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Posted: March 27, 2021

Senior’s discount now optional for freshwater fishing licence

Resident anglers over 65 can now decide level of support for conservation, stocking through licence purchase

In response to public requests to support freshwater fishing in B.C., resident anglers over the age of 65 are now able to choose between purchasing a licence for the regular rate of $36 or for the discounted senior rate of $5.

The option of paying for a regular rate licence gives senior freshwater fishers the opportunity to support stocking and conservation efforts in the province while still offering a reduced cost to ensure licence fees are not a barrier to access for senior anglers.

“While many seniors really appreciate the discounted licence, ensuring freshwater fishing is an affordable pastime, many others have expressed that they are keen to financially support the work that we do to enhance freshwater fishing throughout the province,” said Andrew Wilson, president, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. “Many seniors, especially those who have recently turned 65, still wish to pay the resident fee as a means of supporting recreational fishing in the province.”

One hundred percent of the revenue generated from fishing licences is distributed to two non-profit organizations to directly benefit recreational fisheries. Approximately $29 of a BC Resident Annual Licence goes to the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC to fund research, conservation, education and the provincial recreational stocking program.

The society also invests in infrastructure improvements to improve access for anglers of all ages and abilities.

The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, receiving the remaining seven dollars, funnels the money into grants for fish conservation projects.

Seniors represent a significant part of the angling community; 19% of licence purchases were made by resident anglers 65 or older during the 2019-20 season. Based on licence purchasing history, over 55,000 senior resident anglers are expected to purchase an annual licence next season.

“While individually it’s a small contribution, collectively seniors represent a meaningful level of support. Ultimately, anglers are choosing to support world class fishing they can enjoy right in their own backyard.” said Wilson.

Freshwater fishing saw an increase in participation over the last year as people were keen to take up a pastime that is close to home and offers appropriate social distancing. Resident angler sales were 18% higher in 2020 over the previous year, with the largest jump in those under 35 years of age. While sales decreased slightly for those 65 and older, participation is expected to rebound in the coming season.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC was created in 2003 as a private, not-for-profit organization, funded mainly through freshwater fishing licence revenues.

In partnership with the Province of B.C., the Society annually stocks six million trout, char and kokanee in 800 B.C. lakes. It also manages special hatchery programs for endangered species, conducts fisheries research, education and conservation programs, and works to make angling more accessible for all.

To find out more, visit gofishbc.com.

e-KNOW file photo

Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC

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