While the inherent rewards of freshwater fishing are well known to anglers, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is adding extra rewards for the sport’s younger fans with the return of the Summer Fishing Challenge. Youth 15 and younger are invited to capture fishing moments and share their experiences through the summer to earn prizes. Catching a fish isn’t even required to win.
Younger anglers are continuing to take up the sport in increasing numbers, following the trend of families enjoying more outdoor activities together. In 2020 licence sales to BC residents increased 17% compared to 2019, with the biggest increase seen amongst 16 – 24 year olds (67%), and 25 – 34 year olds (29%). The youngest Challenge participants were three and the average age of the participants was eight years old.
“We had enthusiastic participation across the province last year with youth from Terrace, to Fort St. John, Campbell River to Creston and everywhere in between,” says Jessica Yarwood, Freshwater Fisheries Society’s Outreach Coordinator. “We are seeing indications that interest in the sport will continue to grow this year as more families discover it as a way to spend time together outdoors. It’s perfect for multigenerational families and what could be better than a BC lake in the summertime?”
The Summer Fishing Challenge is designed to encourage youth enjoyment of freshwater fishing. The first 1,000 youth who record at least five fishing trips are eligible to win a fishing tackle kit. Youth who catch a fish on each of five different fishing trips can also enter to win a Blue Fox Fishing rod & reel from Luhr Jensen. The rod & reel prize will be awarded to each of the first 200 eligible submissions.
To enter, fill out the fishing journal or the online journal by recording each fishing trip and taking a photo during that trip. Photos can be of the lake or river scenery, people fishing, or that day’s catch. Photos can be of multiple trips to the same location or to different locations. Entrants are also required to correctly answer a skill testing question.
Families interested in freshwater fishing can sign up to learn more about the sport or refresh their skills through the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s Virtual Learn to Fish programs which cover the basics of freshwater fishing. Register at gofishbc.com in the Events section. These online presentations are free and preregistration is required.
Entrants can download a form to fill out and return by email or fill out the online form. Full contest rules and the fishing journal are posted here. Entries can be sent via e-mail to LearntoFish@gofishbc.com or submitted using the on-line form (with photos attached), between May 21 and August 3, 2021. Parent/guardian consent required.
British Columbia residents under 16 years old may sport fish in fresh water without any licence or stamp, and are entitled to the legal limit of fish. Anglers 16 and older require a B.C. freshwater fishing licence to sport fish.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization, funded mainly through freshwater fishing licence revenues. In partnership with the Province, the Society annually stocks six million trout, char and kokanee salmon in 800 B.C. lakes. It also manages special hatchery programs for endangered species including white sturgeon, conducts fisheries research, education and conservation programs, and works to make angling more accessible for all. To find out more and register visit gofishbc.com.