An initiative launched two decades ago to offer families a fun, affordable Father’s Day activity has become a staple Father’s Day tradition in communities throughout the province. Growing from a handful of events in Vancouver, Victoria and the Okanagan, there are now nearly 50 events throughout the province, joining a larger Father’s Day trend of creating experiences and making memories with Dad to celebrate Father’s Day while kicking off the fishing season.
Family Fishing Weekend events take place on June 14 – 16, 2019 with six organized events in the Kootenays. The events combine fishing, learning and socializing for an estimated 40,000 participants who range from avid anglers to those trying the sport for the first time.
Family Fishing Weekend events are free, with hands-on instruction available to interested participants. Loaner rods, reels and tackle are provided for those who do not have their own gear. The events also offer opportunities to learn about fishing gear, share fishing tips and learn about environmental stewardship and the tradition of recreational fishing.
In Revelstoke, the event is held on June 16 at Williamson Lake. The Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club is responsible for hosting the annual Family Fishing Day, which runs from 10 am until 3 pm.
Children must be accompanied by parent or guardian and you are asked to bring a life jacket for your youngster — if you have one.
Fishing licence requirements are 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,” says 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.”
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.
“It has been exciting to watch families become engaged with fishing through these events,” says 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 Family Fishing Society of BC was established in 2001 to encourage new anglers as well as promote and coordinate Family Fishing Weekend and other angling initiatives targeted toward families and young people. 2019 marks the 20th year of the licence-free fishing weekend.