East Kootenay residents of all ages can get up close and personal with the various fish species who live in our region

East Kootenay residents of all ages can get up close and personal with the various fish species who live in our region

Fish hatchery hosting anniversary party

This Saturday marks 10 years since the creation of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery

KAITY BROWN

This Saturday, July 13, there will be a fun-packed party celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery.

The Freshwater Fisheries Society is a private non-profit organization dedicated to preserving fresh water fish. They create programs for the public to learn environmental protection and fishing heritage and techniques.

The Kootenay Hatchery has been running since 1965 and is responsible for stocking 130 to 150 lakes in the Kootenays as well as preserving endangered species.

“Our mandate is to provide some of the best freshwater recreational fishing in the province, if not Canada,” said Cathy Fiedler of the hatchery. “We also raise fish for conservation which happens to be the white sturgeon right now.”

On top of that, the society strives to teach youth about the importance of preserving the environment and how fish play into the ecosystem.

“We look at it as a way to get families together so that they can enjoy each other’s company and they can be outdoors.”

The hatchery offers a lot of educational programs as well as hands-on programs where the public can go and learn to fish.

“It’s something that a grandpa can be just as good at as a kid can,” Fiedler said. “You don’t have to go out and spend a fortune and you don’t have to be an athlete.”

Saturday’s anniversary party will be swimming with activities: kids’ zone, guided tours, fun games and activities, live fish races, feeding the moat fish, live music, barbeques, sushi, demonstrations of fly-tying and volunteers helping kids fish.

Guest speakers such as Mainstream Environmental WildSafeBC and Bear Aware will be there to educate about protecting the environment.

The event goes from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Kootenay Hatchery, 4522 Fenwick Road, Fort Steele, B.C.

For more information call 250-429-3214 and check www.gofishbc.com/about-us/what-we-do/fish-hatcheries/kootenay-hatchery.aspx.