It’s Family Fishing Weekend across Canada

By Scott GardnerScott Gardner

Father and son ice fishing

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Starting Saturday, February 18, Canadians in Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia can enjoy a weekend of licence-free angling, to celebrate 2012′s Family Fishing Weekend.

Lasting until Monday, February 20 (except in Nova Scotia, where it ends on Sunday) Family Fishing Weekend is part of a twice-yearly program to encourage families to discover the sport and enjoy time outdoors.

Sponsored by a range of government bodies and outdoor organizations, licence-free periods, including July’s National Fishing Week are designed to remind people of the recreational and economic value of recreational fishing, and the importance of sustaining and enhancing it for future generations.

Island Lake Conservation Area in Orangeville, Ontario, is one of many parks hosting Family Weekend fishing events.

To mark Family Fishing Weekend (which coincides with a long weekend in many places) all four provinces are holding a number of festivals, derbies and workshops. A small sampling of these events include:

Check the listings for more family fishing events in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.

These events provide not only opportunities to fish, but also to learn about proper techniques, ethical angling and how to protect fish and their habitat. All other fees and regulations apply and will be enforced, including size limits and sanctuaries. That means it’s still important to consult local regulations, which vary considerably across the country. For example, Ontario anglers without a licence must abide the reduced catch limits of a Conservation fishing license.

Additionally, with warmer-than-usual weather in many places across Canada, all ice anglers should remember to put safety first, and beware of ice conditions that can be deceptive and variable.

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