"I Phone" Fishing License's and Tandem Single Hooks

Our most recent fishing derby (Shuswap Fall Derby 2012) has brought up a couple of interesting "problems" amongst us anglers!  The DFO boys were out on the lake and fined at least one angler that I am aware of, for using a bucktail fly that had tandem hooks.  The other thing that came up had to do with producing your fishing license, some anglers are under the belief that they can merely take a picture of it on their I Phone and produce that.

Let me deal with the I Phone issue first.  Below is what I took off the Provincial website with regards to obtaining and using your fishing license:

5 - Can I go fishing immediately after I buy my e-licence?

Yes. Note that you must carry your printed and signed copy of your licence (not your receipt) with you when you are fishing.

It doesn't get much simpler than that, no, you can't produce your fishing license on an I Phone.  I spoke to the DFO boys about this and they were bang on with my opinion regarding it, albeit in a round about fashion.  If you want an example I would use, when I was on Highway Patrol and I stopped somebody for speeding, I'd hardly accept their driver's license that they had stored on their I Phone
, it doesn't work that way.  Ya, I know, you can use your Phone for boarding passes but contrary to popular belief I wouldn't be trying to get through US Customs by flashing your I Phone with your passport on it, I'm thinking they would turn you away.  How can they look through the passport to see previous trips you've taken??  How can they inspect it to verify if its a forgery or not?  As well, the last time I used my passport it was inserted into a machine to read it, I don't think the I Phone would fit.  Anyways, hard copy of a fishing license please, I don't see what the big deal is.

The next issue has to do with tandem single hooks on a lure.  The regs changed on this some years ago but it was restated in 2009 at a Fishing and Hunting Advisory Committee Meeting on June 27th 2009, this was the the question and the answer , "Are tandem, single barbless legal?", the answer "Yes, but the interpretation from the synopsis definition is unclear. We will seek clarification from the COs on this.", so there you have it.

There has always been the question with regards to the single barbless hook regulation, and exactly what does it mean. Years back the regs actually stipulated that all you were allowed was in fact a single (one) barbless hook on the lure, and that was all. At the time many anglers, myself included, were snipping off that second single barbless hook that adorned many of our bucktails and various other lures. That changed, but the Regs were unclear in the way they defined a single barbless hook and that "grey" area has now been the problem.
  It would appear the problem is still here.


I spoke personally to a Conservation Officer some years ago about this, and I was told by him that yes, the hooks on my bucktails were legal as long as you made sure they were barbless.  I have at least 25 bucktails hanging in my boat with just this setup and have been using them for years!  I also spoke to Rod Henning (Rodney's REEL Outdoors), a prominent fishing guide out of the Kelowna area, and here was his email response with regards to the issue:

Good morning Sherm, I wasn’t aware that people were fined. Crazy! I was bucktailing and running plugs. Most of my bucktails have tandem hooks. I have been checked by fisheries officers many, many times as I am out on the water a lot. When checked, at times I have been using bucktails, hoochies and even some 6” Lymans with 2 single hooks and this has always been ok. About 6 years ago I was stopped and checked by a Conservation officer named ***** who works out of the ***** office. I was fishing at the time at Mabel lake for Salmon. I asked him his interpretation of the rule and he said this “if the lure is intended to have 2 hooks then it is perfectly legal in my view as long as they are single hooks and barbless” This would include, hoochies, bucktails, Lymans in size 4,5 and 6 as the used to have 2 treble hooks. Were the officers DFO or Conservation officers? This might be were the misinterpretation is coming from. I have only talked to Conservation officers and they have always been ok with tandem singles.

TightLines & Conserve Our Waters,

Rod Hennig Rodney's REEL Outdoors www.kelownafishing.com

RRO Fishing Videos Office 250-768-1625 Mobile 250-718-7744 T.F. 1-888-768-1625

So, here's the response I got back from the DFO boys when I walked over to them while at the derby asked them about this tandem hook thing.  First off, lets just say that I didn't appreciate the "bum's rush" approach by one of them, I was a Member for 28 years and know pretty quick when I'm getting the run around.  I've been to more than one Dog and Pony show in my career!  I was told that your are only allowed one hook on one line, or as the Regs state: "one fishing line to which only ONE HOOK, ONE ARTIFICAL LURE OR ONE ARTIFICAL FLY IS ATTACHED."  What I believe DFO was saying, and its really splitting hairs, is that because the second hook on a bucktail is connected by fishing line, that is constitutes a second line???  I then asked about Lyman plugs and why tandem hooks on them were no problem, the response was again vague, stating that the body of the Lyman is rigid, so it is allowed???  I never saw anything in the Regs stating you had to have a rigid body to have two hooks!  So then I asked what if, the fishing line was replaced with steel line, would that be rigid?  The response was again vague,  asking what my definition of rigid was!  As you can see, there was no LEGAL answers to any of my questions and it did tick me off somewhat  which is maybe exactly what the DFO boys wanted.  I've dealt with many people in similar situations and when you can't give a definitive answer as to why they were charged, its very possible that that particular charge should not have been laid.

I have lots of respect for the men and women in uniform that enforce our laws but, don't be boning some angler over a grey area law about tandem hooks when that law has already been approved and passed by the very Provincial Conservation officers who also enforce it.  Maybe this was an "attitude ticket"? I've given many of them out as well but, still only if the charge was applicable, regardless of the accused's attitude.   The reason I mention this is because the one Officer brought up a ad that was taken out in the Suncruiser magazine this year.  The ad had me in it, holding a huge salmon, but the article had to do with fishing in the Shuswap.  The officer said he had wanted to talk to me about catching salmon in Shuswap Lk and then advertising fishing for them, when it was all illegal!  I first pointed out that the salmon in the picture was not caught in Shuswap Lk, he said that it sure looked like it from the background, and I told him it was caught at Bamfield last year.  It was then mentioned that catching salmon in Shuswap Lk was illegal and I corrected that, saying that it was illegal to fish for them, but, it was legal to fish for them in the Shuswap River which, is part of the Shuswap and hence the ad????  I'm not sure what he was getting at other than "pulling rank" on me but his accusations were certainly not appreciated and they were unwarranted and unprofessional.  Ya, I still have respect for them, I've been in their shoes before!  Get the facts straight before you accuse someone of something, even tandem hooks.

All I can say is that whoever it was that got the ticket during the derby, is to take it to court, I will even go with you.  Win or lose, the ticket issued to you is wrong, and it should be withdrawn.  I do know that Enforcement Officers sometimes issue tickets just to get you to go to court, and they then have them withdrawn once you show up, kind of a "lesson" for you.   If necessary, we will get the Conservation Officers involved in this as well, this particular issue with the tandem hooks has to stop and all Enforcement Agencies have to be on the same page with their definitions.  If  DFO or Conservation wants to talk to me, they know where I am, and, if I'm out to lunch on these things please let me know.  Any opinions, send them to me and I'll post them...     Sherm

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