More than 40 elderly and infirm Oceanside residents were treated to a day at the lake and a chance to reel in a whopper as the Parksville-Qualicum Fish and Game Association held its annual Fishing Forever day in Coombs.
The event, said organizer Brian Borat, involved residents from The Gardens in Qualicum Beach, Stanford Place and Trillium Lodge, as well as clients of the CNIB and MS Society, who were treated to a day at the Coombs Country Campground, where volunteers helped them enjoy some fishing action.
The small lake, Borat said, was stocked by the club, as well as by the campground owners, who also provide the site free of charge.
“It gets the older people out and away from looking at four walls all day,” he said.
This is the 22nd year the program has been held in Oceanside, and after a few years of fishing for a good site to fish, organizers settled on the Coombs facility, both because of the strong support given by owner Dan Nedokus, but also because of the small lake is wheelchair accessible.
“We used to go to French Creek and charter boats, but a lot of those companies have gone out of business, so we tried Spider Lake one time, but that didn’t work out. It was too big,” he said. “This little pond works great. We can watch them all and it’s wheelchair accessible. People have a great time.”
The day’s activities were also sponsored by Qualicum Foods, Wayne Proctor, the Parksville Husky and Coombs General Store.
The key to Fishing Forever, which was started 22 years ago by the BC Wildlife Federation, is to the recognition that you’re never too old for the thrill of a tug on the line and, with a little bit of help, that’s what the volunteers provide.
Judging by the smiles on faces all round — and a few flopping whoppers pulled out of the lake, the day was a huge success.