|Licences and Costs
Recreational fishing licences are available for purchase at licence issuers or online at albertarelm.com. To buy a special walleye licence online that requires a tag(s), you must have a prenumbered Government of Alberta paper tag and wire before you begin your purchase. Tags and wires are available free of charge at Fish and Wildlife Offices and Licence Issuers.
To buy a licence you must have a WIN card (see below). All licence costs are subject to the Federal Goods and Services Tax (GST) which is not included to the costs listed below.
1 Sportfishing refers to angling (using a hook and line), bowfishing, spearfishing and using a
minnow trap, seine net or dip net to collect bait fish for non-commercial use.
2 Where does your Sportfishing Licensing dollars go?
Over 300,000 Sportfishing licences were sold in 2016 generating over $8.6M in revenue representing a slight decreae in sales over 2015. For each $1 of revenue collected:
- $0.64 is distributed to the Alberta Conservation Association. For more information on how funds are used to support Fisheries programs, please visit www.ab-conservation.com
- $0.31 is used for licensing allocation and administration providing compensation to the Service Provider and the network of private Licence Issuers as well as provides funds for programs to monitor fish populations. For more information, visit mywildalberta.com
- $0.05 goes to Government of Alberta General Revenue Fund
3 All residents of Canada are eligible to buy a Resident Sportfishing Licence. A resident is a person who has his or her only or primary residence in Canada and
- is a Canadian citizen or is admitted to permanent residence in Canada, or
- has lived in Canada for the immediately preceding 12-month period.
An Alberta resident is a person who is a resident of Canada and has their only or primary residence in Alberta.
4 A person who is not a resident of Canada and who is age 16 or older must hold a valid Non-Resident
5 Special Fish Harvest Licences for Walleye (Class A), Walleye (Class B) and Walleye (Class C) are available only through a draw, see Draws for Special Fish Harvest Licence.
Lost/destroyed licences – all purchased licences can be reprinted either at a licence issuer for a $2.00 fee or online at no charge.
Lost/destroyed tags – You are required to bring your licence and complete a statutory declaration to authorize the replacement at a Fish and Wildlife office.
Recreational Licensing System
Recreational fishing and hunting licences are sold online or through licence issuers. A list of licence issuers is available at mywildalberta.com. Go to albertarelm.com to purchase your licence or WiN card online.
Anglers and hunters must have a Wildlife Identification Number (WiN) before purchasing any licence or Wildlife Certificate. The cost is $8.00 and is valid for 5 years.
At the time of your WiN purchase you will receive a permanent 10 digit WiN. A permanent plastic WiN card will be mailed out.
Renewal of Expired WiNs
When your WiN expires, you will be required to renew your WiN prior to buying a licence. A WiN renewal costs $8.00 and is valid for five years.
A new WiN card with your new expiry date will be mailed out.
Please verify the personal information shown on your WiN renewal and provide information updates to the licence Issuers or online at albertarelm.com. A correct address and phone number is important to ensure that you receive your new WiN Card.
- Your sportfishing licence must be carried at all times when sportfishing or transporting fish.
- Review your licence at the time of purchase and ensure all information is correct.
- Information changes can be provided to the licence issuer or updated online at albertarelm.com.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can I renew my WiN before it expires?
A: Yes. WiNs that expire within one year can be renewed.
Q: How long is my WiN valid for if I renew before my expiry date?
A: Five years will be added to the original expiry date.
Q: What if my WiN Card is lost or stolen?
A: Please call 1-888-944-5494
Alberta Sportfishing Licences
An Alberta Sportfishing Licence is required to fish in Alberta by means of sportfishing (see Licences and Costs and sportfishing definition). If you are under 16 years of age, an Alberta resident aged 65 or older, or a first Nations’ person who is defined as an Indian under the federal Indian Act, you are not required to have a Sportfishing Licence, but you must follow sportfishing regulations. Sportfishing Licences are not required when a person is sportfishing on a designated Free Fishing Weekend.
Sportfishing Licences are available at private licence issuers throughout the province or online at albertarelm.com. Licences must be carried at all times while sportfishing and transporting fish and must be presented immediately to an officer upon request.
If a person is convicted of a provincial fishing offence and fails to pay their fine, they will be suspended from purchasing or using a sportfishing licence, a hunting licence or applying on draws until that outstanding fine has been paid. Similarly, failure to pay a fine resulting from a hunting conviction will result in the same restrictions.
Spearfishing / Bowfishing
A special licence for spearfishing or bowfishing is not required. Spearfishing and bowfishing is allowed under the Alberta Sportfishing Licence.
Only spears propelled by spring, elastic, compressed gas or muscular power are permitted.
Only persons who are swimming may spearfish.
Spears or bows cannot be used to take trout, mountain whitefish, Arctic grayling, lake sturgeon, walleye or northern pike.
Spearfishing or bowfishing are not permitted in Gods, May, Seibert, Winefred, Andrew, Gardiner and Namur lakes.
Sportfishing in Provincial and National Parks
Alberta Sportfishing Regulations apply in Alberta Provincial Parks, but not in National Parks. Separate regulations apply to those waters or portion of waters within National Parks.To fish in a Provincial Park, you need an Alberta Sportfishing Licence (see licence exemptions under “Requirements”). Provincial licences are not valid inside National Parks and regulations may differ. To fish in a National Park, you need a National Park Fishing Permit, which is valid only within the National Park. National Park fishing permits are available at most park facilities and some commercial outlets. General inquiries for Parks Canada National office 1-888-773-8888.
Fishing in a Wilderness Area or Ecological Reserve is prohibited by the Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act.
Sportfishing in Cold Lake
Sportfishing in Cold Lake requires either an Alberta Sportfishing Licence (see licence exemptions under “Requirements”), or a Saskatchewan Angling Licence. The Alberta Fishery Regulations, 1998 apply to the Alberta portion of Cold Lake; while the Saskatchewan Regulations apply to the Saskatchewan portion of Cold Lake (Saskatchewan regulations are consistent with Alberta regulations for Cold Lake).
Derby and Tournament Licensing
The licensing of organized fishing derbies and tournaments (Competitive Fishing Events or CFE's) is required for events involving more than 25 participants. The type of licence depends on the number of participants and the value of prizes. The cost of all licences is $25 and will only be issued to organizers who are residents of Alberta. Best Management Practices have been developed and incorporated into licence conditions to reduce impacts on fish populations. Events with 25 or fewer participants do not require a licence, but organizers are encouraged to voluntarily register such events and to follow best management practices.
Non-competitive fishing events, any event where 26 or more people participate in angling for one or more consecutive days on a specified water, do not require a licence, if prizes are awarded for participation or randow draw, not a fishing competition.
The CFE website, at mywildalberta.com, provides organizers with application and reporting forms, licence conditions, contact information, and information on how best to operate an event. A Frequently Asked Questions document addresses the issues event organizers need to consider prior to advertising and running an event.
Draws For Special Walleye Licences
The “2017 Special Walleye Licence Draws” pamphlet provides complete information about the draws and is available at Licence Issuers, Fish and Wildlife Offices and online at mywildalberta.com.
In 1996, Alberta introduced major restrictions on the walleye fisheries to allow their recovery after major declines due to fishing pressure. Several of these fisheries have recovered to the point where a limited harvest of specific sizes of walleye can be sustained. If these lakes were open to allow all anglers to keep a fish, the walleye would quickly be over harvested and the excellent sport fishery would be lost. Recognizing the impact of the high number of anglers and the need to preserve fisheries where fishing pressure is significant, a limited harvest option has been developed. A special walleye licence is available to Albertans selected on a draw basis for specified lakes. These lakes were selected based on the most current scientific information on walleye productivity and angler pressure.
Notice to Anglers
At the time of printing this document, the lakes identified are open for the current season under a Special Licence Draw. Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) reserves the right to close any of these lakes if it is deemed that a lake will not be able to sustain a harvest ie. a lake is at risk for winterkill, AEP will implement a zero draw quota. If you have any questions regarding this statement, contact Fish and Wildlife Policy Branch email:
A walleye that is retained must be tagged immediately through the gill cavity and mouth with a paper tag and wire. To tag your walleye refer to the instructions on the tag.
April 4 - April 27, 2017
Draw applications may be purchased for $3.35 (plus GST) online at albertarelm.com or at licence issuers.
Commencing May 8
Draw results may be viewed online at albertarelm.com.
Undersubscribed Licence information available online at mywildalberta.com.
May 12 - March 15, 2018
Special Walleye Licence available for purchase online at albertarelm.com or at licence issuers. Online paper tags and wires are available at Fish and Wildlife offices and Licence Issuers.
May 12, 9:00 a.m. to March 15, 2018 midnight
Undersubscribed licences available for reservation online at albertarelm.com ($3.35 per application).
Draw applications, checking draw results or reserving undersubscribed special licences will be available online through albertarelm.com or at licence issuers.