Recreational Freshwater Fishing
There is a diverse range of freshwater
sport fishing experiences and settings, from char, pike
and walleye angling in the Arctic drainage of the Peace
region to bar fishing for white sturgeon on the Fraser
River . . . from spectacular westslope cutthroat experiences
in the Kootenays to world class rainbow on the fly on
small interior lakes . . . from steelhead angling on world
class rivers to the kids next door fishing in a local
stream . . . fishing in British Columbia is part of our
lifestyle and our culture.
The freshwater and tidal sport fishing
sectors provide substantial social, cultural and economic
benefits for the province. In the global marketplace,
B.C.'s saltwater and inland sport fishing experiences
attract the attention of those seeking a combination of
B.C.'s natural setting and the thrill of catching a
fish. Resident and non-resident anglers not only share
an interest in some of the best fishing anywhere but also
a desire to protect these experiences and the resource
for future generations. An overwhelming theme running
through the recreational sector is to ensure that 'fish
come first'. Whether in fresh or tidal waters, anglers
and sport fishing businesses want to work in cooperation
with those who manage the fisheries to secure a future
for the fish as well as the experience and livelihoods
those fish provide.
Unlike the commercial sector, economic
stability of the sport fishery is not totally dependent
on numbers of fish harvested. Instead, the critical factor
is maintaining 'opportunity' and 'expectation'.
To be viable, the sport fishery must provide anglers with
an opportunity to go fishing and an expectation of catching
some fish. Although recreational anglers seldom catch
their allowable limit, the expectation of a good day is
a powerful motivator. In addition, the fishing experience
means different things to different anglers in terms of
the species pursued, fishing techniques and location.
Sport fishing is primarily a seasonal activity but occurs
virtually every month of the year somewhere in the province.