What’s at Stake
Anglers have a long history of making sacrifices for the betterment of nature. These accommodations have sometimes included targeted closures where the science has clearly indicated they are essential solutions to protect fish and sensitive habitats.
Over the past several weeks, rather than focusing on the health of our ecosystems, the science directing our behaviours has been concentrated on our own health. Experts have deemed it necessary to limit the movement of Canadians across the country, closing parks, businesses, boat ramps, and limiting gatherings. Such is life during Covid-19.
Not only have Canadians been faced with the uncertainty of a novel coronavirus, we have also been met with financial and emotional hardships. Our inability to gather with friends and loved ones has sparked mental health concerns. As well, closed businesses have led to worries about the future of the fishing industry.
Health and Safety
The restrictions placed on Canadians have not made it easy to cast a line. Nevertheless, KCF Champions of Recreational Fishing report that most anglers are following the guidelines put out by local and provincial governments. Ongoing concern for the health and safety of fellow Canadians has influenced the behaviour of anglers.
According to Gord Pyzer, his small town of Kenora receives 750,000 visitors (many anglers) every year. Considering the hospital serving the area only has 4 ICU beds, local healthcare would be critically strained should an outbreak occur.
The Original Social Distancing
Even so, Canadians see fishing as a healthy and easy way to practice social distancing. “Many anglers fish in secluded areas where