BC Family Fishing is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Family Fishing Weekend this year, hosting events across the Kootenays from June 14 to 16, 2019.
The initiative launched two decades ago, offering families a fun, affordable Father’s Day activity. The events take place across the province from Vancouver and Victoria to the Okanagan and Kootenays.
The event also marks the start of the fishing season, with rivers opening on June 15.
The Family Fishing Weekend events are free, with hands-on instruction available to those interested. Loaner rods, reels and tackle are all provided for those who don’t have their own gear. The events also offer opportunities to learn about fishing gear, share freshwater and saltwater fishing tips and learn about environmental stewardship and the tradition of recreational fishing.
Fishing licence requirements will also be 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.
“We are excited to see the growth of these events and how they have evolved into a fundamental family tradition in many communities,” said Cam Aronetz, Family Fishing Society President. “We would love to see fishing with Dad on Father’s Day become the equivalent of Mother’s Day Brunch with Mom.”
“It has been exciting to watch families become engaged with fishing through these events,” said Provincial Coordinator of the Family Fishing Society of BC, Jessica Yarwood. “By providing gear and instruction in a fun environment the events are very accessible to families with children of all ages.”
The events across the Kootenays are as follows:
Cranbrook, Idlewild Lake: June 16
Fort Steele, Kootenay Trout Hatchery: June 15
Trail, Champion Lakes Provincial Park: June 15
Revelstoke, Williamson Lake: June 16
Nelson, Cottonwood Lake: June 16
Nakusp, Arrow Lakes: June 15
Invermere, Lillian Lake: June 15
Castlegar, Pass Creek Campground: June 16
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.