Before Christmas I found myself walking around Crossiron Mills in an effort to kill time. I had travelled down from Edmonton and was waiting to meet a guy about a drift boat in the parking lot.
Like many other Canadians I try not to support big box outdoor stores, given there effect on local economy and low quality of products, but when you have nothing but time to kill, the flash of one of these stores is hard for any angler to resist. So after doing a few laps of the mall I walked through the turn style and into the multi billion dollar corporation that I now feel is destroying not only local economy but our fisheries as well.
Call me a wet blanket, call me a downer but just see where I’m coming from until you pass judgement.
After entering the store I went where most people using this forum would go, the fly shop. I spent about 10 minutes looking around at the far inferior selection that put a Canadian born chain out of business two years ago, all the while thinking we lost that for this? That may be a matter of personal opinion as these things usually are, but it’s what I saw at the check out that for lack of a better term “really pissed me off”.
Near the front of the store at the exit displayed so proudly was a one of the many old black and white photos of “the good old days”. Now just to be clear I have nothing wrong with eating an occasional fish but the display of a picture with 15-20 trout on a stringer seems inappropriate to say the least. And it’s not like it’s just one they are all over the place, picture after picture of dead fish.
We all know those are not the fisheries we have today, my argument is that it’s because of the “good old days” we are dealing with such fragile an venerable fisheries today.
The scenario that happens way to to often in our province is this. There’s a guy watching tv, he sees an ad for one of the many big box outdoors stores, he thinks “well fishing looks pretty fun”. What’s his next stop? You guessed it! So he walks into one of these stores, takes away from local economies, walks to the register to have one of these pictures staring him in the face. This is a person Who knows nothing other than what the store staff just told him and what is displayed on the walls.
We have all heard the guy “what do you mean catch and release”, or “it’s not even worth the time if I can’t keep fish”. Well I think it’s this mind set that is a contributing factor to the decline of our fisheries.
So I have just thrown out a lot contentious arguments and I’m not asking for any kind of conflict I’m more just wondering if this bugs anyone but myself?
Solutions? Well I know it may sound silly but I think you have to look at where the problem starts and no I do t think it’s the pictures hanging on the walls of a store. Education! It’s always the answer and it should come from the start. The reason hunting education courses are mandatory is to promote safety and CONSERVATION. So would it really be a bad thing if we did the same for fishing?
No this won’t solve the problems we have now days but the the problems we have will not be solved by any one thing.
Long winded, I know but it’s something I felt had to be said.