The Association has a trout pond on its property where members, school groups and the general public (on special occasions) can cast or fly fish for stocked Rainbow trout. The Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. stocks the pond with fish from their Duncan trout hatchery a few times a year. The Victoria Fish & Game supports the efforts of Go fish B.C. in introducing angling to beginners by providing the pond for their use on several occasions throughout the year. The trout pond is heavily used during the Family Fishing Weekend held each year on the Father’s Day weekend in June. The pond is typically stocked with about a hundred trout on the Saturday. Children participate by bucketing fish from the hatchery truck and releasing them into the nearby pond. Fishing is usually by casting a bobber and worm or fishing power bait off the bottom. Our pond fishing policy is normally catch and release. The exception is cases where a fish gets injured when caught, and should be kept. Parents are to decide whether a fish should be kept or released. When fish are taken from the property, a fishing licence is required. Children 15 and under do not need licences – fresh or salt water – but must abide by all other regulations.
The Victoria Fish & Game conducts an annual fishing competition among its members for fish caught in various species categories. Trophies are awarded for the largest coho salmon, chinook salmon, halibut and trout. In addition, the junior angler with the best quality catch of any species is recognized as the ‘junior fisherman of the year’.
The competition runs from January 01 to December 31 each year and trophies are awarded at the Annual General Meeting in March of the following year. Eligible waters include the waters of, and surrounding, Vancouver Island only. Entries must be received by the committee chairman within a month of catch date. Entries must include species of fish, weight of fish (in pounds and ounces), date caught, area caught, anglers’ name, age of angler (if junior member), and membership number. Catch and release entries are accepted, both where catch and release is mandatory under either the freshwater (Provincial) or saltwater (Federal) regulations or where the angler chooses catch and release as his or her angling option.
Due to increasingly more restrictive regulations imposed by the Department of Fisheries & Oceans (DFO) for tidal waters angling and by the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations for non-tidal waters, the VFGPA Annual Fishing Competition has been cancelled for 2018. The number of entries previously received has been declining for a number of years due, in part, to the imposition of these regulations. Despite increasing Club membership, the percentage of both anglers and hunters has been declining as well.
Amalgamated Conservation Society
The Amalgamated Conservation Society represents the organized anglers of southern Vancouver Island. Membership currently consists of 10 associations as follows:
- Clover Point Anglers’ Association
- Esquimalt Anglers’ Association
- Goldstream Volunteer Salmonid Enhancement Association
- Haig-Brown Flyfishing Association
- James Bay Anglers’ Association
- Royal Canadian Navy Anglers’ Association
- Sidney Anglers’ Association
- Victoria Fish & Game Protective Association
- Victoria Golden Rods & Reels
- Westcoast Flyfishers Association
Each member association is entitled to send three voting delegates to monthly meetings which are held September through June.
The ACS has operated continuously since 1954 when it was known as the Amalgamated Lower Islands Sportsmen’s Association. The name was officially changed in 1963 and the Amalgamated Conservation Society was largely responsible for the formation of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board in 1964. The Victoria Fish & Game has input to issues affecting sport fishing through the local Victoria Sport Fishing Advisory Committee which was formed in 1996 and which meets at least twice a year.