Do you love fishing? Are you interested in wildlife conservation? What about British Columbia’s wild sheep populations? Continue reading to learn about a great opportunity that supports all of those.
BC is home to a diverse sheep population with both Dall and Stone Thinhorn sheep, in addition to California and Rocky Mountain Bighorn sheep. Sadly some of our sheep herds are in jeopardy. With conservation at the forefront, the BC Wildlife Foundation and Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia recognized that some of our sheep populations needed assistance and talks began how these organizations could work together to help our majestic sheep. Partnering with Great River Fishing Adventures to create a world class fishing experience, the Jurassic Classic was born. The Jurassic Classic is a 2 day sturgeon tournament located on the magnificent Fraser River in Chilliwack BC, consisting of 15 fully equipped guided Great River Fishing Adventure boats, 30 two angler teams. Focusing on 2 or 3 targeted projects each year, all money raised from the Jurassic Classic stays in BC and goes directly to help conservation, habitat but most importantly to support our wild sheep.
Being from the Okanagan myself, one project that hits home for me is the California Bighorn sheep of southern BC’s Ashnola and Similkameen regions. Since the recent population high in 2006, the observed number of bighorn have declined of approximately 60%, from 353 to 144 animals in MU8-03. The Crater Mountain aerial surveys have observed a decline of approximately 77% from 239 animals in 2006 to 55 in 2015. In 2011, it was discovered that these sheep had been infected with psoroptes mange a skin disease that is created by tiny psoroptes mites. A single female mite can lay between 35 and 100 eggs in its short 30-60 day lifetime and can quickly infect an animal and an entire herd. Psoroptes mange has been found on sheep in Washington and other parts of the North West United States. Something needs to be done to help these sheep as well as other sheep populations within the province.
Having been a part of the 1st annual Jurassic Classic, I can say first hand that it is an incredible event put on by a group of very passionate organizers. With participants coming from all across Canada and the United States, the 3 day all-inclusive event was filled will laughter, hunting and fishing stories and competition, but most of all great memories for everyone in attendance, as the majority of competitors at the event have never had the opportunity to fish for the mighty sturgeon.
The Jurassic Classic was my first time fishing for sturgeon and I couldn’t have asked for any better of an experience. My fishing partner and I were fortunate enough to be paired up with the exceptional guides of Dean and Dylan from Great River Fishing Adventures. These two ensured that as a novice sturgeon angler, my first sturgeon was one to remember, measuring in at 213cm. This was one of my most memorable fishing experiences I’ve ever had.
I will be back in the competition this year, as the 2017 Jurassic Classic is scheduled for August 18-21st, with teams still available. For information on supporting the 2017 Jurassic Classic check them out and follow them on Facebook@theJurassicClassic or email firstname.lastname@example.org.