Fish and Wildlife Officers in the Community
The Government of Alberta’s goals are to protect, preserve and manage Alberta's fish and wildlife, and to protect the lives and property of Albertans.
To help meet these goals, Alberta's Fish and Wildlife officers:
- Ensure Albertans understand and follow legislation that protects fish and wildlife through education, prevention and enforcement.
- Administer programs and operations for human / wildlife conflict management.
- Provide support for public safety programs.
What Fish and Wildlife Officers Do
- Ensure that fish and wildlife legislation is understood and followed by working with stakeholders including anglers, commercial users, hunters, industry, landowners, researchers and trappers.
- Represent the government in media, schools and with stakeholder organizations and civic groups.
- Inform industry, property owners and recreationalists about wildlife management, such as preventing conflicts with wildlife.
- Through hunter checks, verify hunters have the necessary licences and documentation and ensure compliance with regulations addressing public safety, respect for property and the legal harvest of game.
- Through angler checks, verify anglers have the necessary licenses and documentation and ensure compliance with regulations. When checking boats, officers may also inspect vessels for proper vessel safety equipment.
- Operate check stops to ensure compliance with hunting and angling legislation and regulations, including transportation and appropriate documentation. This is often done in partnership with other enforcement agencies.
- Assist the public in acquiring necessary permits for importing/exporting wildlife and possessing found dead wildlife.
- Conduct periodic inspections of businesses that handle wildlife such as taxidermists and meat processors
- Conduct investigations of illegal activity, collect evidence, compile court briefs, research legislation and testify in court.
- Execute warrants, prepare and serve legal documents and issue summonses, violation tickets and warnings.
- Assist other law enforcement agencies when required.
- Conduct major investigations, undercover and surveillance operations and provide forensic services across the province. To accomplish this, Fish and Wildlife officers are assigned to the Forensic Unit, Major Investigations and Intelligence Unit or Undercover Unit.
Human / Wildlife Conflict Management
- Deliver the prevention, mitigation and compensation programs of Alberta’s problem wildlife management strategy.
- Respond to wildlife/human conflicts that pose a public safety concern.
- Advise landowners and industry representatives about effective wildlife control measures that can be implemented on their own.
- Investigate reports of property damage caused by wildlife.
- Examine livestock kills to determine if a predator, such as a bear, wolf or cougar, was responsible and initiate control actions.
- Respond to calls, including after-hours, emergency calls made to the Report a Poacher line.
- Investigate wildlife encounters with humans and predation on livestock.
- Capture, immobilize and relocate problem wildlife, or euthanize, if necessary.
- Assist with search and rescue efforts.
Fish and Wildlife officers have the authority to enforce a number of provincial and federal regulations:
- Wildlife Act and Regulation
- Fisheries (Alberta) Act and Regulations
- Traffic Safety Act and Regulations (numerous regulations such as OHV Reg.)
- Gaming and Liquor Act and Regulation (limited)
- Provincial Offences Procedure Act and Regulation
- Forests Act and Regulations
- Public Lands Act (limited)
- Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act and Regulation (limited)
- Petty Trespass Act
- Provincial Parks Act and Regulation
- Wilderness Areas, Ecological Reserves, Natural Areas and Heritage Rangelands Act
- Fuel Tax Act and Regulation
- Fisheries Act (Canada) and Regulations
- Migratory Birds Convention Act, 1994 and Regulations
- Freshwater Fish Marketing Act
- WAPPRIITA (Wild Animal and Plant Protection and Regulation of International and Interprovincial Trade Act and Regulations)
- Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations and Small Vessel Regulations
- Criminal Code
- Controlled Drugs and Substances Act