Another fish story The ice is soon to disappear on Whistler lakes and local anglers are gearing up for another fishing season. And while the ice was melting the haggard members of the Whistler Angling Club gathered at Myrtle Philip Community School last week for their Annual General Meeting and other fish stories. The club plans a busy summer of habitat restoration, public education and all around fun on local lakes and streams. "In the five years that I have been president of the angling club this is the best year as far as co-operation between all kinds of groups throughout the entire corridor goes. People are really keen this year," says Ian Fairweather, Whistler Angling Club president. Fairweather says there are about 20 dedicated members in the angling club and their relationship with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks is growing as is the tremendous relationship between municipal parks and recreation department and the local Rotary Club. According to Fairweather, Whistler's potential as an angling destination can be rebuilt, as local fishing is coming back. "People like Don MacLaurin have been working for years to try and assess and rebuild the fishery in this valley and their enthusiasm is starting to gather steam," Fairweather says. Two of the larger projects planned for this summer are repairs to the fish ladder on the River of Golden Dreams and the installation of a fish trap in the River of Golden Dreams, to determine fish migration patterns between Green Lake and Alta Lake. "We have done a bit of work on the fish ladder so far, but we don't even know if it works yet," he says. A portage will be built for canoes to go around the fish trap, as it will be fixed into the stream and could be damaged by boats passing over it. Educational signs will be erected at Showh and Cougar Lakes in conjunction with the municipality to promote the catch and release fishery at those lakes. The angling club will also be spearheading a fish trapping program on 19 Mile Creek and Crabapple Creek to determine species and number of fish in those creeks. "We're also going to be doing some work in Crabapple Creek in Tapley's Farm to create some more natural cover in a huge hole that has developed between two culverts," he says. Plans are also in the works to organize a round-robin fishing derby in all five lakes in the valley over the course of the summer as local anglers will be challenged to try and catch fish in every lake in the Whistler Valley. "I'd love to see someone catch a fish in Nita Lake," Fairweather says with a laugh. "The whole idea is to get anybody interested in angling, from novices to guides, out having a good time together." The tournaments will kick off once the ice is off and will cost $5 for angling club members and $10 for non-members. The tournament will go every Monday evening for five weeks.

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