Conservation officers and workers at the Child Development Centre (CDC) brought ice fishing gear to Chimney Lake on Saturday, embracing the opportunity to hang out with kids and families and enjoying a unique Cariboo activity.
This is the second time that CDC has partnered with the BC Conservation Service or the RCMP in an ice fishing day with kids—an event that includes a BBQ lunch.
One of the goals is to build relationships between difference agencies, and another is to give kids the chance to interact with groups such as conservation officers and RCMP in a fun environment.
Fishing enthusiasts from the CDC and Conservation arrived at the lake on Saturday with ice augers, fishing poles, hut shelters, maggots and corn, looking forward to a fun day on a beautiful lake and to sharing their skill, passion and experience with kids who may have never cast a line in the water before. One of the CDC child and youth care workers at the lake was Annikki Egolf who has been ice fishing since she was a child.
Provincial Fisheries Technician Todd Gale said that he came to the lake to share his knowledge, fishing gear, bait and experience with kids. “We’re targeting Kokanee and are baiting with corn and pink or plain maggots,” he explained. “We haven’t had much success so far—could be the fact that it’s a full moon and fish eat all night, and aren’t very hungry during the day.”
This was seven-year-old Pavneet Gill’s second time ice fishing.
“Pavneet’s rod caught a fish last year, but she was busy playing with the other kids,” said her mom, Navdeep Gill. “She hopes to get one this time.”
Fishing enthusiast and Provincial Conservation Predator Conflict Prevention and Response Coordinator Sergeant Darrell Ashworth was on hand to help get the kids set up for fishing. This was his second year on the ice with kids, in response to an invitation by CDC.
Conservation officer and fishing enthusiastic Jeff Tyre, recently relocated to the Cariboo, said that he’s thoroughly enjoying the great climate and wilderness experiences in his new community with his young sons. He said that although he is new to ice fishing he considers it a great winter activity — one that he wholeheartedly enjoys.
CDC child and youth care worker Dave Preeper said that he’d also like to get kids out to enjoy things like fishing, hiking and camping during the summer. “This is a positive thing for kids — a brand new activity for most of them. It’s good for them to keep their brains active,” he explained. “When you’re catching fish, that’s what happens.”
He added that getting out to fish is a way to get away from electronics and connect with people. “There is a sense of community here,” he said, pointing to the large group of kids and adults gathered around the fishing holes in the ice.
“I think it’s a very positive thing that B.C. has taken in proclaiming Family Day on February 11 a statutory holiday,” he continued.
“With our current economy a lot of parents are working more and a lot of families need this time together. A family holiday is important.”
Lifelong fishing enthusiast and Conservation Officer Len Butler enjoyed his second ice fishing escapade with CDC on Saturday.
“We welcome these opportunities to get involved and help out with the community like this,” he explained. “We’d like to get participate in more — get involved with a range of outdoor activities and community events.”