Add fishing to popular pandemic pastimes: P.E.I. angling licence numbers jump

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Adults have to pay for an angling licence, but children can fish for free. (Fish and Wildlife PEI/Facebook - image credit)
Adults have to pay for an angling licence, but children can fish for free. (Fish and Wildlife PEI/Facebook - image credit)

The recreational angling season opened on P.E.I. Thursday, and like many outdoor activities, it is drawing in more people.

The number of Islanders applying for an angling licence is up about 20 per cent over past years.

"It follows along the lines of people getting out in canoes, kayaks, skiing and hiking and biking and all those sorts of outdoor activities," said provincial freshwater biologist Rosie MacFarlane.

"People are realizing that it's excellent for mental and physical health to get out outdoors and go fishing, and it's also quite economical because a fishing licence doesn't really cost that much."

It's also quite economical because a fishing licence doesn't really cost that much. - Rosie MacFarlane

Anyone over the age of 15 who wants to drop a line and hook in the water on P.E.I. requires an angling licence.

The licence is $10 a year for most anglers, though people aged 16 to 18 and over 60 are granted one for free, and everyone aged 16 to 64 must also pay a Wildlife Conservation Fund fee of $20 a year. Family fees are also available and children fish for free.

No licences are required on the May long weekend as the province offers its "Free Family Fishing" weekend.

Two popular spots will not be available this season, however. The Montrose River and Cousin's Shore stream are closed to all angling because of fishkills last year.

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