Changes in regulations to the Columbia River fishery don’t go far enough, says the Revelstoke Rod and Gun Club.
“It’s not everything we wanted but its better than before,” said Gary Krestinsky, the club’s president. “These new regulations are welcome but they only go partway to conservation.”
The 2015-17 Freshwater Fishing Regulations go into effect April 1.
In the Revelstoke area, the most significant change is that fishing is now banned from the Revelstoke Dam to the BC Hydro power lines over the Columbia River, about 300 metres north of the Illecillewaet River.
The change means that fishing from the shoreline in Centennial Park or along the Big Eddy Greenbelt will no longer be allowed.
As well, no bull trout under 60 centimetres can be caught in an area from the power lines in Revelstoke to the Alkokolex Narrows, about 1.5-kilometres south of the confluence with the Alkokolex River.
Also notable is that fishing is no longer allowed in the Illecillewaet River downstream of Albert Canyon.
Krestinsky said the club supports the changes, but it had asked for the fishery to be closed all the way to Arrowhead.
“Our primary concern is there’s no conservation officer to enforce it and there’s no signage,” he said. “While the regulation changes are good, they’re virtually useless if there’s no enforcement.”
Revelstoke has been without a Conservation Officer since November 2013 and repeated requests to have the position reinstated have been denied by Environment Minister Mary Polak.
Krestinsky said people were fishing with barbed hooks and the size and number of fish being caught was being exceeded.
“We want the ministry to make those changes to conserve the stock that’s there and enforce the regulations,” he said.
A committee has been formed to once again approach the Ministry of the Environment about re-instating the Conservation Service in Revelstoke.
The Review has arranged an interview with an official from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations to talk about the changes and will update this story afterward.