Safety was the big common denominator.
The need to find a safer way to fish salmon on the Lower Fraser River was one of the recurrent themes Saturday afternoon at the first ever Celebration of Safety and Culture on the River at Island 22 Regional Park.
More than 20 groups showed up, conducted demonstrations and shared ideas about staying safe on the water.
“We’re concerned about people’s safety. And so we thought that in the midst of our discussions about other issues in the fishery, between the First Nations community, the anglers and conservation groups, one of the things we could agree on was working together towards creating a safe fishery here on the Lower Fraser River,” said Ernie Crey, advisor to Sto:lo Tribal Council on fisheries.
The need for more people to sue personal floatation devices was a popular topic, and a range of product examples were on display.
Numerous drownings every summer are reported along the major waterway often because of a lack of a PFD.
The collaborative work of the Fraser River Peacemakers was mentioned by Rod Clapton of the B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers.
He said “a spirit of cooperation” was achieved between local First Nations and the recreational fishing community.
Grilled and smoked spring salmon was served up by Sto:lo caterers, along with barbecue hot dogs and drinks at another station.
The event was sponsored by Fraser Valley Regional District in cooperation with Fraser River Peacemakers and local First Nations. Chilliwack Search and Rescue conducted a live in-water demonstration and there was a chance for folks to take part in the Learn to Fish program.