Monday, April 4, 2016
Tall Fish Tails
Go Fish invite the community to to tell their best story at April 6 info session
Heather Leary, Go Fish BC
he future of freshwater fishing in British Columbia is bright and Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC wants to share the exciting news, especially with those who have invested in the resource through purchasing a fishing licence.
Everyone with an interest in B.C.’s lakes and rivers is invited to find out more about how the Society is working to ensure the sustainability of freshwater fisheries at a public information session on April 6. The presentation portion will describe an overview of the Society’s work to support freshwater fishing in British Columbia and will provide an update on key projects on the Lower Mainland; from fish stocking, to research, to new docks. Attendees are invited to share thoughts and ideas on how to make freshwater fishing in BC even better. A question and answer session will follow the presentation.
Since April 2015, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has received 100% of freshwater fishing licence revenue. Every dollar spent by anglers on fishing licences is invested back into B.C.’s recreational fisheries resource to stock more than 800 lakes a year; fund research, conservation, and education programs and improve angler access through infrastructure projects.
“Through licence fees, anglers are investing in freshwater fishing in British Columbia,” says Andrew Wilson, President, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. “At this public information session, we’ll report on how their investment is impacting freshwater fishing in the province. We believe it’s important for anglers to know what the revenue is supporting.”
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC annually stocks 40 lakes throughout the Lower Mainland. The Society is helping fund an ongoing assessment of wild and hatchery stocked lakes being undertaken by the province’s regional small lakes fisheries biologist. Results will guide decisions regarding stocking and conservation initiatives.
In 2015, the Society delivered 416 Learn to Fish Programs to 12,077 participants, two of which were in new communities. Infrastructure projects include helping fund dock and boat launch improvements to improve angler access to Alouette Lake.
Key research projects include examining where steelhead passage on the Seymour and Coquihalla rivers has been impacted by rock slides. The Freshwater Fisheries Society is helping to fund engineering assessments to determine the best way to restore steelhead’s ability to migrate to spawning areas upstream. The Society is also helping to fund a research project examining minimum water flows required for fish during drought conditions, such as those experienced last summer.
As a result of accessing an additional $3 million of licence revenue last year, the Society was able to expand their work with provincial biologists to improve angling opportunities on both stocked and wild lakes, as well as river fisheries. In addition to collaboration between the Society and provincial fisheries biologists on stock assessments and improved angler access, investments have been made in enhanced compliance monitoring and enforcement and improvements to hatchery facilities and the stocking program.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC public information session will be held on April 6 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm at the Yarrow Community Centre, 4670 Community St. Attendees are requested to RSVP here. As the Society is hosting sessions around the province, please indicate the date of the event the RSVP is for.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization, funded mainly through freshwater fishing licence revenues. In partnership with the Province, the Society annually stocks eight million trout, char and kokanee salmon in 800 B.C. lakes. It also manages special hatchery programs for endangered species including white sturgeon, conducts fisheries research, education and conservation programs and works to make angling more accessible for all.
As of April 1, 2015, under a new agreement with the provincial government, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC receives 100% of fishing licence revenue to invest in infrastructure and services to support freshwater fishing in BC. With the increased revenue, the Society is investing in additional research and infrastructure projects across the province. To find out more, visit www.gofishbc.com
Photo: Dean Macdonald holds up a huge steelie at Fred's Fishing store while another gent gets a trim in the background.
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