Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
VICTORIA – As of April 1, 100 per cent of revenue generated from fishing licences will directly benefit anglers under an agreement announced Monday between the Province and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC.
Under the agreement the total amount to be transferred to the society for 2015-16 will be approximately $10 million, an increase of about $3 million annually over what the society currently receives.
“The 12-year track record of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC has been exemplary,” said Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. “Their excellence in service delivery, innovation, partnership building and operational efficiencies will only be enhanced by this increased support.”
Previously the society’s activities were focused primarily on stocking of smaller lakes. The additional funding will allow the society to work with provincial biologists to improve angling opportunities in small lakes, large lakes and rivers. This includes angler access improvements, stock assessment to help inform management decisions, and resources to enhance capacity for compliance monitoring and enforcement on both stocked and wild waterbodies.
Surcharges on licences for the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund will not be affected by the new arrangement. The fund will continue to receive 100 per cent of the licence surcharge dedicated to habitat conservation under the new arrangement.
In 2003, the Province signed a 30-year contract with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to be a non-profit delivery partner with a mandate to conserve and enhance freshwater fishing opportunities in B.C. The agreement is now amended to reflect the additional revenue that will be directed to the society. The society is now recognized as one of the most progressive and accomplished fisheries management organizations in North America generating economic benefits and providing world-class angling opportunities.
The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC stocks about 800 waterbodies with over eight million trout, char and kokanee produced from the five provincial fish hatcheries (including Clearwater) operated by the society for that purpose.