Government of Canada takes important steps to protect critical habitat of trout in Alberta

News release

March 31, 2021

Ottawa, Ontario - A key part of protecting aquatic species at risk is ensuring their critical habitat is also protected. The Government of Canada recognizes that we must safeguard these vital areas—including breeding sites, nursery areas, or feeding grounds—to help our at-risk species recover and survive for future generations.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, has signed two Critical Habitat Orders for trout in Alberta: Rainbow Trout (Athabasca River populations) and Bull Trout (Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers populations). The Minister of Environment and Climate Change, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, joined Minister Jordan in signing the joint Critical Habitat Order between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Parks Canada for the Bull Trout species. Putting these Orders in place is an important step to ensure that our Government is protecting these species for the benefit of a diverse ecosystems and the future of all Canadians.

A Critical Habitat Order protects the functions, features and attributes of a species’ critical habitat in specific geographical locations that are essential to its survival and recovery. When critical habitat is protected under the Species at Risk Act, proposed activities that fall within critical habitat may be permitted on a case-by-case basis provided that they do not jeopardize the survival or recovery of the species. A Critical Habitat Order applies to any ongoing or future human activities that could result in the destruction of any part of the identified critical habitat of an at-risk species.

The two Critical Habitat Orders for Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout were published today in the Canada Gazette, Part II.


“We have the ability to protect and restore Canada’s at-risk species and the habitats they call home. With these Critical Habitat Orders, we’re taking strong action to conserve our Rainbow Trout and Bull Trout populations and their ecosystems for generations to come. Preserving our natural environment and the biodiversity it sustains will always be a key priority for this Government.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“Parks Canada plays an important role in contributing to the recovery of species at risk. By protecting and restoring habitat of the iconic Bull Trout, the Government of Canada is safeguarding resilient, interconnected ecosystems for future generations.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada

Quick facts

  • The Critical Habitat Orders protecting the critical habitat of the Rainbow Trout (Athabasca River populations) and Bull Trout (Saskatchewan-Nelson Rivers populations) in Alberta were published on March 31, 2021, in Canada Gazette, Part II.

  • Critical habitat for Rainbow Trout  found in Jasper National Park and for Bull Trout found in Banff, Jasper and Waterton Lakes National Parks, listed in Schedule 1 of the Canada National Parks Act has been protected using Critical Habitat Descriptions that were published in the Canada Gazette, in December 2020.

  • Under the Species at Risk Act, Parks Canada is responsible for the protection and recovery of listed species found in national historic sites, national parks and national marine conservation areas. Critical habitat for Bull Trout can be found in Banff, Jasper and Waterton National Parks, the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site, the Ya Ha Tinda Ranch, and the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site.

Associated links


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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