Watching for long weekend lawbreakers

Stay safe this long weekend

We’re in the dog days of summer and heading into our last long weekend of summer. A lot of Albertans are going to get out of town, and many are planning on getting on the water to catch some fish before packing their rods and tackle away until next year. We wish everyone good luck on the lakes and streams, and we also want to remind you to be safe on the roads on the way, and follow the rules once you get there.

Fish and Wildlife Officers point out that buying a fishing license doesn’t mean you’re licensed to catch all the fish you want. Even with a license, there are limits to how many fish you can catch, and the limits are different for different kinds of fish. Also, some kinds of fish must be of a certain length if you want to keep them — and these are only a couple examples of the rules in place around fishing in Alberta.

One man who recently broke those laws was fined $5,750, and won’t be allowed to get a fishing license for the next five years. He pleaded guilty to catching 14 northern pike from the Battle River when the limit was only three. On top of that, northern pike in that area must be at least 63 cm before you keep them, and his fish weren’t.

Too many fish that were too small means two important fishing regulations were violated.

Too many fish that were too small means two important fishing regulations were violated.

These rules are in place to make sure Alberta anglers can enjoy fishing in our province for years to come. Imagine how many fish would be around years from now if people today caught as many fish as they liked. And if smaller fish are kept instead of released, they never get the chance to grow and reproduce, and that hurts fish populations too.

And of course, as is always the case around long weekends, there will be a lot of folks on the roads heading out to fish, camp, or take part in a wide range of activities. So be safe on the roads – don’t speed, and if you’re going to drink let someone else do the driving.

Have a great weekend, and save us a spot by the fire!

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