A nonprofit organization has announced the return of two free family fishing events for Metro Vancouver residents at two Lower Mainland lakes this spring.
The long-running events, both of which have been cancelled the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, will take place at Como Lake and Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam.
Festival Coquitlam Society publicist Lori McGrath told the Straight that the events have been well attended in the past. "They're very popular," she said by phone. "Hundreds of kids and families come down for these."
She said the fact that the events charge no admission during a time of rising expenses for people everywhere is a drawing point. "They're important [to families] because they are free."
The Como Lake "fishing derby" runs at the Como Lake Park water body on May 29, a Sunday, from 6 a.m. to noon. Participants (under 16 years of age) must supply their own fishing equipment and bait, and there will be a pancake breakfast provided at nominal cost.
The small lake is stocked with thousands of rainbow trout each year, and prizes will be awarded in several categories during the derby. No fishing licence is required in B.C. for children under 16.
Then on June 19, Father's Day, the family fishing day at Lafarge Lake, in central Coquitlam's Town Centre Park, will take place in the afternoon, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Again, you will need to bring your own basic fishing gear for this day, but there will be experts on hand here to give advice on casting techniques and tips on how to land an elusive rainbow trout. There will also be fly-tying demonstrations and a salmon raffle, with food and snacks available, again, at nominal cost.
Organizers remind participants to bring their own snacks, food, and drinks if they do not wish to purchase them, and to remember to pack out waste and recyclable items.
As well, remember to bring weather-appropriate clothing, umbrellas, et cetera, and pack along a folding chair if you don't want to stand for hours.