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People Fishing in the North Saskatewan River

Edmonton offers a variety of opportunities for fishing. Cast your line in the pond in Hermitage Park or try your luck in the North Saskatchewan River.

Free Fishing Weekends

Each year, during the Alberta Family Day weekend and the end of National Fishing Week, anyone can fish without an Alberta Sport Fishing Licence.

All other Alberta Sport Fishing Regulations still apply.

Hermitage Park Stocked Pond

Will be test stocked. No angling will be allowed for the 2019 season

This pond is free for public use:

  • All Sport Fishing Regulations apply
  • An Alberta Sport Fishing Licence is required if you are 16 to 65 years of age
  • For all anglers, limit is 5 rainbow trout
  • Non-motorized boats are allowed
  • Family fishing only - all children under 16 years of age to be with supervised adult
  • Fishing events are held at the park annually as part of the River Day festival in June

North Saskatchewan River


Health Canada sets fish consumption guidelines based on:

  • The concentration of mercury in fish tissue
  • The human body's ability to eliminate mercury at a slow rate.

You should not eat fish from the North Saskatchewan River more than once a week, and do not eat the liver or other organs. Pregnant women, women of child-bearing age, and children under the age of 15 should not consume the fish at all.

The mercury in many areas of the province, including the North Saskatchewan River, is likely from natural sources (Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations 2007.)


Fish Species

Fish for these species in the North Saskatchewan River (within city limits.)


Burbot Fish Photo

Burbot is easily identified by its dark body and white belly. Its most notable feature is the single barbel or whisker hanging from the lower jaw. The Alberta angling record for the species is 5.9 kg. Burbot reach a maximum weight of 8.5 kg. The longest known specimen is 100 cm.


Goldeye Fish Photo

Both goldeye and mooneye are deep, laterally compressed fish with silvery scales. The goldeye has a bright, yellow or golden eye. In contrast, only the upper half of the mooneye's iris is yellow. The Alberta angling records for goldeye and mooneye are 1.9 kg and 0.5 kg respectively. Length data for goldeye isn't reliable but 50 cm goldeye have been caught in Alberta. The maximum fork length for Alberta mooneye is 35.25 cm.

Lake Sturgeon

Lake Sturgeon Fish Photo

Lake sturgeon are the largest and longest living fish in the river. There is no mistaking the sturgeon with its long whiskers (barbels) and the five rows of bony plates, called scutes, along its body. The plates are sharp on young fish, but smooth out with age. The Alberta angling record is 47.7 kg and the maximum fork length is 170 cm.

Mountain Whitefish

Mountain Whitefish Photo

Mountain whitefish often move in groups (schools) from one pool to another. Occasionally, you can see them just downstream from the north end of the Quesnell Bridge. The Alberta angling record is 2.57 kg, with a length of 58.5 cm.

Northern Pike

Northern Pike Fish Photo

Pike is a predatory fish at the top of the food chain. Its habitat is calm, deep water in ponds and creek mouths. Spawning occurs in the spring on flooded vegetation. The current Alberta angling record is 17.2 kg and the maximum weight is 19.5 kg.


Sauger Fish Photo

Sauger and walleye are very similar in appearance, but sauger has characteristic black spots on its spiny dorsal fin. The Alberta angling record is 2.8 kg and the maximum length is 59.6 cm.


Sucker Fish Photo

Five species of sucker can be caught in the river: silver redhorse, shorthead redhorse, quillback, white and longnose sucker. The mountain sucker is also occasionally caught in the Edmonton area. All are easily identified as suckers by their thick downward pointing lips which they use to suck food from the river bottom. Suckers weighing up to 3.66 kg have been caught in the North Saskatchewan River.


Walleye Fish Photo

Walleye is the largest member of the perch family. Walleye get their name from the glossy appearance of their large eyes. Walleye can be distinguished from the sauger by the white spots on the its tail. The Alberta angling record is 6.7 kg with a length of 73.7 cm.

Did you know?

According to the Royal Alberta Museum, the sturgeon is the living dinosaur of Alberta fish. It belongs to a group of fish dating back 300 million years. The average size of the lake sturgeon in the North Saskatchewan River is about 5kg, but they can reach as much as 45kg. These fish can live for over 100 years and do not begin to reproduce until they are 15-20 years old.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555

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