Why Stock Fish in Alberta?

The Alberta Government maintains native fish populations in all water bodies where they occur. Alberta also raises fish in hatcheries and plants them in water bodies to meet numerous conservation goals:

  • Re-establish fish where populations have collapsed
  • Establish new populations in suitable lakes
  • Provide trout fishing in areas where few other angling opportunities exist
  • Provide diversity in angling experiences where appropriate

The primary purpose of walleye stocking is to achieve self-sustaining populations, rather than maintain populations through continuous stocking. On the other hand, rainbow trout are not able to spawn in the sites the government stocks on an annual basis because of the lack of stream access (pothole lakes).

In lakes where food is adequate and there is a good chance the fish will survive the winters, small fish are stocked and allowed to grow to catchable size (put-grow-and-take fisheries). In other lakes and ponds, where fish cannot survive the winter because of inadequate oxygen (winterkill), larger fish are stocked (put-and-take fisheries).

Government hatcheries raise all the small fish for the put-grow-and-take fisheries. Part of the Sportfishing Licence fee ($1.00) goes to enhanced fish stocking, and raising larger trout for the put-and-take fisheries.

Learn more about Alberta's Fish Stocking Program:

Attention:

Select Alberta lakes and ponds are aerated during the winter to improve the survival of stocked fish. This process can weaken surface ice and pose an ice safety concern. For further details, see:

Fish Stocking Reports

Related Information

Summer and winter kill occur when large numbers of fish in a water body die due to lack of oxygen. Winter kill in particular occurs in many of Alberta's regularly trout stocked water bodies. Learn more at:

Alberta Environment and Parks

The stocking reports use the Alberta Land Survey System to describe the location of water bodies. Access this system to find a particular water body:

Updated: Jan 30, 2017