More chances to Learn to Fish in Cowichan

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC is expanding the summer Learn to Fish programs for Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. Seven new events have increased the number of Learn to Fish sessions to 40 at 19 locations in regional parks and urban lakes for local and visiting youth and their families, including in Cowichan.

In the Cowichan Valley Learn to Fish will be held at Fuller Lake on July 23 from 6-8 p.m. Register at 250-886-1488 or viprograms@gofishbc.com. Learn to Fish will also be held at Cowichan Lake in the Gordon Bay Provincial Park on July 18 and Aug. 1 and 8 at 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m and on Aug. 24, 10:30 a.m. To 12:30 p.m. "There is an increasing interest in freshwater fishing across the region, and the best way to facilitate that interest is to make fishing more readily accessible and available. By bringing the programs closer, and providing equipment, there are fewer barriers for people interested in trying the sport," said Tanya Laird, provincial outreach coordinator.

"Access to programs in their own community will make it easier for youth and their families to experience the sport together."

Learn to Fish events are hosted on a drop-in basis for youngsters aged five to 15, and their families at provincial park locations. Participants are asked to arrive on time for the sessions as fishing techniques and ethics are taught in advance of the hands-on portion.

Pre-registration is required for most urban programs in regional parks. Children under

16 do not require a freshwater fishing licence to participate. Learn to Fish events teach fish identification and biology; habitat and conservation; proper fish handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations. Instructors explain fishing tackle (rods, reels, lines, and lures) and knot-tying. Participants get hands on experience while learning about casting and retrieving and tips and techniques for catching fish. All equipment is provided and two hour programs run rain or shine.

There is no cost to participate, thanks to generous support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Columbia Basin Trust, Rapala, Ram Trucks Canada, and Teck, but donations are gratefully accepted.

For a complete listing of Learn to Fish and other programs throughout Vancouver Island visit gofishbc. com