Austrian angler won’t return to northwestern BC

Prohibiting foreign anglers from fishing on weekends means simply not welcoming these guests any more.

Dear Sir:

I am a dedicated steelhead angler and travelled to B.C. (from Austria) every year for 15 years. A new regulation is in place blocking all non-B.C. resident fishermen from fishing on weekends, sometimes including Friday, meaning you are allowed to fish Monday thru Thursday only.

I am heavily disappointed to see that I am no more welcomed as a tourist and as a fisherman to that region. Prohibiting foreign anglers from fishing on weekends means simply not welcoming these guests any more.

Travelling is complicated enough and covers different roadblocks (weather, river access, regulations, reduced number of steelhead due to several inputs etc.) which make it more and more questionable whether the trip is worth or not.

Now it is over and I will no longer visit BC for fishing for these perfect fish. I have spoken to several fisherman in the last weeks (e.g. from  the U.S.) and I got similar feedback.

We will go to a country where we are welcome. Excluding tourists from fishing is also from touristic perspective an issue which I hardly can understand.

I hope that many other tourists are doing similar and we have a slight change to reverse this ridiculous new tourism offending regulations.

Fact is that the few steelhead fishing tourists coming to that region brought a lot of money – from Air Canada to car rental, lodging, sometimes guiding, gas and food, fishing tackle, ending up with $15 for this nice native fee sometimes charged on Kispiox – for many years.

Obviously nobody is interested in keeping that business alive and obviously nobody is interested in starting to tackle the real disastrous steelhead issues (commercial fishing, gillnetting etc.).

So BC makes the easy move and blocks the fishing tourists from all over the world that the locals fishing there have the rivers for their own and can do what they like to do without being disturbed by some nasty tourists.

Sorry for my open words, but as mentioned in the beginning I am heavily disappointed and will not come back to BC any more as long as this regulation is in force.

Thomas Briza,

Klosterneuburg, Austria, Europe