Fishing has traditionally been a male-dominated activity and numbers from the most recent Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada by Fisheries and Oceans Canada are proof of that. The 2010 survey found that 73% of all resident adult anglers in Canada are male, and over the years that number hasn’t changed much.
Anecdotally, however, avid anglers are noticing a rise in women taking part in both recreational and competitive angling.
Yvonne Brown, Jennifer Fullard, Carrie Cartwright, and Karen Fedoriw are among that group and want to do what they can to influence this encouraging trend. It’s the motivation behind the creation of the Ontario Women Anglers Association (OWAA).
“We find from speaking to a lot of women who are interested in fishing, that there isn’t anything out there specifically for women to get a little more information and to get more comfortable in the sport,” says Fullard.
The organization was the brainchild of Brown, Cartwright and Fedoriw. After participating in and instructing a handful of fishing basics seminars geared toward women, they realized that many women want more than just a day or weekend workshop.
“We are hoping to get more women involved, and more kids involved in the long run. If you can get moms and aunts and cousins out then children will naturally follow.”
“[The OWAA] will give women the opportunity to share their experience and knowledge with each other,” says Brown. “We are hoping to get more women involved, and more kids involved in the long run. If you can get moms and aunts and cousins out then children will naturally follow.”
OWAA only launched in the fall of 2013 but has already started to build its membership and is planning a conference for April (details will be announced soon on the group’s website.)
“We hope to have 5 to 6 speakers…and to have everyone from the very beginner to those who have fished tournaments or have been fishing for a long time attend,” said Brown.
Fishing basics, creek fishing, kayak fishing and skincare for the outdoors are topics set to be discussed at the conference, as well as sessions on specific techniques .