Monday 28th November 2011
Minister Steve Thomson
Dear Mr. Minister
It has come to our attention that your Ministry is contemplating a regulation change on Mayo Lake near Lake Cowichan. Our club is concerned regarding the proposed change and take exception to that proposed change.
Currently Mayo Lake is an age restricted water. That means that you may only fish these waters if you are less than 16 years old or are either a B.C. Senior or B.C. disabled person. Seniors and Disabled anglers ( over the age of 16) must have a valid Non-Tidal angling licence. This regulation has been in place for the better part of 15 years and served our community well.
The regulation change, as we understand it, is to remove the age restricted regulation and allow adults to fish in addition to kids, seniors and disabled persons; in effect opening the lake to all anglers.
Please consider: Since the Cowichan River has been made into a fly-fishing only zone a couple of years ago, this proposed change to Mayo Lake leaves precious little easy access and safe fishing opportunities for kids, seniors and disabled persons.
You should be aware that Mayo Lake is within walking distance of our clubhouse and our club has taken on a stewardship role on the lake for the past 12+ years and have done that since the age restricted regulation came into effect. To that end we have erected signs on the lake explaining the regulation; enhanced the outlet stream of the lake; maintained a log boom on the lakes outlet to prevent debris from moving downstream and clearing the debris when requested to do so by officials from your Ministry. In addition, because of the proximity of the lake to our clubhouse our members monitor the compliance to the Age Restriction regulation and remind the anglers of the regulation if we observe someone fishing in non-compliance
We also sponsor a Kids Fishing Derby on the lake every year. This derby attracts upward of 40-50 kids. We work with the B. C. Fisheries Society who stock the lake prior to our derby. On the day of the derby both the BC Fisheries Society and our club ensure that every participant is given a fishing rod, reel and line so they can participate in the derby. Our club provides prizes and we ensure that every participant receives one, in addition to the rod. We also supply advice on how to fish, how to handle fish and the importance of Conservation. It is an event that the community, participants, parents and the kids themselves all enjoy and learn a little.
Finally you should know that Mayo lake has excellent accessibility for juveniles of all ages, seniors and disabled persons.
Please consider this; by
allowing adults to fish the lake you will be introducing more competition for
the fish that are in the lake thereby reducing the angling success of the kids
that currently fish there and reducing their opportunity of catch a fish.
It is our position that you should
not be trying to attract more fishermen to Mayo Lake, it should be preserved as
a fishing opportunity for children, senior citizens and the disabled only.
In summary our club has taken on a stewardship role for the Mayo lake watershed. We believe that the current age restriction regulation provides kids, seniors and disabled persons of the Cowichan Valleys population the opportunity to fish and catch a fish without competing with the general fishing population. The lake has excellent access for people with any disability. The proposed regulation will jeopardise these. In addition we request that you supply us with the rational for implementing the change and also a commitment that we will be consulted on any future Fish and Wildlife regulation changes that may affect us.
We appreciate your attention to this matter and look forward to future discussion
President, Valley Fish and Game Club
Click here for step by step Directions, Contact Information: Postal address: 6190 Mayo RD, PO Box 924, Lake Cowichan, BC, VOR 2G0, Canada
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