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Environment

Province opens 12 lakes across Alberta for walleye, pike and yellow perch fishing

Tagged walleye fish. .
Tagged walleye fish. . Courtesy: Alberta Government

Walleye fishing will be allowed on a number of Alberta lakes where it’s been prohibited for decades, in some cases.

The province says many lakes have been closed since 1996, when Alberta introduced major restrictions to walleye harvesting after population declines.

READ MORE: ‘It’s really a disaster’ – Hundreds of dead fish found in several Alberta lakes

Some lakes have been closed even longer, such as Glennifer Reservoir, which was last open 29 years ago.

“For many Albertan families, fishing is a bond that links multiple generations,” Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said. “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 generations to come.”

READ MORE: Thousands of freshly stocked fish killed in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country 

The province is implementing a tag system to prevent overfishing of walleye in the newly opened lakes, with the results of a draw to be posted May 8.

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The cost of the tags is $11; roughly two-thirds will be invested back into the provincial fisheries program, which will further protect management of Alberta’s fisheries. One-third will be used to cover administrative costs, the province said.

April 1 marked the official start to Alberta’s 2017 sportfishing season. The new season also marks the launch of mywildalberta.ca, a responsive website with a new look.

New fish harvest opportunities:

· Walleye : Pine Coulee Reservoir, Burnstick Lake, Gleniffer Reservoir, Gull Lake, Lac Bellevue, Bourque Lake, Hilda Lake and Lac La Biche
· Pike: Pine Coulee Reservoir, Magee Lake, Manatokan Lake, Bangs Lake
· Yellow Perch: Strubel Lake

— With files from Emily Mertz, Global News