Alberta is nothing less than a fishing paradise with several lakes across the province to superior trout fishing in its famous rivers. Plenty of rivers and lakes in the region boast world-class trout fisheries. Even if you can’t catch a giant-sized trout in Alberta, it is still a lot of pleasure to get out and practice fly fishing. For many people in Alberta, burbot fishing is as fun as trout fishing, wherein the water bodies in the province boast an excellent burbot population. 

With its sound promises around fishing, it’s pretty tempting for one to think that fishing is an easy thing to do in Alberta. But in reality, it isn’t true! Yes, fishing is not as simple as it sounds. Canada has many rules and regulations pertaining to almost everything and fishing is no exception. So, if you’re planning to go fishing but don’t know much about fishing licence in Alberta, you need to brush up on the rules and regulations, as violating them can be risky. To help you out on this, we have drafted a detailed guide to fishing that will let you know about fishing licenses in Alberta, involving rules and regulations, and much more!

Fishing in Alberta – How to Do it?

Fishing in Alberta - How to Do it

When it comes to fishing, it’s more going to a lake, throwing a hook in the water, and catching a fish. It’s crucial to follow all the rules and regulations and possess a valid Alberta fishing licence. Whether visiting Alberta for a day or residing here, you will need an Alberta fishing licence. 

Alberta Fishing Rules and Regulations

For fishing in the Alberta province, the rules and regulations involved are related to where you can go fishing, which fish you are allowed to keep, how you can fish, the quantity of fish you can keep, etc. If you go on a fishing trip, you don’t need to fret about anything except a fishing licence in Alberta. Knowing all the fishing rules and regulations is highly recommended if you are go fishing on your own. 

For starters, there are different Alberta rules and regulations for fishing in the province’s National parks, which involve not being allowed to fish after sunset or with more than one line. Besides, there’s the latest rule about taking any water vessel or boat into different lakes. For instance, you will have to allow your water vessel to dry for at least 48 hours before changing lakes in BC, Alberta, North Territories, and Yukon, or for at least 30 days after being used in the U.S. or other regions of Saskatchewan and east. 

NOTE : These are just a few examples, but in reality, you must be aware of all the current Alberta fishing rules and regulations before you go fishing. 

The government lays down all the rules and regulations for fishing to keep the province’s environment safe. The stringent control also ensures there are enough fish for generations to come. 

Alberta Fishing Licence

Before purchasing an Alberta fishing licence, it’s essential to have an active Wildlife Identification Number (WIN) Number. This can be ordered online and will cost you around CAD 8. Once you get a WIN Number, it’s time to determine the type of fishing licence you need. Alberta has different fishing licences based on age, what you aspire to catch, and residence. People under 16 or above 65 years of age do not require a sport fishing licence. Indigenous people don’t need a licence either and bear certain fishing rights. 

Talking prices, the cost of an Alberta fishing licence ranges from $28 per year for a resident to $85 per year for a non-resident from outside Canada. Visitors can opt for a 1-day licence or a 7-day licence. If you go fishing in National Parks in Alberta, the fee is high because the provincial fishing licence is not valid there. The National Park fishing licence costs $9.80 per day and $34.30 for an annual pass. 

What’s more? If you are confused about ‘how to buy a fishing license in Alberta’ or ‘where to buy a fishing license in Alberta from’, we have an answer for you! You can buy the licence either offline through private licence issuers in communities throughout Alberta or online through

NOTE : A fishing licence in Alberta is valid only for a year from April 1st to March 31st of the following year. This implies that it will still be valid till March 31st of the next year if you purchase it in October.

Top 4 Spots For Fishing in Alberta

Across the province of Alberta, there’s no shortage of exciting fishing locations. However, we have curated some of the best hotspots for fishing in Canada which are mentioned below:

1. North Saskatchewan River

North Saskatchewan River

Known for its sturgeon, the North Saskatchewan River in Alberta is a fishing site which is best advised to visit between May and September. The fishing opportunities here are limitless and can hook you into visiting this place repeatedly for a pleasant fishing experience. 

2. Ethel Lake

Ethel Lake

Ethel Lake is famous for ice fishing. Prominent and some of the most sought-after fishes available in Ethel lake include the Walleye, Northern pike, and Yellow perch. You should carefully use your best judgement while deciding where you can fish in Ethel lake, though.

3. Lake Minnewanka

Lake Minnewanka

No other fishing spot in Alberta beats Lake Minnewanka in trophy lake trout fishingIt is a large, murky lake found in the east of Banff. The lake is also famous for gigantic Rocky Mountain Whitefish. 

4. Berland River

The Berland River is one of those fishing spots in Alberta where you can expect to see Rainbow trout, Graylings, and bull trout. Besides fishing, the spot holds some of Alberta’s best scenery and rock cliffs.

You May Also Read :

Lakes in Alberta List of 10 Best Lakes in Alberta
Places To Visit in Alberta Guide To Best Albertan Tourist Attractions
Best Hiking Trails in Alberta List of 10 Best Hikes in Alberta
Cost of Living in Alberta What is The Cost of Living in Alberta

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

What’s the cost of an Alberta fishing license?

The cost of an Alberta fishing licence differs for different categories of people. For Alberta Residents (16-64 years of age), a Sportfishing Licence costs CAD 28.00. Non-residents from outside Canada and Canadian residents from outside Alberta need to pay CAD 85.00 and CAD 60.00, respectively, for an annual sport fishing licence.

Can you fish in Alberta without a license?

No, you can’t fish without a fishing licence in Alberta. It is mandatory for all people sportfishing in Alberta to hold a Sportfishing Licence, excluding youths under 16 years of age, First Nations Persons who are defined as Indians under the Federal Indian Act, and Alberta residents aged 65 and above.

What day is free fishing in Alberta?

In Alberta, you can enjoy free fishing with your family on two weekends every year. Firstly, in February, during the Family Day long weekend. Secondly, in July, on the weekend following Canada Day.

What is the age to purchase a fishing license in Canada?

You can purchase a fishing license in Alberta if you’re between the age of 18 and 64 years old.

Where is the best place to fish in Alberta?

Though there are plenty of good fishing spots in Alberta, the North Saskatchewan River offers the most pleasing fishing experience. This fishing spot in Alberta will make for exceptional fishing with its lush variety of species like Mountain whitefish, Burbot, Goldeye, etc.

What is ice fishing in Alberta?

Ice fishing in Alberta is something that you can’t afford to miss! It is arguably just as famous as fishing in summers. While ice fishing, ensure that the ice is at least 10 cm thick before venturing on it. Also, you must check all opening days for the water body you plan to visit. Lastly, keep in mind that there’s no ice fishing in Alberta on flowing water, which means you can’t go ice fishing on streams or rivers, but only on lakes.

Which is Alberta’s primary fishing season?

The primary fishing season in Alberta is during the summers, from May or June up until late September or early October. However, if you prefer ice fishing during winter, the best months start from December until mid or end of April.