Aspiring and experienced anglers alike can cast their lines for free this Father’s Day weekend, as part of the 13th Annual Free Family Fishing weekend. This year’s celebration runs from June 15 to 17, and allows Canadian families to fish for free in most freshwater lakes and non-tidal streams anywhere in B.C. on all three days. With 47 different events planned in communities across the province, families have a wonderful opportunity to learn how to fish and explore our beautiful recreation sites.
These events are supported by the Family Fishing Weekend Society, which provides financial assistance and materials, including fishing gear. The Freshwater Fisheries Society stocks 800 lakes and streams with more than eight million fish each year. The Habitat Conservation Trust Fund and Walmart Canada have also contributed funding to support Family Fishing Weekend. Throughout the province, hundreds of knowledgeable volunteers will share their advice and passion for fishing with all who attend.
Families planning to fish at a location outside of a sponsored event listed on the Family Fishing Society of BC’s website are advised that people fishing for species requiring a conservation surcharge stamp or on classified waters will still need to purchase these supplementary licences. For information on these few exceptions, please consult page 61 of the 2011-13 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis, available online at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/regulations/
Owen Bird, executive director, Family Fishing Society of BC comments, “At the heart of Family Fishing Weekend are the volunteers who give their time and energy at events around the province. These are the people who make this event such a success every year and ensure that their love of fishing is passed on to future generations.”
An estimated 25,000 people take advantage of the Free Family Fishing Weekend.
Freshwater anglers spend $480 million every year on equipment, travel, accommodation and hospitality services, supporting 7,500 direct jobs.
There are recreation sites on or near 800 stocked lakes that that support a diversity of angling opportunities. In the Barriere area, the North Thompson Fish and Game Club will be hosting their 3rd Annual Family Fish Derby on June 17, any open lake, game fish only. There will be multiple prizes, and a grand prize for hidden weight. No registration fee for anglers under 16, and adults pay only $5. Registration can be taken anytime up to 10 a.m. on June 17 at Angler’s Gift and Tackle, corner of Yellowhead Highway and Barriere Town Road.
The Family Fishing Society of BC is managed by the angling community and was incorporated as a non-profit society in 2002.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. delivers the Learn to Fish program free to youth and their families as well as organized groups of all ages and abilities.
For more details and a list of communities where family fishing events are being held, visit: www.bcfamilyfishing.com
Visit the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC online at: www.gofishbc.com
For more information about fishing opportunities in B.C., including the Learn to Fish program: www.discoverfishingbc.ca
For information on fishing licences, visit: www.fishing.gov.bc.ca
For more information about the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, visit: www.hctf.ca