I know this is a few weeks old now, but it’s still very important to follow-up on this issue and so I’m compelled to post. I also feel bad for not making time to complete this while I was on vacation. If you’ve read about the recent ban on fishing along the Harbourfront here in Toronto then you’ll be happy to know that the city folded and the signs have been removed! Some friends and active members of our forums all met up near to Toronto Island ferry docks to fish and celebrate the lifting of the ban. The Toronto Sun was even on hand when Luka Opacic landed this nice 17 pound carp!
We had really hoped to make this a multi-species event, but the pike never showed and though we did see some other species, none hooked up. Even with only one fish landed the trip was a true success and celebration of the wonderful fishing opportunities to be had in our great city. Lots of people stopped to ask us what we were fishing for, what kind of bait we were using, and of course if we were planning on eating our catch. The fish along the Harbourfront are safe to eat according to the Ministry of Natural Resources, but we’re all avid catch-and-release fishermen.
The TRCA event at the Gladstone Hotel held the night before was fantastic. The crowd was pumped because of the recent ban and you could tell many anglers were very upset, but I didn’t see any torches or pitchforks. Instead the conversation was focused and intelligent. Councillor Paula Fletcher was on hand and promised (to the best of her abilities) that she would get the signs removed- and later that night she did!
Some of the statistics thrown around at the event were absolutely mind-boggling when you begin to understand just how enormous the recreational fishing industry is. For example, more people in Canada fish than play golf and hockey combined! Or that anglers spend as much as the national beer sales! The biggest surprise for me was when professional angler David Chong mentioned Fishing Fury and our coverage of the event, and more specifically the outraged thread that was created on our forums that even caught the eyes of City Hall, the MNR, the TPA, and HarbourFront Centre.
I would like to thank Councillor Paula Fletcher, Councillor Adam Vaughan, the TRCA, David Chong, Wil Wegman, Chris Robinson, Satyendra Bhavsar, the Gladstone Hotel, the Toronto Sun, David Clark, David Kearney, and all the members of our forums that helped by writing and calling.
I’d say that we can all raise a pint to a mission accomplished, but I wouldn’t call this over just yet.