It’s Family Fishing Weekend across Canada
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.
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:
- Fishing games and demonstrations at Bow Habitat Station, in Calgary’s Inglewood community
- The Manitoba Wildlife Federation is hosting an amateur photo contest via Facebook to promote ice fishing as a fun family activity
- The Ottawa Region Walleye League‘s Kids’ Ice Fishing Event on February
- The Everett Wile Memorial Catch the Rainbow tournament, on February 18, at Meadow Pond in Hants County, Nova Scotia
- The Becoming an Outdoors Woman Workshop, February 17 to 19, the Gaelic College of Celtic Arts and Crafts, St. Ann’s, Cape Breton
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.