Catch and possession limits
Mountain National Parks in Alberta and British Columbia
There are zero possession limits for many native species. You must correctly identify your catch. If you are not sure, release it immediately.
|All species not mentioned below||0|
|Lake Trout from Lake Minnewanka reservoir||2|
|All other species in Banff, Yoho and Kootenay national parks||0|
|Arctic grayling, rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, lake trout, northern pike, mountain whitefish, lake whitefish from Jasper, Waterton Lakes, Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks||2|
|Lake and mountain whitefish caught in Jasper National Park’s Lac Beauvert||0|
Westslope cutthroat trout from Jasper and *Waterton Lakes national parks.
*Waterton Lakes National Park - Exceptions with zero (0) limit: Belly River and Waterton River and their tributaries, Upper, Middle, and Lower Waterton Lakes, Goat Lake
|Westslope cutthroat trout: all other parks||0|
|Maximum daily catch and possession limit||2|
Note: If a fish has been filleted, two fillets will be considered one fish.
It is unlawful to:
- continue fishing on any day after having caught and retained the maximum daily catch and possession limit.
- possess more than 2 game fish at one time.
Help released fish survive
A microscopic parasite is devastating trout and salmon populations in Montana, Utah and Colorado. Infectious spores can exist in mud for up to 30 years.
If you fish United States waters, you are a special risk. Spores spread from one stream to another by sticking to fishing gear.
Wash your waders, boat bottoms and other equipment thoroughly before fishing in a new watershed.
Give a released fish the best chance for survival by following these suggestions:
- Minimize the time you play a fish. A fish played too long may not survive even if released. Always bring fish up from depth slowly. Fish brought up too quickly will rupture their air bladders and die.
- Keep the fish in the water at all times when handling and releasing.
- Handle the fish with bare, wet hands. Keep fingers away from the gills and do not squeeze to avoid injuring the fish.
- Remove the hook gently with needle-nosed pliers. If the hook is deep, cut the leader rather than pulling the hook out. The hook will decompose in time.
- Continue to hold the fish in the water, gently moving it back and forth. This moves water past the gills and will help revive it. For flowing waters, face the fish upstream. When the fish begins to struggle, let it go.
- If the fish is bleeding excessively, it will likely not survive if released. Kill it and include as part of your catch if permitted. Release all zero-possession species.
- The use of barbless hooks is recommended to make release easier. Hooks can be made barbless by flattening the barb with needle-nosed pliers.
- Single hooks are recommended to release fish more easily.
- Angling for trout in waters exceeding 18° C reduces the ability of these fish to survive the ‘catch and release’ process. Please consider not angling during exceptionally hot weather periods.
Fish consumption advisory (Mercury)
Mercury is a toxin that can affect human health. It can come from natural sources (e.g. soils and sediments) or be transported to the parks (e.g., through the atmosphere) and can then concentrate in top predators. Fish tested in some park waters have elevated mercury levels. Parks Canada, in consultation with Health Canada, has established consumption guidelines and precautionary consumption advice (where no mercury data exist) for women of reproductive age and children (Table 1).
Table 1: Consumption guidelines
|Lake||Species||Women of reproductive age
# of 113 g (4 oz.)
|Children (under 15 yrs)
# of 70 g (2.5 oz.)
|Patricia Lake (Jasper) and Sassenach (Waterton Lakes)||Lake trout||4 / month||3 / month|
|Waterton Lakes||Lake whitefish||4 / month||3 / month|
|Precautionary consumption advice for all other Park Waters||Game fish - general||4 / month||3 / month|
** A 100g serving is approximately the size of a deck of standard playing cards.
For further information contact:
Banff National Park: 403-762-1550
Yoho, Kootenay National Parks: 250-343-6108
Jasper National Park: 780-852-6176
Waterton Lakes National Park: 403-859-5133
Mount Revelstoke/Glacier National Parks: 250-837-7500