Spider Lake will soon have 7,500 more fish, thanks to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C.
Forests Minister Steve Thomson announced last week that the province is making good on a decade-old vow to direct all its fishing licence revenue to the society and will increase the annual revenue from $7 million to $10 million this year.
That will mean more fishing spots and trout to catch in B.C. lakes and streams this year with 103,100 trout being added to 58 lakes in the spring and 65,150 to 32 lakes in the fall.
Spider Lake, 10 km west of Qualicum Beach, will receive 1,500 yearling and 3,000 catchable rainbow trout this spring and 3,000 catchable fish in the fall.
Since the society took over freshwater fisheries management from the environment ministry in 2003, it has focused mainly on stocking smaller lakes with trout. The extra money will allow for expansion to larger lakes and rivers, to improve access to fishing as well as assess stocks and enforce fishing regulations.
The society stocks hundreds of B.C. lakes with rainbow, kokanee and eastern brook trout, mostly to provide catchable fish for recreational purposes.
Society president Don Peterson said B.C. took a risk when it transferred responsibility for recreational fishing to a non-profit organization, but independent status has allowed it to set up innovative programs such as Learn to Fish and Fishing in the City.
He said 250,000 residents and visitors go fishing in B.C. each year, supporting 1,000 fishing-related businesses and an estimated 7,000 jobs. Lake stocking projects planned for 2015 can be found at www.gofishbc.com under “fish stocking reports.”
— NEWS staff/Tom Fletcher, Black Press