Angling and hunting have been declared essential services, but physical distancing rules must be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo credit: Stock image)

Angling and hunting have been declared essential services, but physical distancing rules must be observed during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo credit: Stock image)

COVID-19 news: Hunting and angling declared essential services in pandemic

Plus library cards can now be obtained online for access to all digital library services

Black Press is providing full coverage of the COVID-19 virus and how it impacts British Columbians and Canadians. For the latest stories, go to

The situation regarding COVID-19 is fluid and rapidly changing. All information in this article is accurate as of press time (noon on Tuesday, April 28), but could change without notice.

Local COVID-19 help line

Do you—or does someone you know—need assistance with local pick-up of groceries, medicines, or other supplies? Do you need mail picked up? Do you need spiritual support or want someone to talk to?

A number of local organizations, governments, and volunteers have come together to offer the COVID-19 help line for Ashcroft and Cache Creek. Residents can call (250) 457-3422 to arrange for local pick-up and delivery of items, find an organization that can help them with what they need, or find someone to talk to.

The phone number is active 24/7 and is staffed by volunteers who have contact information available for a wide variety of services and supports. Help is only a phone call away.

Free WiFi at libraries

The Thompson-Nicola Regional Library (TNRL) plays an important role in providing access to the Internet for people who might not have access to it at home. Even though libraries are closed, it is offering free 24/7 WiFi access outside each of its 13 branches.

“Many of our patrons rely on the library for their connectivity,” says TNRL Chief Librarian Judy Moore. “We want to support all residents in the TNRD with combating social isolation and ensure that they have ready access to information and the means to communicate with others.

“While our library buildings are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the public can stay connected just outside our doors.”

The signal strength may differ for each site, but is generally available from the parking lot area and/or near the building. Kamloops, North Kamloops, and Merritt Libraries connect through the Telus network; all other libraries connect through the TNRL’s WiFi.

Get library cards online

Effective immediately, you can now get a TNRL library card online. When you register you will get access to all of the TNRL’s digital content, including an extensive collection of eBooks and eAudiobooks, material for children, digital magazines and newspapers, and popular databases such as, Rocket Languages, Small Engine Repair, and more.

“We’re excited to provide easy access to our amazing online resources from the comfort of your home,” says Jenny Abramzik, Coordinator of Special Projects and e-Library. “Your library card awaits you and is the passport to our amazing 24/7 digital resources including eBbooks, eAudiobooks, film, educational resources, and much, much more.”

To register for you card, simply visit the TNRL’s website at

Transfer Stations and Eco-Depots accepting all regular items

Effective immediately, all regularly accepted waste and recyclables (including yard waste) will once again be allowed at TNRD landfills, Eco-depots, and transfer stations.

For the health and safety of staff and visitors, the TNRD has implemented physical distancing protocols at its sites. This includes increased staffing levels to help ensure that physical distancing requirements are followed, and fewer people will be allowed access to the site at one time.

To help reduce wait times and keep staff and the public safe, please only visit disposal facilities when necessary; follow all directions of site attendants; ensure materials are pre-sorted and easy to unload; bring full loads to avoid multiple trips; and minimize your time on site

For more information, contact (250) 377-2596 or email

Hunting, angling declared essential services

In consultation with the Provincial Health Officer (PHO), the provincial government recently added hunting and fishing to the list of “COVID-19 Essential Services” (see the full list at However, the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) says this means that everyone needs to be cognizant of how COVID-19 has changed responsible fishing and hunting practices.

“We are happy hunting and fishing are now listed as essential services,” says BCWF president Bill Bosch. “With this listing comes great responsibility and a degree of scrutiny; as responsible citizens and conservationists, we need to ensure these activities are conducted within the guidelines set out by the PHO.”

With an uptick in licence sales, hunters and anglers should ensure they are familiar with the regulations, and the BCWF asks licensed hunters and anglers to inform themselves with regards to the PHO guidelines. Advice and information on hunting and fishing responsibly can be found on the BCWF website ( and the B.C. government website (

Every year British Columbians purchase 110,000 hunting licences, 280,000 freshwater angling licences, and 260,000 saltwater angling licences. “Your fellow hunters and anglers are counting on you to be responsible, so that we can all enjoy these activities through these challenging times,” says the BCWF. “Please stay safe, and be responsible.”

Tell seniors you care

Visiting senior family or friends is not an option during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has left many seniors disconnected from their loved ones and their community.

To help combat this, the BC Care Providers Association (BCCPA) has launched a #TellThemYouCare web portal where the public can send messages — including hand-written notes, video links, drawings, and other expressions of love and support — to seniors.

“Physical distancing is an important duty for all of us during the global pandemic, but being disconnected from the broader community has been particularly hard for seniors separated from friends and family,” says BCCPA CEO Daniel Fontaine.

“It is hoped that sending a heartfelt message can show that we care for our elderly loved ones, and that we are thinking of them.”

To send a message of love and support to a senior in your life, go to

Feeling lucky?

Lottery players now have an additional six months to claim prizes for tickets that have an expiry date between March 17 and Sept. 17, 2020.

The expiry date extension applies to all national lottery draw-based games (Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, and Daily Grand) and all B.C. draw-based lottery games (Keno, BC/49, BC50/50, Poker Lotto, and Pacific Hold’Em Poker). Players who purchase lottery tickets for draw-based games typically have up to one year from the date of the draw to claim their prize.

The six-month prize-claim extension also applies to all Scratch & Win tickets that have an expiry on the back of the ticket between March 17 and Sept. 17, 2020. For draw-based and Scratch & Win lottery tickets whereby the expiry date does not fall within March 17 to Sept. 17, 2020, the expiry date remains as 12 months from the date of the draw, or as indicated on the back of the ticket for Scratch & Win.

For more information visit, or call BCLC Customer Support at 1-866-815-0222.

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