You might have noticed a change in regulations this year on the Burnt Timber, N Burnt Timber, and possibly been confused with the wording of the regulations pertaining the James River.
With the change in regulations for the Red Deer River, Fisheries examined where more restrictions were added and where regulations could provide more opportunity. Considerable backpack electrofishing was conducted in the Red Deer drainage last year and no (zero) cutthroat trout were captured in the Burnt Timber and North Burnt Timber at any sites. This doesn’t necessarily preclude their existence, it simply reflects very low numbers in the population. Fisheries tried for a number of years to establish a cutthroat population in the Red Deer drainage, but its success was quite limited. Future attempts to establish cutthroat are unlikely so the Department opted for an earlier angling season regulation to provide more angling opportunity in the headwaters of the Red Deer River and the Burnt Timber and North Burnt Timber.
Also, there is potential for a bit of wording confusion pertaining to the Red Deer River regulation (pg 45), specific to the James River. The main confusion is in the section that reads “RED DEER RIVER >> from Forestry Trunk Road downstream to Gleniffer (Reservoir) Lake and tributaries (except Burnt Timber Creek, James River, Fallentimber Creek and North Raven River (Stauffer Creek).” The words “Burnt Timber, James River” should not have been included here as they aren’t exceptions and have the same regulation as that section of the Red Deer. The individual James River listing in the regulations references the Red Deer regulation: “James River & tributaries – see Red Deer River (ES2)”, which states it as an exception. The intent is for the James River & tribs to have the same regulation as that section of the Red Deer River. The officers have been notified to the confusion and the regulation listings will be changed for next year’s regulation guide.