The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.

Permit now required for fishing at Creston wildlife area

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This year, the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Authority is expanding its permit program to include fishing in Duck Lake or in any of the ponds and channels on Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area property. As with hunting, this will provide information on the number of people fishing and will help staff to assess the impact on the resource.

According to the Creston Valley Wildlife Act, a permit must be obtained for activities that occur on the CVWMA property. A permit policy helps staff assess and manage the impact that recreational activities have on wildlife habitat. In addition, the regulations under this act allow a fee “commensurate with the value of the benefit afforded to the permit holder.”

Beginning in 2009, the CVWMA, in cooperation with the Kootenay landowner enfranchisement pilot project and supported by the Ministry of Environment, began to enforce the section of the act that required hunters to obtain a permit for hunting within CVWMA boundaries. In addition to the permit, hunters are required by the province to have a B.C. hunting licence. Now, after three years, the CVWMA knows that approximately 200 hunters a year take out permits to hunt elk, moose, bear, deer and waterfowl. A survey will be undertaken this year to determine the number of animals harvested in a season.

Further information on obtaining permits for these activities is currently in the BC Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis and will appear in the next addition of the BC Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis.

Those people who do not hunt or fish at the CVWMA but use the area for other recreational opportunities are encouraged to purchase a membership. There are a variety of options, depending on your needs — family, grandparent, senior, individual and student rates. The membership fees allows staff to maintain the hiking trails and viewing towers and provide educational opportunities at the Wildlife Interpretation Centre. Close to 2,000 school students from the Kootenays visit each spring to participate in programs. Thousands of people also take part in guided canoe tours, and special events and programs.

The CVWMA operates as a not-for profit provincial crown agency federal charitable status. It does not receive annual funding from the provincial or federal government. It receives annual support from BC Hydro and the Town of Creston and relies on the support of the greater community through donations, memberships and permit fees. It also receives grants to carry out specific activities and projects.

Permits and memberships can be acquired at www.crestonwildlife.ca or in person at the administration building or Wildlife Interpretation Centre when open. Hunting and fishing permits are $10 each or $15 for both, and are valid from April 1-March 31. Memberships range from $20-$35 and are valid for one year.

For more information, contact the CVWMA askus@crestonwildlife.ca or 250-402-6900.

— CRESTON VALLEY WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY