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Alberta government seeks feedback in Lethbridge on new fishing legislation

Alberta government seeks feedback on new fishing legislation
WATCH: More than 100 southern Alberta anglers attended an open house Monday night to discuss fisheries management and the future of sport fishing regulations in the province. Emily Olsen reports.

Alberta government officials are hitting the road for a series of open houses, following a Monday night stop in Lethbridge to hear feedback from local fishing enthusiasts about new legislation coming this year.

The open houses share details on fisheries management in Alberta and offer one-on-one conversations about concerns and ideas moving forward.

“What we’re really doing is just having our biologists come in and just talk with people,” said Rob Simieritsch, regional resource manager at Alberta Environment and Parks.

“They come into the room here, and they’re having a conversation. They get to share ideas. That’s really what we’re focused on is conversations.”

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Some in attendance were enthusiastic to see a turnout of more than 100 people interested in voicing their opinions on everything from fishing licences to local ecosystems.

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“I am absolutely flabbergasted,” said fisherman Bill Groves.

“I very much appreciate the concern that’s going on here. I have to say, ‘Yes, fishermen!’ There are many people here voicing the same concerns as I have.”

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The next stop is at the Bow Habitat Station in Calgary on Tuesday followed by a session in St. Albert on Wednesday.

“The government needs to pay really close attention so that we don’t lose the valuable resource that we have at hand,” said fly-fisher Bob Costa.

Those unable to attend these events can still submit feedback online.

Provincial officials said the feedback will be reflected in the 2020 Alberta Sportfishing Regulations, which will come into effect on April 1.