Focus fishing anger at the real culprits

Emily Mercer’s letter in the PNR on March 27 completely missed the mark.

Emily Mercer’s letter in the PNR on March 27 completely missed the mark. The Freshwater Fisheries Society is a dedicated group of like-minded scientists, biologists and fishers from all walks of life who actually care deeply for our freshwater ecosystems and the environment. The fact these funds are now going to the FFS instead of general revenues for the provincial government is a win-win for everyone in this province.

Only fish that are native to B.C. are reared and stocked into our rivers and streams. Many were historically and naturally completely devoid of fish, but had an incredible amount of aquatic insects and invertebrates living in pristine water. Perfect habitat for trout.

Trout are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. Without cold, clean water they couldn’t survive. The vast majority of rainbow trout stocked in B.C. lakes are triploided fish that are sterile and cannot reproduce. In the case of streams, primarily only fish that are native to that stream are stocked to enhance numbers of fish that have suffered from habitat loss and destruction.

Recreational fishing in B.C. puts untold millions of dollars into our local economies annually. My freshwater fishing licence means I’m a stakeholder of clean, clear water with healthy fish populations and buys me the right to fish where allowed in a legal fashion.

Ms. Mercer’s ire towards the FFS is completely unjustified. Perhaps she should focus her anger at the real culprits who disregard our freshwater ecosystems; forestry and mining companies who destroy entire watersheds, industrial polluters, corporations making millions selling our water to us in plastic bottles at little or no cost to them, and the governments that continue to allow them to do so.

Glenn Ancelet, Brentwood Bay

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