When Minister Phillips put a hold on proposed angling closures on the east slopes she committed to a number of actions including a review of the science underlying Alberta's Fisheries Management and in particular the North Central Native Trout Recovery Program.
On May 28th Alberta Environment and Parks met with a diverse group of stakeholders to have initial discussions on working cooperatively on key commitments made by the Minister. Trout Unlimited Canada was represented at the meeting:
- Discussions focused primarily on providing advice on the Third-Party Science Review which the Minister has requested. Fred Wrona, the Chief Science Officer in the Environmental Monitoring and Science Division of AEP will be leading the scientific review process and the group provided important advice on the timing, process and focus of this review to John Conrad, the ADM of Operations.
- The stakeholders group also provided their input and insights into other priority areas of work which the department is undertaking, including habitat actions, angler education, citizen science, and improving ongoing stakeholder communications and engagement.
- The group agreed to act as an Advisory Committee to the Third-Party Science Review process and will provide information about the review to their members, constituents and networks.
- Based on advice from the stakeholders, a refocused and aggressive time line was crafted for the Third Party Science Review:
- Two reports are being committed to for completion during this fiscal year.
- The two reports will focus will on the scientific approach in the current Alberta Fish Management Framework relative to the eastern slopes trout recovery and walleye-pike management.
- The next meeting of this Advisory Committee will be in July, and recommendations for other potential members of the Advisory Committee were invited from stakeholders.
AEP has also undertaken work on habitat issues on the eastern slopes in conjunction with Agriculture, Forestry, Energy, and Transportation.
Further information will be provided immediately following the July meeting of the committee.