A family tradition nearly 20 years old continues to grow as families increasingly embrace the great outdoors as part of quality time together.
Timed to coincide with Father’s Day, Family Fishing Weekend events take place June 15 – 17. On Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, participants have a choice of 14 special events combining fishing, learning and socializing. They will join an estimated 40,000 participants across the province planning to enjoy Family Fishing Weekend independently or as part of an organized event.
Family Fishing Weekend began with a dozen events focused in the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan and has grown to offer events in nearly every corner of the Province.
Participation in Family Fishing Weekend events is free, with hands-on tutorials available for beginners or those looking for a refresher. Loaner rods, reels and tackle are provided for those who do not have their own gear. The events also offer opportunities to learn about fishing gear, share freshwater and saltwater fishing tips, learn about environmental stewardship and the tradition of recreational fishing. Fishing licence requirements are waived for the weekend, meaning Canadian residents can fish licence-free over the three days, although some requirements remain in effect. Details are posted on the BC Family Fishing website and the Fisheries and Oceans website.
“Coordinating events over the Father’s Day weekend is an opportunity to remind people fishing is often a social activity. It’s not only the solitary angler casting on a lake. It’s a way to spend quality time with other people in the outdoors,” says Family Fishing Society of BC President Wayne Saito. “We see all generations at Family Fishing Weekend events from the very young who will be holding a rod for the first time to parents and grandparents proudly sharing their own fishing tips and techniques with the next generation.”
Family Fishing Weekend events in Campbell River will be held at the Discovery Pier and at Echo Lake. On Quadra Island, they will be held at Village Bay Lake.
Events are supported by the Family Fishing Society and organized by Fish and Game clubs, the Conservation Officer Service, municipalities, community groups, and local businesses. A complete list of participating communities, locations, and event descriptions, along with step-by-step fishing instructions, can be found at www.bcfamilyfishing.com. Freshwater and tidal fishing regulations, including daily catch quotas, always apply; details are posted at www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca or www.fishing.gov.bc.ca.
“Family Fishing Weekend is an ideal time to get set for the fishing season ahead,” says provincial coordinator of the Family Fishing Society of BC, Jessica Yarwood. “If a lack of experience or a lack of gear has been making someone hesitant we invite them to come to one of our events and give it a try. They may discover their new favorite sport!”
The Family Fishing Society of BC was established in 2001 to encourage new anglers as well as promote and coordinate Family Fishing Weekend and other angling initiatives targeted toward families and young people. 2018 marks the 19th year of the licence-free fishing weekend.