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New ruling is as fishy as can bee

The other day I read a story about how a court in California had ruled that bees can now be classified as fish in that state. The lawyers who pushed this argument did so for the best of reasons. They realized that if bees were classified as fish, they would get better environmental protection, which was much needed. So, they found a loophole and made it happen.

As I said, they meant well.  But if this judgment becomes the norm in other jurisdictions such as our own province, I worry this might backfire for the bees.

That’s because those environmental lawyers did not bother to take anglers into account.

You see, if bees are now fish, there will be a portion of the angling community who will want to pursue this exciting new species and perhaps catch and release a limit of them just to be the first ones on that train. And some will even begin experimenting on how to make a good shore lunch with them.

And it doesn’t matter if these bee fish are eaten or released, you will soon start seeing a spate of social media posts showing anglers posing with bees they just caught. Pretty soon, fishing for bees will become trendy.

There will probably be guides and charter boats that excel at targeting the species.

Right after that, it will get real crazy, really quick. Anglers will start to get competitive about the size of bees caught and start vying for a coveted world record title. Also, due to the way we anglers use our cameras and wide-angle lenses to play with perspective and enhance the size of our catch, non-anglers will start getting concerned after seeing photos of what appear to be 4-pound bees. And this could scare people and even turn public opinion against this struggling new fish species.

Worse still, it would create a whole new set of angling techniques. Because whenever a new species is available, anglers go crazy to perfect ways to catch them.

Tackle companies will begin to design and market lures and baits specifically for this new species of type of flying fish. Before you know it, this will have changed the meaning of buzz-baits and stinger hooks. And, mark my works, there will be lures that look like bright flowers and clover.

Then there will be a score of magazine articles and fishing show segments on how to catch bees using various techniques as well as how to find destinations loaded with “honey holes.” There will also be arguments over whether bees are pound-for-pound the toughest fish out there. At least one angler will proclaim herself Queen of the Bees. People will start websites solely dedicated to promoting bee fishing.

New gear will obviously be developed with rods that are meant to put bait on a hive at 50 feet. Finer meshed fishing nets and angler-inspired epi-pens will also hit the market. And as always, old-timers like myself will soon be lamenting the days before the bee-fishing craze became front and centre.

And we will scoff at the idea that a bee is a fish and that you need new gear to catch one. Instead, we will just adapt our fly rods. And then, when no one is watching, we will see what all the buzz is about.

A little more local for your inbox.

Seven days. One newsletter. Local reporting about people and places you
won't find anywhere else. Stay caught up with The Observer This Week.

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