Tidal waters included in free family fishing day

The annual celebration of British Columbia’s Family Fishing Weekend and the great sport of fishing now includes tidal waters.

The annual celebration of British Columbia’s Family Fishing Weekend and the great sport of fishing now includes tidal waters.

Residents of Canada are encouraged to get together with family and friends to go fishing on Fathers’ Day weekend (June 17-19, 2011) this year and in the years to come.

“As Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new Minister, I am pleased to include tidal water recreational fishing in Family Fishing Weekend, and trust that this adds a new level of excitement and fun to this important event,” said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “Our government recognizes the value of this activity to British Columbians, and would like to encourage a new generation to discover the sport of fishing.”

“Fishing is an important family activity for many families in British Columbia and our government is proud to participate in this weekend to promote recreational fishing,” said Parliamentary Secretary Randy Kamp, MP for Pitt Meadows-Maple Ridge-Mission. “Activities like recreational fishing are great opportunities for families to spend quality time together.”

“Fishing is a great way for families to learn about the beauty of our province and experience this great sport,” said Owen Bird, Executive Director of the Family Fishing Society of B.C. “Introducing the next generation to fishing is a key objective of the weekend. We are committed to educating the public of the vital significance of fish and their fragile habitat.”

During Family Fishing Weekend, Canadian residents can go fishing without purchasing a licence in most of British Columbia’s lakes and streams; residents can now also try their hand at tidal water (saltwater) fishing.

The Government of Canada is now offering British Columbians an opportunity to sport fish without a licence (except to fish for and retain a salmon). Those wishing to catch-and-release salmon do not require either a licence or a conservation stamp on Family Fishing Weekend. Anglers wishing to retain a salmon require both a tidal water fishing licence and a salmon conservation stamp. These can be purchased online at: http://www-ops2.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/nrls-sndpp/index-eng.cfm

All tidal area fishing closures and recreation fishing limits and restrictions continue to apply, so anglers should be sure to check the Tidal Water Sport Fishing Guide for details: www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/SFG-GPS-eng.htm

In season changes to dates, limits and gear may occur, and anglers should also check with their local DFO office or web site http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/index-eng.htm to confirm fishery openings. By informing yourself about these requirements, you are contributing to the conservation and stewardship of British Columbia’s treasured aquatic resources.

For more information regarding the Family Fishing Weekend, visit http://www.bcfamilyfishing.com/default.htm

For a list of 46 community events throughout the province during Family Fishing Weekend, visit: www.bcfamilyfishing.com/events/index.htm