NDP calls for free fishing weekend to be moved

The NDP is calling on the government to move free fishing weekend to a later date, when all Saskatchewan’s lakes are safe.

Tuesday, a public health advisory cautioned people to avoid several lakes in the southern part of the province because they are contaminated with E.Coli, caused by flooding. But, today the government announced that the upcoming weekend is free fishing weekend and called on Saskatchewan families to fish without a license, encouraging them to submit photos to the government for a tourism contest.

“Some of Saskatchewan’s most beautiful and popular lakes are simply not safe right now,” said Cathy Sproule, who is the NDP’s critic for environment and for tourism. “Encouraging families to get out there and fish while so much water is contaminated and so many families in those areas are still coping with flooding – that’s a little insensitive. It’s also not fair to have free fishing weekend at a time when not everyone can take advantage of it.”

Sproule said the problem would be resolved if the government moved free fishing weekend to a later date, or offered a second free fishing weekend later in the season for those families and lakes impacted by flooding, high water levels and contamination. Sproule also said the government should clarify mixed messaging it sent to families who may see today’s announcement as a green light to fish, swim and boat recreationally on flooded and contaminated waterways.