Feb 12, 2014 · Bait bans help keep more of Alberta’s lakes and rivers open for fishing, while protecting our vulnerable native species. Please help us keep these areas open by respecting bait bans in your local area. Barbless hooks. Bait bans help with this problem. But if a barbed hook is used – even without bait – it can still hurt or kill your catch. Barbed vs. Barbless Hooks, and Bait. As of April 1, 2004, the use of barbed hooks in the Province of Alberta is illegal. We have used barbless hooks for all of our fishing for a number of years to decrease mortality rates. It is much quicker and easier to release fish if the barb is crimped. "Last fall a federal amendment to the Alberta Fishery Regulations removed the barbed hook ban and the omission wasn't immediately noted and so about 600 Albertans were ticketed for using barbed hooks." She says they're working to have the ban put back in place. Remove the hook gently with needle-nosed pliers. If the hook is deep, cut the leader rather than pulling the hook out. The hook will decompose in time. Most fish survive with hooks in them. 5. Continue to hold the fish in the water, gently moving it back and forth. This moves water past the gills and will help revive it.