Friday, June 19, 2009

Free Fishing Weekend

Free Family Fishing Weekend
June 19 - 21

Getting families together to enjoy a little fun in the great outdoors while promoting the ancient art of angling is the idea behind a plan that allows a weekend of fishing without the need to buy a freshwater fishing licence, Environment Minister Barry Penner said today.

“If you haven’t cast a line in one of British Columbia’s incredible lakes, rivers or creeks lately and you’d like to try it again, or if you’d like to introduce a youngster to the sport of fishing, this is a great opportunity to do it without worrying about buying a licence,” said Penner. “Fishing is a great way to relax, take your mind off your worries and enjoy some fresh air.”

The B.C. government offers the public free fishing in the province’s lakes and non-tidal streams on Father’s Day weekend each year. The non-profit Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC helps by keeping local lakes well stocked with trout and contributes funding. Other funding organizations include the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and the Pacific Salmon Foundation. The Family Fishing Society provides financial assistance, materials and guidance to 46 volunteer community groups who put on family fishing events every year. This year, B.C.’s annual Family Fishing Weekend takes place June 19-21.

“The B.C. government wants to increase the number of freshwater anglers, and Family Fishing Weekend is a great way to introduce newcomers to the sport. Not only is recreational fishing a great way to enjoy time with family and friends in our great outdoors, anglers contribute nearly $1.2 billion annually to the province’s rural economy,” said Penner.

“Each year, approximately two million people visit British Columbia’s beautiful recreation sites and trails, where they can choose from an array of first-rate activities, including fishing,” said Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts. “Fishing is one of the primary reasons people camp at our recreation sites, and nearly 700 of these sites are adjacent to or near lakes that have been stocked to sustain and promote the sport.”

B.C. has some of the finest fishing opportunities in the world, and Family Fishing Weekend, now in its 10th year, has introduced many people to sport angling. Many communities throughout British Columbia will be holding free events where people can learn the rules of fishing and see what’s being done to preserve, enhance and create fish habitat. Prizes will be offered at all events.

“The Family Fishing Society was created to encourage all British Columbians, particularly kids and families, to get out and enjoy B.C.’s world-class sport angling opportunities,” said Owen Bird, executive director of the Family Fishing Society of BC. “The number of organized events during Family Fishing Weekend increases each year. The events would not occur without the efforts of many volunteers in each of the respective communities.”

Those interested in trying their luck fishing in tidal waters are reminded that there is no charge for a saltwater sport fishing licence for those under 16, and one-day licences are available for resident adults at a cost of only $5.51.

For more details and a list of communities where events are being held, visit this Nanaimo Info LINK .

For more information about BC Fishing Regulations and Licenses use this Nanaimo Info LINK.


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