Go Fish youth urban fishery ready for 10th year

Image Credit: Contributed

CENTRAL OKANAGAN - Two special areas are stocked and ready for youngsters to once again experience fishing fun this Sunday.

Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. and Summerland Trout Hatchery have added approximately 1,250 young rainbow trout to the fishing areas in Shannon Lake Regional Park and the Hall Road pond in Mission Creek Regional Park.

The Regional District’s Go Fish program is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and kicks off with the grand opening from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. this Sunday, May 1 at Shannon Lake Regional Park, just off Shannon Lake Road in West Kelowna.

Regional Parks staff will be on hand along with volunteers from the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association barbequing hot dogs and will have some refreshments by donation (if possible) at Shannon Lake. In order to reduce waste and our garbage footprint, please bring your own water bottles and containers.

Also on May 1, Parks staff and volunteers from the Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club will be at the Mission Creek Regional Park Hall Road pond to help youngsters try their luck in this highly successful youth urban fishery program.

Then, each weekend through Sunday, June 12 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., youngsters 15 years of age and under will be able to fish at each location for 25 - 30 centimeter long rainbow trout and are allowed to keep one each day, without a fishing license.  Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand. Staff from the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC will be at the fishing locations each Saturday while on Sunday’s RDCO Parks Services staff will be on hand. Volunteers from the two local outdoor recreation partners will also help, with equipment and expert fishing guidance for youngsters as they try their luck.

Again this year the ‘Families in Parks’ program offers a ‘Go Fishing with Dad’ event on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Shannon Lake Regional Park.  The same regulations apply as the ‘Go Fish’ program.

RDCO Communications Officer Bruce Smith says, “The ‘Go Fish’ program may be the first opportunity many youngsters have to experience what can become a lifelong pastime.  This program is one of the best attended and garners incredible participation each and every year. Thousands of youngsters from across the Central Okanagan have had the exhilaration of catching their first fish through ‘Go Fish’. None of this would be possible without the tremendous support and dedication over the past decade from our partner volunteers with Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, the Kelowna and District Fish and Game Club, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC, the Summerland Trout Hatchery and the Ministry of Environment. Thanks to them, a new generation has had the opportunity to experience this lifelong sport.”

“If you plan to join us during any of the ‘Go Fish’ or special fishing event weekends” Smith says, “please respect our park neighbours by parking only in the designated areas or where directed by staff. While participants age 15 and under are not required to have a fishing license for this program we ask that they bring their own fishing equipment if possible, as a limited number of rods and reels are available to borrow at each site.”

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