As anglers, hunters and trappers in Saskatchewan, you recognize that healthy and diverse wildlife populations are an indication of a healthy ecosystem. Your responsible conservation ethic and love of nature are making positive and vital contributions to the management and preservation of wildlife and wildlife habitat. The revenue (30 per cent) from all fur, angling and hunting licences you purchase, is used to manage, preserve and enhance fish and wildlife habitat.
The fund has identified three fish and wildlife management goals:
- Maintain natural habitat through conservation, biodiversity, land management and awareness of rare species.
- Maintain and grow sustainable fish populations and their habitat.
- Maintain game populations and ensure accessible hunting.
You can also help support the sustainable management and use of fish and wildlife resources by:
- supporting legislation that conserves wildlife habitat;
- joining or supporting your local conservation group or wildlife federation;
- planting shelterbelts (using native fruit-bearing species), protecting wetlands and sloughs, including their riparian areas; and
- maintaining large or small natural areas.
In 2014, the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation took responsibility for all fisheries enhancement, including operation of the provincial Fish Culture Station. However, ownership of the fish culture station along with FWDF program oversight, policy development and fish stocking plans remains the responsibility of the Government of Saskatchewan.
Each winter, FWDF aeration projects help maintain the dissolved oxygen levels necessary to keep fish populations alive. These systems result in areas of open water or thin, unsafe ice conditions. Warning signs will be posted on waters with aeration systems and we ask that you please exercise caution and observe all warnings. For more information contact the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.
The number of FWDF activities has increased in recent years to combine the ways habitat is conserved for the benefit of all aquatic and terrestrial wildlife species - harvested and non-hunted, including:
- Forming partnerships with government and non-government organizations;
- Protecting habitat through purchase and conservation easements;
- Use of interest generated on revenues to pay rural municipalities (>100) grants-in-lieu of taxes on FWDF lands.
We manage FWDF lands to provide the best possible wildlife habitat year-round for the greatest number of species. Many cultivated acres have been converted to forage, with local farmers haying the lands and using grazing as part of a vegetation management plan including weed and pest control on FWDF lands to ensure we’re a good neighbour. We also encourage and fund co-operative projects with local, volunteer interest groups that may involve planting trees, clearing small openings in the bush to stimulate browse growth, as well as clearing away old buildings, machinery and fences.
You Can Use Wildlife Lands
Wildlife lands are not reserves or sanctuaries. These natural areas have been bought with your hunting and trapping dollars, and can be used by everyone. Naturally, hunting is allowed on these lands. Lands are also open to other outdoor nature enthusiasts, including hikers, bird watchers and photographers. You can view the various FWDF lands through Saskatchewan Interactive Maps.
There are four main rules when visiting FWDF lands:
- Walk-in traffic only (except when retrieving big game during hunting season);
- Walk-in camping only - no open fires;
- No littering; and
- No interference with an authorized management treatment (e.g., haying or grazing).