The Red Deer River Pilot Project

Addressing the challenges that face Alberta’s fisheries begins by managing these resources in a more sustainable way; this is exactly what we’re petitioning for! What follows is a proposed pilot project to be carried out on the Red Deer River (from here on referred to as RDR).

Project Goals:

  • To improve the quality and consistency of the angling experience on the RDR
  • To drastically reduce the illegal retention of fish (taking more than legal limits) on the RDR
  • To act as a proof of concept; if project is a success, similar projects would be carried out on Alberta’s very best watersheds
  • To raise awareness of what is and is not being done to protect and enhance the angling experience in Alberta
  • To give anglers & Albertans the chance to be included in the fishery management decision making process

What We Want:

  • 1 – 2 Wildlife Officers dedicated full-time to patrolling the RDR area & fining for illegal retention.
  • A significant increase in fines for those caught illegally retaining on the RDR. Example: $2500 for initial offense, $1,000 per fish illegally retained within the project area.
  • 100% of fine revenues generated from RDR directed immediately back into mitigation and restoration of the RDR. Currently, fines accumulated do not go directly into restoring the loss of wild fish genetics or population losses and are distributed between the Alberta Conservation Association or elsewhere (ie: Ducks Unlimited, research funding for the U of A, etc.)
  • The construction of a small enhancement building just below the Dixon Dam to be used circumstantially for balanced enhancement; sustaining the river’s fish populations and mitigating the ill-effects of floods, over-fishing, pollution and other threats to the health of the river.

A New Funding Model:

Rather than rely on government spending and the inadequate budgets of the SRD, we propose a combination of commercial investment (already pledged by the private sector), fine revenues (mentioned previously) and a new “stamp” program.

The Stamp Program & Tagging Process

The stamp program consists of three kinds of “stamps” to be sold to anglers, fishermen. 100% of the revenue for these stamps would be directed to sustaining and improving the RDR.

  • Resource Stamps – $2,500/yr for Outfitters, $1,000/yr for guides, $15/yr for floaters/watercraft: Sold to outfitters and guides in exchange for the right conduct out trips and tours on the RDR. This once-yearly fee would encourage the most accomplished, dedicated and qualified guides to conduct business on the river and discourage those individuals from out of province and casual guides from guiding on the project area, ensuring a quality experience for the local angler and a top notch experience for tourists.
  • Conservation Stamps – $20/year locals, $40/year for out-of-Province anglers: Implemented to ensure the angler and tourist that participates in angling the river is assured a consistent, high quality experience. Anglers would be required to purchase this stamp in order to participate in the fishery.
  • Tags – 1 – 2 tags per angler would be offered through a draw system, allowing the angler to retain one trophy size rainbow or brown trout at $25/yr or one Walleye over 20″ for $20/yr. The number of tags released yearly would be limited to a reasonable and sustainable number, with anglers able to purchase more than one tag.

We Need YOU!

After 30 years of advocating for this pilot project, we’ve received both support and pledges for funding from anglers, the business community and concerned citizens of Alberta. The governing bodies have repeatedly stood in the way as our only obstacle; we must motivate them to act.

Show your support for our pilot program by signing our online petition to help us create sustainable change.

Feedback, Questions or Concerns? Let Us Know!

We need your opinions and feedback! Please contact us to find out more about this exciting pilot project.

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