Recreational fishing and boating activities reached new and more diverse audiences this summer season again, an increase of over 10% according to the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation: ‘This increased interest in fishing is a trend we’ve seen in the making for a while’, said a spokesperson from the organization. Local anglers are spoiled having the Ottawa River in their own neighbourhood, sometimes within walking or biking distance, and fishing activities peaked as a remedy for COVID-related stress and anxiety, while also promoting complementary outdoor activities such as boating, camping, hiking…
Specialised websites feature how-to-videos and interactive maps educating new anglers and promoting visiting boaters and anglers of all age and all experience levels to local ‘spots’ for a successful day on the water. In Ontario, permit sales increased by 20%, which shows that both a new generation and a new class of anglers got hooked on the sport this summer, mostly as a way to enjoy the outdoors, the scenery and the challenge, a way of relaxing, of bonding with family and friends, all the while physically distancing from Covid’s sneaky attacks. And this trend was observed all through Canada which claims an overall increase of 57,000 new anglers!
Canadian wholesalers reported a large increase in sales of hunting and fishing gear: sales director from Shimano Canada states that ‘market demand remains very strong and we expect the trend to continue: we’re seeing unprecedented sales at retail, especially with those businesses that have an active e-commerce presence’.
Co-owner since last April of Hawkesbury’s GOLDEN ANCHOR MARINA with three partners, Marie-Pierre Chalifoux admits that the present boating season was challenging at first: Boating Ontario said the Ontario government gave its members permission to bring back staff on May 4th and to allow customers in marinas on May 16th only; double that with provincial border restrictions that were in effect then… But since the full re-opening, business has been kind of ‘normal’: all 99 berths were booked as they had for years and boaters were able to forget the stresses of Covid with family on the magnificent Ottawa River; as was the case with many other small businesses everywhere, Ms. Chalifoux said that the quest for qualified staff was a constant challenge and preoccupation and she is looking forward positively to next season. Stay tuned for an upcoming article on the camping and RV-ing season!
Did You Know That…?
All about anglers’ best friend: the humble wiggly worm.
You may handle it unceremoniously, holding it in your bare hands while sticking a hook through its body, either from its head or from its back (who knows which is which…) with no hesitation or pity; barbaric procedure or routine? Nobody seems to know when or where this tradition originated of using earthworms as bait, nor do we know why fish of all species seem to be attracted and fond of earthworms: its smell, its texture, its appeal, its wiggling move? One of nature’s many mysteries!
FACT: Did you know that an earthworm physiology is made of about 10 to 14 mini-hearts which allows it to keep moving and wiggle once you have split it in half because it was too long? The headless section will die soon after. Scientists have found evidence that earthworms can feel pain.
FACT: Earthworms are hermaphrodite or bisexual: they are equipped with both male and female reproductive organs and can mate freely with any other companion.
FACT: Earthworms do not have lungs: they breathe through their skin which must remain moist at all time in order to absorb oxygen; if their skin starts to dry out under sun’s UV-rays, their death is imminent.
FACT: It sucks in its food and can eat many times its weight in food in 24 hours; its diet is mainly made of decaying roots, leaves and fungi.
FACT: It is reported that Ontario sells more than A BILLION earthworms to USA!
FACT: According to Guiness world records stats, the longest earthworm measured 21 feet and was found in South Africa.
FACT: Earthworms can be eaten raw or cooked: they are considered a ‘super-food’ with high content of protein, iron, amino acids; they are a delicacy in some countries.
FACT: Vermiculture is the artificial cultivation of earthworms.
FACT: Quebec largest producing companies of earthworm are reported to be using a high quality soil for their breeding farms imported from…ALFRED, ONTARIO!