A fish viewer manufactured in Williams Lake is in demand by by fishery organizations and universities across North America.
John Bos, 82, of Bos Glassworks began making the Plexiglass fish viewers 10 years ago after he was approached by Guy Scharf of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who was stationed in Williams Lake working in habitat stewardship at the time.
Today Scharf works out of the Prince George office and recalls approaching Bos because using rectangular fish viewers were awkward.
“John’s viewer has a bit of a rounded lip on it so you can put it into a fish bucket and it scoop out the fish to measure it,” Scharf says.
Bos developed a prototype and after making a few adjustments, received inquiries from all over North America.
Eventually he was approached by Dynamic Aqua-Supplies in Surrey asking to be the distributor.
“We actually welcomed that idea quite a bit because we just supplied them with the quantity and they supplied them all over the place — even to Europe I think.”
From the original 100 millimetres in size the viewers have expanded to 150 mm, 300 mm and 500 mm, Bos says.
They provide a convenient and accurate means to view and monitor juvenile fish or adult fish and provide the safety factor of not needing to handle the fish without damaging scales and reducing trauma to the fish.
These days Bos receives help from his son-in-law Vince Grondines who is a saw filer and helps do the precision cutting of the Plexiglass.
“I do all the assembling,” Bos adds.
In the last decade they have manufactured in excess of 1,500 of the viewers for organizations that monitor fish in fresh water and lakes, as well as species of fish who eventually travel into oceans.