Partnership with Learn to Fish program benefits families


VICTORIA – Hundreds of new anglers got their feet wet for the first time at British Columbia’s provincial parks during 2012. A record number of  B.C. families took part in free Learn to Fish programs in provincial parks, which added value to the park visitors’ already great experiences.
 
The program served 2,765 youth and their families at more than 78 sessions in 19 different provincial parks during the 2012 season. This was a 20 per cent increase over 2011 levels in BC Parks.
 
 The provincial parks program is a result of a partnership with the non- profit Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC who has delivered the Learn to Fish program in B.C. since 2006. The Learn to Fish program has served nearly 100,000 participants throughout B.C., and of those participants, more than 12,500 baited their hooks in provincial parks. The program is delivered by the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC in partnership with BC Parks and the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
 
Designed to attract new anglers to recreational fishing, the Learn to Fish program has a strong focus on conservation and increasing environmental awareness. It expanded in 2012 to include provincial parks in the Thompson-Nicola, Okanagan, East Kootenay, Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island regions.
 
The program’s increasing popularity builds on a 2011 expansion that was assisted by BC Parks funding of $5,000. Additional growth in 2012 was possible due to continued support from BC Parks, as well as $80,000 from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, $35,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust Fund and increased funding of $50,000 from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
 
For 2013, the Learn to Fish program aims to serve another 25,000 people at various locations throughout B.C. This will include more than 80 programs in provincial parks, reaching more than 3,000 youth and their families.