Hunters and anglers can expect to see some fresh faces patrolling Alberta’s waterways and hunting grounds in the coming months. Twelve recruits will be donning Fish and Wildlife Officer uniforms when they complete academy training in December.
Enforcement was also bolstered in December of 2012 with the graduation of 12 new recruits. Recruits are trained in the use of small and large boats, patrol units, ATVs and firearms. They also learn investigative techniques, defensive tactics, problem wildlife control and many other skills and procedures.
These officers work with anglers, commercial users, hunters, landowners, researchers and trappers to ensure fish and wildlife legislation is understood and followed. Through hunter and angler checks, they make sure people have the necessary licences and documentation, and that they are hunting and fishing safely and within the rules.
Of course, Fish and Wildlife Officers also conduct investigations of illegal activity, collect evidence, compile court briefs, research legislation and testify in court. However, many people don’t know Fish and Wildlife Officers also participate in major investigations into things like illegal wildlife trafficking. In fact, Alberta even has a forensic lab (one of only two in Canada) where they can perform sophisticated analysis of evidence to help solve poaching cases.
Alberta has so much to offer in terms of outdoor fun and recreation. Our many lakes, rivers and streams can be great fishing holes, and there are many types of games species in Alberta too. We are lucky to have so many majestic animals here, so it’s important we make sure we protect our fish and wildlife resources so they will be here for our children to enjoy.
Fish and Wildlife Officers are dedicated to that cause, and you can help too. If you see or hear of any suspicious hunting or fishing activity, report it to the nearest Fish and Wildlife district office or call the 24-hour Report A Poacher hotline at 1-800-642-3800.