within the affected
This temporary restriction will have a limited impact on anglers in 2012, as many waters in the affected area already have
in place seasonal harvest closures and catch-and release regulations.
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Updated: Aug 1, 2012