On October 9, 2013 Dennis Zimmerman was awarded the 2013 Recreational Fishing Award.
This award, which is only handed out to a handful of Canadians or Canadian organizations each year, recognizes the dedication he has shown in the conservation, restoration and enhancement of Canada’s recreational fisheries.
In the Yukon, Zimmerman is the executive director of the Yukon Salmon sub-committee, which provides recommendations to the First Nations and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on how to maintain and sustain salmon populations. They also work with Canadian and Alaskan game branches to help gather information that benefits all parties involved.
Zimmerman created fishonyukon.com about five years ago, which gave Yukoners a place to go and talk about fishing. The site had a blog that he wrote, plus a section where individuals could post updates on Yukon fishing. It also contained lake information, such as hot and cold spots, and which lakes were frozen and which were opening up. It also allowed people to show off their trophies.
Over the years of working with anglers of all ages Zimmerman has moved his focus to the national stage. Fishing is the fastest growing sport in North America, but mainly on an individual basis. However, he is working on Family Fishing Canada, which will be a place for families to gather information on how to get out and enjoy the sport of fishing. There is a lack of family involvement in the industry, but with people like Zimmerman it won’t be long until all the info people need, from professional fishermen to the mom and pop who are going out to buy their first rods, will be easily available.
Zimmerman has decided to pursue family fishing on a national level because knowledge is not being passed from generation to generation. In fact, most people don’t have the knowledge to pass.
If an individual’s parents didn’t fish, it’s unlikely that their son or daughter will pick it up. Zimmerman aims to inform people who didn’t fish during their childhood how to pick up the sport.
With so many lakes across the country and some amazing fishing that is not being utilized, we run the risk of losing this resource that many take for granted.
With an increase in people who fish comes increased knowledge of our precious ecosystem. When fishing, you bring all the elements of the lake or river together. An experienced fisher will know where to fish during what times of year, and what type of fish reside in a lake or river.
Zimmerman has done a great job helping the recreational anglers of the Yukon and I’m sure he will continue to do so on a national level.