The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. is inviting families to expand their outdoor adventure horizons with free family fishing activities throughout Thompson Okanagan.
Held in provincial parks, Learn to Fish programs offer introductory level instruction on freshwater fishing in B.C. while the rod loan program offers families the opportunity to explore fishing independently.
“Learn to Fish is a great place for families to discover fishing together. It’s often the start of fishing as a family outdoor activity, giving people the experience and the confidence to take up the sport,” said the provincial outreach co-ordinator, Jessica Yarwood. “For families interested in exploring the lakes and rivers on their own, including visitors who didn’t pack a fishing rod, rods and tackle may be borrowed for free with our rod loan program.”
Learn to Fish sessions are hosted on a drop-in basis for youth ages five to 15 and their families. Pre-registration is required for programs in regional parks. Children under 16 aren’t required to purchase a freshwater fishing licence. Programs cover fish identification and biology; habitat and conservation; proper fish handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations; fishing tackle and knot-tying. Hands-on instruction includes casting and retrieving. All the fishing equipment is provided, and the two hour programs run rain or shine.
Rod loan programs allow families and other groups to try fishing without having to purchase gear. Families and groups can borrow spinning rods with reels and a basic box of tackle for up to a week. Permanent rod loan sites are at the Summerland Trout Hatchery, Trout Waters Fly and Tackle, and the Summerland Visitor Centre. The public can visit any of these locations during business hours and borrow a rod and tackle for no cost.
The programs are free, thanks to generous support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Rapala, Ram Trucks Canada, and Teck, but any donations are gratefully accepted.
Local and visiting youth can take advantage of Learn to Fish programs at eight locations in provincial parks:
· July 31, Okanagan Lake Provincial Park South, Summerland, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
· July 31, Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, Scotch Creek, 6 – 8 p.m.
· Aug. 1, 8, 15, Ellison Lake Provincial Park, Vernon, 10 a.m. – noon
· Aug. 4, 18, 25, Bear Creek Provincial Park, West Kelowna, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
· Aug. 7, 14, 21, Okanagan Lake Provincial Park South, Summerland, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
· Aug. 7 & 21, Shuswap Lake Provincial Park, Scotch Creek, 6 – 8 p.m.
· Aug. 24, Kekuli Bay Provincial Park, Vernon, 10 a.m. – noon
· Aug. 24, Fintry Provincial Park, West Kelowna, 6 – 8 p.m.
For more information on the Learn to Fish and Rod Loan programs, visit the events page on the website, www.gofishbc.com. To find a rod loan site near you, use the rod loan filter on the interactive Where to Fish map on the official website.
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