Rick Oxbury displays garbage picked up at day use area Miller Creek.

FISHING CORNER: Anglers should pack out what they bring in to local lakes

By Don Daniels

When the temperature hits the mid-20s, the locals get out and fish the local lakes.

A number of families that are getting out enjoying fishing or lake activity also set up camp for the afternoon.

I have a spot at one of the day use areas and usually I am the first one to park and unload my fishing gear. The first order of business is to check the water surface and see if there are any signs of trout rising and then decide if I am using a floating or sinking fly line.

I unpack and inflate my boat and walk around the shoreline to see what insect life is around and check for stickle back minnows. Looking down one day, I saw a red and white bobber and attached was a bunch of fishing line wrapped up in the grass. Eagles and other birds can get tangled in that discarded line causing them distress and even death. I grabbed the bobber and line and placed it in my bag to dispose of when I got home.

Old fishing line or plastic packaging from fishing tackle should be taken home and placed in the garbage. One of the tackle stores in Alberta made a weekly draw for a prize for those who brought in discarded fishing line or packaging from lures and other tackle. Let’s be responsible and clean up after ourselves.

Parking at times is confined at the lake and it’s common courtesy to give everyone enough space to unload a boat or kayak. At Echo Lake during a hot day last week, a car pulled up and parked, took up two stalls then moved their chairs close to the water to fish and enjoy the water. I made a comment to the lady to park closer to the trees and there would be parking space for another vehicle to park. They did move over and there was room for all.

In the same area, you can park at each side of the entrance and a truck had moved in and parked halfway in the water and the lone man was shorefishing from the truck box. There was no room for anyone to launch a canoe or kayak to go fishing. I like to talk to the people and find out if they are local and he told me he was a contractor from California working in Campbell River and enjoying the afternoon fishing and he was catching trout.

I gave him some fly patterns to try and he wondered if he was taking up room in the water. I told him to stay until someone shows up then maybe move.

On Monday, I made a visit to the day use area gate on Campbell Lake. The gate was open but I parked on the side, geared up my fly rod and walked in to fish the stump area. I picked up a few empty cans and bottles on the walk in and got to my spot.

I met with Rick Oxbury who is the host at the Miller Creek campsite. Rick did mention that the area I was at the gate will be closed but the campground has a day use area that is open and the campground has 46 sites all ready to go.

With the warmer weather we had last week, combined with the rain, the ice should be gone on upper elevation lakes. The ant hatch hit us last Friday and the trout bellies are full at the moment and fishing will taper off a bit for the time being.

When it comes to salmon fishing for Chinooks, local guides are making adjustments for catch and release angling and I will have a story next week after talking with longtime fishing guide Bruce Aikman who is back on the water at Painters Lodge.

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