Winter Fish NB Days - Tip of the Iceberg?
Anyone who knows us, or has followed this page for a while, will know that the gang here at Wilderness Obsession are passionate advocates for growing the popularity of outdoor sports. We are proponents of taking kids hunting and fishing; events such as the Sackville Rod & Gun Club's annual Fishing Derby, or CWTF/NWTF's “Hoot and Shoot” are much needed ways to encourage young people and first timers to get active and learn more about our heritage.
With this in mind, we were very excited this week to find out that the popular “Fish NB Days” in New Brunswick has been improved, and now includes a winter weekend! Traditionally, Fish NB Days provides a weekend opportunity (typically the first weekend in June) for residents and non-residents alike to experience angling in this province without having to worry about buying a license. As always, retention limits and game laws remain the same as any other day. It is a great way to bring the whole family out and share the passion and experience some of the excellent fishing opportunities available in New Brunswick.
Starting this year, 2019, Winter Fish NB days now includes the new Family Day weekend (February 16-18, inclusive)! If you're a passionate angler throughout the summer, but have never experienced the joy of hauling a mighty lake trout (or chain pickerel) through the ice, now is your chance to try. For many of us, the prospect of buying a winter ice fishing license knowing we will only make it out once or twice keeps us from enjoying everything hard water angling has to offer. Perhaps this licence-free weekend will entice you to grab a friend, bring your kids and just get out there! While you're out there, if you happen to catch yourself a handful of yellow perch; we can't speak strongly enough about how delicious they are. As we once wrote: take the best day of your life, and put it in your mouth.
You can find the GNB link to the Ice Fishing Rules along with the list of designated inland waters here.
Check out the video below for the official announcement:
Winter Fish NB Days!
The Department of Energy and Resource Development is encouraging people to try ice fishing! Winter Fish NB Days (Feb. 16-18) is a great occasion for a family outing and a time to enjoy the natural beauty that surrounds us in New Brunswick. On those 3 days, people can go ice fishing without the purchase of a licence. For more info please visit: www.gnb.ca/fishnb #WinterFishNBDays2019Posted by Government of New Brunswick on Monday, February 11, 2019
We took the opportunity this week to speak to the MLA responsible for this new opportunity about what he believes this means for NB. Mike Holland, newly elected Minister of Energy and Resource Development, hinted that while this change is small, it may just be the tip of the iceberg (pun intended) of what is to come:
“Although this is a small step, it is a significant one. We are sending the message that this department, minister, and government are open to creating more opportunities for New Brunswickers to experience our outdoor lifestyle”
He couldn't speak directly to the kinds of changes and opportunities he was referring to at this time, but one thing that we know has been on the minds of many hard water anglers in NB is lake access. Over the past several years, we've heard that a proposal to open 77 additional lakes in NB to ice fishing was sitting pending DFO approval. Perhaps this government will be the one that pushes to bring it to completion? That would be welcome news and would com. Another promise made during the election campaign was to explore license bundling. Could this mean that we will soon be able to purchase an NB fishing license that allows for fishing year round? Time will tell.
Full disclosure: we've known Mike for several years and have spent time hunting with him in the past. Believe us or not, Mike is not your typical politician. Since being elected, he's remained active in Facebook hunting and fishing groups and is never afraid to get dirty in a good debate. While speaking with him, he encouraged us to publish his email address (Mike.Holland@gnb.ca) and to let our readers know that he reads all communications personally. If you have a good idea, or a concern; let him know! If you're skeptical that directly emailing a minister will garner a response, send us your questions or concerns and we'll pass it on. Who knows, maybe we'll even write an article about it.
Contact us and let us know!