The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is inviting local families to get their children hooked on fishing this spring.
The society will be hosting its first Learn to Fish program this Saturday (March 17) at Fuller Lake.
The cost is by donation, and the program is open to children aged five to 15.
“Fishing is a fantastic outdoor activity; it’s great for all ages and abilities,” said Tanya Laird, outreach assistant for the Freshwater Fisheries Society. “And it’s a great way to spend time with your family.”
Participants will also learn about the society, which restocks Fuller Lake every spring and fall.
“Right before the Learn to Fish event, there’s going to be about 2,000 nice fresh rainbow trout going right in there,” Laird said. “That’s a lot of fish, and we want people to go out there and try to go fishing for them.”
The Learn to Fish program was developed in 2006 and is based out of Abbotsford and Cranbrook.
Saturday’s program will be a pilot run for Vancouver Island, and it has been sponsored by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
“This is kind of a spring kickoff to get people ready and excited about the program because it’s going to be happening all over the Island from May to August,” Laird said. “If we get a lot of families out, we’ll definitely be back [to Fuller Lake].”
The program will run for two hours, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. During the program, the children will spend the first hour being instructed, and they will spend the second hour catch and release fishing. All equipment is provided.
“They learn everything from fish identification to conservation; we talk about some of the rules of fishing,” Laird said.
In addition to providing the fundamentals of fishing, the Learn to Fish program also aims to create environmental stewardship among today’s youth.
“These kids that grow up fishing and connected with nature, they’re the ones that are going to care about it as they grow old,” Laird said.
To register for the Learn to Fish program on March 17, call the Vancouver Island Hatchery at 250-746-5180.
Participants must be accompanied by a family member or guardian.
More information on the program can be found online at www.gofishbc.com.