Sooke fly fishers stopped fishing in local streams in May

Provincial government suspended angling on local waterways on southern Vancouver Island last week due to drought

The Westcoast Flyfishers Association ceased fishing on local rivers and streams months before the provincial government suspended angling on local waterways on southern Vancouver Island.

Brian Alexander, president of the Sooke-based association, said his members stopped fishing in mid-May when water levels began to decrease and water temperatures increased.

“The Westcoast Flyfishers [is] first and foremost a club committed to habitat preservation and fish resource protection. Fishing ethics are something we champion in our club activities,” he said.

“This action is required to protect fish stocks and is badly needed.”

Earlier this month, the B.C. Environment Ministry declared fresh waterways at Level 4 drought conditions. Further declines in stream, lake and aquifer levels could lead to water shortages and affect people, industry such as agriculture, wildlife, and fish stocks, a government press release stated.

All water users are urged to maximize their water conservation efforts.

The fishing ban covers a geographic area from Bamfield south to Victoria on the west coast, and Campbell River south to Victoria on the east coast.