National Fishing Week begins a week from today, June 30, and runs until July 8. It is an opportunity to celebrate sport fishing across the country, and to raise awareness of the important role sport fishing plays in Canada.
National Fishing Week is sponsored by the Canadian National Sportfishing Foundation and is supported by Catch Fishing, a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians to get outside and enjoy the excellent sport fishing opportunities across the country.
More information on this program can be found at www.catchfishing.com. The website not only offers information on the program itself but also has tips on sport fishing which both new anglers, as well as seasoned veterans, will find useful. The website also offers copies of the free Catch Fishing booklet which provides a great overview and introduction to the sport.
National Fishing Week celebrates the fact that Canada is one of the leading sport fishing nations in the world. There are over eight million anglers across the country and, with over a million lakes and rivers, as well as being bordered by three oceans, we have lots of places to fish.
As anglers we all know the physical and mental benefits of getting away for a few hours on our favourite lakes and rivers. The fish we bring home are a bonus. Across the country sport fishing is also a major industry. The most current information available is the 2010 national sportfishing survey which revealed that sport fishing was worth over $8 billion in terms of angler expenditures. As well the survey revealed that more Canadians fished than play golf and hockey combined.
Angling also continues to be a major recreational activity in Nova Scotia as revealed in the same survey. Licensed resident and non-resident anglers spent 1.1 million days fishing in 2010. Residents fished an average of 18.5 days while non-resident anglers spent an average of 7.2 days.
The survey also estimates harvest and Nova Scotia anglers caught an estimated four million fish, of which they retained 1.6 million (40 per cent). Nationally anglers caught 193 million fish of which they only retained 63 million. In Nova Scotia speckled (brook) trout were the preferred species by both resident, and non-resident anglers, this was followed by rainbow trout by residents and Atlantic salmon by non-residents.
While the survey revealed how important sport fishing is in Canada, angling also continues to be an important economic generator in Nova Scotia. Nova Scotia anglers spent a total of $56.4 million directly on their sport in 2010. The average expenditure per angler on services such as tackle or boats and ATVs was $977.
The Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association (CSIA), made up of tackle manufactures and other industries that support sportfishing, recently contacted me and asked if I would once again serve as an ambassador for National Fishing Week. I was honoured to be asked, and agreed to do what I could to raise the profile of sport fishing. To help with the promotion the CSIA provided me with three rods and reels to give away and I am looking forward to presenting them to some young anglers.
So, I am asking any young anglers in Pictou County to write and tell me their favourite fishing story. It can be about the biggest fish they caught, why they like to sportfish or about the one that got away. I will do a draw and three lucky winners will receive a spinning rod and reel. Send your entries to: Don MacLean RR#3 Pictou, NS B0K 1H0, or email them to me: firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to reading your stories and I hope you get a chance to go fishing during National Fishing Week.
Don MacLean is an outdoor writer and biologist who lives in Pictou County.