To mark Tourism Week in Canada, why not sign up your kids or grandkids for a “Learn to Fish” session offered by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC?
With the summer holiday season heating up, fishing in British Columbia’s parks and waterways offers great family opportunities to explore B.C., cool off and enjoy the great outdoors.
The free Learn to Fish sessions will be offered at locations throughout B.C. this summer and will teach basic angling skills to kids aged five to 15 years. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC provides all equipment, tackle and lessons on how to cast and retrieve. Participants learn about fish identification and biology, habitat and conservation, proper fish-handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations. Parental supervision is required.
In addition to the Learn to Fish program, the society’s rod loan program allows families and other groups to try fishing without having to purchase gear. At no cost, rods and a basic box of tackle can be borrowed from locations throughout B.C.
The Province has partnered with Destination BC this year to promote staycation ideas like the Learn to Fish program under #ExploreBC. Staycations keep tourism dollars circulating in B.C. and help strengthen B.C.’s already diverse tourism sector. Approximately 2,500 people tag their Twitter and Instagram posts with #ExploreBC every day, helping B.C. businesses to attract new travellers.
The Learn to Fish program started in 2006 and the society now teaches 25,000 youth and families how to fish responsibly at 90 locations around the province. The society also works with governments, angling groups and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation to create easily accessible, family-friendly fishing piers in towns and cities around B.C.
Delivering on a 2013 government commitment, 100% of freshwater fishing licence revenue has been invested in recreational fisheries since April 1, 2015. Last year alone saw funding of $10 million, some of which the society invested to enhance compliance, enforcement and education efforts.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Responsible for Labour –
“You don’t need to go very far for a great summer vacation. Fishing in our lakes, rivers and the ocean is one of our province’s great attractions and a great way to #ExploreBC. I’d encourage everyone to get out with their kids and grandkids for a family fishing outing.”
“The freshwater Learn to Fish program provides a fun, hands-on learning opportunity for kids to try fishing for free with equipment and a lesson provided.”
Andrew Wilson, president, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC –
“Fishing is an ideal way to connect with family, friends and nature. And if you don’t know how, our Learn to Fish program is offered at locations across the province, including BC Parks, this summer.”
- The Province invests more than $90 million annually in the tourism sector across every region to grow and market the sector.
- Tourism is one of eight priority sectors in the BC Jobs Plan and a key economic driver in the province.
- In 2015, 4.9 million international visitors came to B.C. – a 7.9% increase compared to 2014.
- Tourism provides a job for roughly one out of every 15 people employed in British Columbia.
- In the year ending March 31, 2016, there were 353,000 licensed freshwater anglers in B.C., of which over 80% were B.C. residents.
- According to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, freshwater fishing contributes almost $1 billion per year to B.C.’s economy in direct, indirect and induced impacts.
More info on the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, its Learn to Fish events, Rod Loan Program, and family-friendly fishing locations: www.gofishbc.com/how-to-fish.aspx
For more trip or activity ideas, visit Destination BC’s site: www.hellobc.com
For information on BC Parks: www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/