Does Your Province Have an “Official” Fish?

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As crazy as this sounds, you may be surprised as to what your province has and does not have in the sense of what are called official symbols

Let me explain a bit further and you’ll probably get my point here.

Provinces (and states, for that matter) frequently give native species “official” status, honouring them as a representation of the area. Oftentimes, these species are unique to the location or are thought to encapsulate the spirit of the people, wildlife, or culture that reside in the area.

In the province of British Columbia’s official mammal is the Spirit Bear. I’m sure at least some of you have heard of this. The province of Ontario’s official flower is the White Trillium. The official bird of Saskatchewan is the Sharp-Tailed Grouse, etc. etc.

In searching, I found the following for symbols of our provinces:

  • Flag
  • Coat of Arms
  • Escutcheon (a shield or emblem bearing a coat of arms)
  • Bird
  • Animal (mammal)
  • Fish
  • Flower
  • Tree
  • Mineral
  • Motto

Other: (provincial grass, song, gemstone, fossil, soil, anthem, sailing ambassador, berry, fruit emblem and camouflage pattern)

I actually think it’s great to give status to something like a Plains Bison, an Osprey, or a Black Spruce Tree. I mean why not? It says a lot about a particular segment of Canada and it’s something we can be proud of.

I am surprised, however, that, of all the Canadian provinces, only Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan have filled the main categories of their lists. And, what I’m really surprised about is that we as Canadians, boasting some of the best fishing in the entire world, still have provinces (less than half) that don’t have an official fish. To have an official soil or even a camo pattern and not a fish, well that’s just crazy to me!

Surprisingly during my search on the Government of Canada site, they only recognize Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories as having fish symbols (get this, NB has a fishing fly but not a fish). 

I’m not sure how these “symbols/names” are given out or the procedure taken to give them status, but I personally feel that it’s time for a change. Why not have all of our provinces with official fish to brag about? It symbolizes what we love to do and is part of what our country represents. 

Now, this may go nowhere, however, those living in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and the Yukon, do you not feel we all need official fish status?

I’m recommending we all share this info with our fellow anglers. Then let’s see how we can have an official fish recognized and then, maybe take some kind of poll or vote among your neighbours and come up with a unanimous decision as to what species that is. 

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Let me know in the comments below!

Pete Bowman

Pete, one of the most revered and popular anglers in the nation, has a tremendous love for the game… the fishing game. Pete’s vast knowledge of angling and ability to articulate it to audiences worldwide has endeared him to his fans who still see Pete as just “ONE OF THE BOYS”. Pete is also an accomplished and published outdoor writer and photographer as well as a sought-after speaker. In 2012 another of Pete’s ultimate fishing career highlights occurred when he was inducted into the Canadian Angler Hall Of Fame, something he never thought would happen. A Canadian fishing icon.

2 Responses

  1. I am a bit conflicted here. There are so many difeerent sport fishes in Ontario it is rather difficult to determined a specific species. Bass, Walleye and Northern Pike seem to stand out as the headliners in my opinion, but widdling it down one, I would say the Northern Pike. Reason being, Canada is known as the Great White North.

    1. I like it Cal, and I was thinking very closely to you. My choice for Ontario was the Muskie simply because Ontario by far has the largest Muskie population in the world. It’s something that no-one can steal or justifiably copy.

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