New Recreational Fishing Guidelines to Be Announced in May

New guidelines for recreational fishing are expected to be announced in May as many fishing lodges and charter companies gear up to welcome fishing enthusiasts.

King Pacific Lodge, located at Milbanke Sound, is one of BC’s premier fishing lodges and a hot spot for Chinook, King, Coho and Silver Salmon with the lodge being strategically located along the migration route. The lodge is looking forward to hearing the new fishing guidelines to be announced this month by the B.C. Sports Fishing Institute.

Premier John Horgan unveiled plans at the beginning of May as to how the province will begin to reopen businesses and the stages that will be followed in order to keep COVID numbers low. In a similar fashion, the B.C. Sports Fishing Institute has been working to establish behavior protocols based on feedback from stakeholders such as fishing lodges, guides, and charter operations.

“We worked with the tourism sector to design the protocols and guidelines with the idea that the restrictions would eventually be relaxed a little, and now we need those to be approved by Dr. Henry,” SFI executive director, Owen Bird, said. “As we understand it, the province is working hard to analyze and vet these various proposals.”

Fishing and hunting were added to BC’s list of essential services in April, but travel bans and recommended restrictions continue to have a dramatic effect on any fishing lodge or associated business that relies on tourism.

There may also be additional restrictions due to a reported low number of chinook salmon that could potentially see conservation measures put into place, similar to what happened in 2018.

However, the B.C. Sports Fishing Institute is confident the province will get as many people out fishing as soon as it’s safe to do so.

“We want to be extremely cautious in terms of revealing these guidelines ahead of what the provincial recommendations will be. We need to have the public’s confidence, business confidence, employee confidence, operators confidence that we’re not jeopardizing the great progress B.C. has made.”

Fishing destinations like the King Pacific Lodge are looking forward to re-opening this summer and are gearing up to welcome visitors from farther afield once travel restrictions are eased or lifted.

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