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Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

Fishing in British Columbia just gets better

by Lisa Crane
kids learning to fish on a lake
Learning to fish. — Photo courtesy Fresh Water Fisheries Society of BC

In 2003, when the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was established, it became the only private, non-profit fisheries service in North America funded by licensing revenue.

Freshwater Fisheries' Stacy Webb said that this year is the society's tenth anniversary and there is much to celebrate.

“Our primary goal is to let the angling public know who we are, what we do and where their fishing licence dollars go,” said Webb. “Our programs are designed to help young anglers, families and new anglers discover—or re-discover—the joy of fishing.”

Webb said that the society conducts fisheries research, promotes sports fishing and manages five freshwater fish hatcheries which produce over eight million trout, char and kokanee salmon each year.

“In partnership with provincial fisheries managers, we stock close to 1,000 lakes around B.C.,” she said. “We also work to make angling more accessible for all, provide conservation services to protect wild fish, and educate the public about sport fishing and conservation.”

There are three great visitor centres located in Abbotsford, Summerland, and Fort Steele (Bull River). Webb said that visitors of all ages can enjoy getting a look at how a hatchery operates, see live fish in the displays and learn about freshwater fish and their ecosystem.

Fish for a $100 reward

Freshwater Fisheries has a number of exciting programs running throughout the summer. Want to fish but don't have the gear? The society can lend you a rod. Rod loan sites are located around the province and there is a roaming program for the summer. Have a keen young angler in the family? Exciting hands-on learn to fish sessions for the young fisher are available for five to 15-year-olds from Freshwater Fisheries’ visitor centres in Fort Steele (Bull River) and Abbotsford.

The society is carrying out a tagged fish study to coincide with its tenth anniversary. This province-wide research project requires the help of anglers. About 300 catchable size, hatchery-raised rainbow trout with individually numbered neon-pink tags bearing a toll-free number were released into 40 fishing lakes around the province. Anglers who catch one of these tagged fish are asked to remove the tag and call the toll-free number.

“We will send the first 150 tag reporters a $100 reward,” said Webb. “Subsequent tag reporters will receive gift certificates of various values for fishing supplies.”

Tips on where to fish and how to fish are provided on the society's website. Check it out and get those rods in the water.

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