The Government of Alberta is asking Alberta’s anglers to keep barbed hooks out of our waters.

Last fall, an inadvertent federal amendment to the Alberta Fishery Regulations removed the barbed hook ban. The omission was not immediately noted and has affected about 600 Albertans who were ticketed for using barbed hooks.

Officials from ESRD and Justice and Solicitor General are working to rectify the problem by withdrawing charges and reversing wrongful convictions and fines for those individuals affected since September 2011.

We’re working with the Government of Canada to determine the appropriate next steps as we consider the current lack of a barbed hook ban.

In the meantime, we encourage Alberta’s anglers to continue to use barbless hooks and remember that we are promoting proper handling techniques for all fish to best ensure their survival once released.