Champion Lakes will be celebrating the 15th annual Family Fishing Weekend Friday to Sunday by allowing all would-be anglers a chance to fish without a licence as well as feature some hands-on help for beginners

Fun and free fishing weekend

Families will be able to more easily spend quality time together outdoors June 13 to 15 during the 15th Annual Family Fishing Weekend.

Families will be able to more easily spend quality time together outdoors June 13 to 15 during the 15th Annual Family Fishing Weekend.

In addition to half-a-dozen events taking place throughout the Kootenays, including Champion Lakes, families are able to fish without a licence, making it the ideal way to enjoy Father’s Day weekend outdoors.

Hosted by The Family Fishing Society of BC and volunteer led community groups, Family Fishing Weekend events feature hands–on help for beginners, fish identification and habitat conservation information and the fun of fishing and catching fish.

Family Fishing Weekend is an annual opportunity to fish BC’s lakes, rivers, and streams for free, compliments of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“Summer for many BC families is about spending time together in the outdoors and Family Fishing Weekend is the perfect way to kick off the season,” said Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.

“A licence-free weekend of fishing as well as fishing rods available for borrowing makes it very accessible to families looking for an affordable and interactive way to spend time together.”

From less than half a dozen events when the event was launched in 2000, Family Fishing Weekend has grown to include nearly 50 events across the province.

Most of the success can be attributed to the very dedicated volunteer anglers and fishing clubs that host events each year as well as a growing interest in the sport of fishing.

The 15th annual Family Fishing Weekend is made possible by financial support from the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC and the Province of British Columbia. Material and volunteer donations are made by numerous like-minded organizations and businesses, and by all the communities that host events.

In addition to free fishing, the weekend will be celebrated with 50 specific community events across the province, many featuring the Freshwater Fisheries Society’s popular “Learn to Fish” sessions.

Events will be held across the Kootenays at Idlewild Lake in Cranbrook, Arrow Lakes in Nakusp, Cottonwood Lake in Nelson, Wiliamson Lake in Revelstoke, and Champion Lakes Provincial Park outside of Fruitvale.

A complete list of participating communities, locations and event descriptions, along with step-by-step fishing instructions and regulations can be found at www.bcfamilyfishing.com.

“These events offer a great opportunity to learn about and how to fish in a fun and supported environment,” Wayne Saito, President, Family Fishing Society of BC.

“The hundreds of volunteers who organize and participate in these events are passionate about fishing and even more passionate about sharing their love of the sport. They are keen to share what makes fishing such a great pastime.”

Annual fishing regulations still apply and residents can find details online at www.fishing.gov.bc.ca.

The Family Fishing Society of BC was established in 2001 to encourage new anglers as well as promote and coordinate Family Fishing Weekend and other angling initiatives targeted toward families and young people. 2014 marks the 15th year of this licence-free fishing weekend.

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