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Reel in good times Father’s Day weekend with free family fishing events

Five free events held thoughout the Cowichan Valley — no experience, license, or gear required
The only thing better than catching your first fish, is the smile and feeling it brings. The B.C. Wildlife Federation member clubs are celebrating 25 years of free fishing for families as they host family-friendly events throughout British Columbia in partnership with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. on Father's day weekend from June 14 to 16.

Reel in the good times with one of your favourite role models this Father’s Day weekend.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation member clubs are celebrating 25 years of free fishing for families as they host family-friendly events throughout British Columbia in partnership with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. from June 14 to 16. No experience necessary as families will have the opportunity to learn the basics from a master angler, as some newbies are baited to catch their first ever fish. With this fishing celebration in its 25th year it is now reeling in the children of its early participants, and to date has grown to over 10,000 participants across the province from Cowichan to Kootenay Lake.

“We now are seeing people who attended Family Fishing Weekend events as children bringing their own children to the events,” said Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, marketing and communications coordinator Jessica Greinke. “It’s become an annual tradition for many families and a way to share a passion with the next generation. We have seen how attending events like these fosters a lifelong passion for angling and for the outdoors. We hope to see many more generations coming to Family Fishing Weekend.”

In addition to waiving licence requirements for both fresh and salt water fishing to make the events accessible to as many people as possible, family fishing weekend events also offer a place for families to come together with other angling enthusiasts, while groups and communities host local events that are free and open to the public. These events are open to both novice and experienced anglers with the option of having hands-on instruction, loaner rods, reels and tackle will also be available. While Canadian residents are permitted to fish licence-free over the course of the three days event some requirements remain in effect — details are posted on both the BC Family Fishing, and the Fisheries and Oceans website.

The are 27 communities across B.C., where BCWF-affiliated clubs are holding family oriented fishing events with seven of them on Vancouver Island. Fishing fanatics in Cowichan Valley will have the chance to catch the event hosted by the Valley Fish and Game Club at Lake Cowichan’s Mayo Lake on June 15 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Ladysmith Sportsmen’s Club will be hosting a Father’s Day fishing event at the Bush Creek Hatchery near Christie Falls on June 15 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., while the Chemainus Rod and Gun Club will be hosting their family fishing day at Fuller lake in Ladysmith from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. For those living in South Cowichan there will also be the annual Walter Hall Memorial fishing event at Shawnigan Lake hosted by Royal Canadian Legion Malahat Branch 134 on June 15, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Victoria Fish and Game Protective Society will also be hosting their family fun day of fishing on June 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 700 Holker Place in the Malahat. For more details and contact information on these events visit

The B.C. Wildlife Federation is B.C.’s leading conservation member-driven charitable organization with over 43,000 members and more than 100 member clubs. Their annual family fishing weekend which often include family barbeques, fly-tying clinics, free rod and tackle loans, children’s fishing clinics, and stream clean-up projects is an opportunity to tackle fishing for the first time or indulge in a lifelong passion. The popular ‘Learn to Fish’ introductory half-day program designed for kids ages five to 15 will be making a splash again this summer across BC including spots throughout southern Vancouver Island where little ones learn the basics, as well as some of the best spots to catch fresh water fish. More than 800 lakes and rivers in B.C. are stocked with fish each year using license dollars to support angling.

Don’t fear if you don’t have the necessary gear as the Rod Loan program is coming back to several communities again this season offering free loans of spinning rods with reels, and a basic box of tackle for those green to the scene. For more details visit

“We know families are still struggling with the added pressure of increasing costs,” said Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, outreach coordinator, Jenna Merth. “At the same time more and more families are looking to share experiences to celebrate the Dads in their lives. Freshwater Fishing is a great way to do that and it’s something multiple generations can enjoy together. For some it’s the beginning of a new tradition. For others it’s an opportunity to share a lifelong passion for angling with the next generation. Ultimately it’s a fun weekend that doesn’t have to be expensive.”

About the Author: Chadd Cawson

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