Tony Eberts: 
Steelheader Hall of Fame

Steelheader News
Staff Writer
  I couldn't miss when it came to fishing and hunting, because as a kid--from the age of three to 16--the Eberts family lived on a 140-acre homestead on the shore of Adams Lake. It began back in the 1930s, when there was no road, no electricity, no telephone; not even a trail along the shore. Our log house was about 12 miles from the nearest road, at Squaam Bay (now called Agate Bay).
  We traveled to the Bay by small boat with a five-hp outboard, but most winters the lake froze over and the world would be cut off from us for three months or so. At the best of times it was too slow, elaborate and expensive to obtain meat from a butcher, so we shot deer in all but the warmest months (in the spring, of course, antlers only). We fished deep with a wire line for lake trout (char), often to 12 pounds and more, and trolled light with Gibbs-Stewart spoons for rainbows to six or seven pounds.
  By the time I was 10, I was a good shot and went after grouse--my dog would tree them and I would pot them in the head to spare the meat--and ran a small winter trapline. We also raised a couple of pigs each year, kept a cow and a saddle horse and a flock of chickens. My father was a dab hand at smoking fish and making ham and bacon, so with venison, grouse and eggs we didn't suffer for nourishment.
  So that set the stage for a lifetime of messing about in the bush, which led me to spend my last 15 years at The Vancouver Province (1979 to 1994) as outdoors editor and environment columnist. Although the best part was getting paid to be royally hosted by splendid resorts scattered along the coast from Langara Island at the north of Charlottes to Rivers Inlet and Campbell River, I tried to cover other bases, such as bird-watching, hiking, camping, hunting and such.
  In 1983 I received the Public Service Award of the Federation of B.C. Naturalists. The year before, I won the National Outdoor Writers award and in 1994, the Steelhead Society Mission Award. I was also given a commemoration medal for the 125th anniversary of Confederation in 1992, from the federal government. I'm still waiting for a Pulitzer Prize or one of those Nobel things, but won't hold my breath.
  The biggest rewards have stemmed from the people I've known, friends and fishing companions, such as oldtime logging boss-cum-environmentalist Curley Chittenden, who was instrumental in saving the Skagit River from flooding; Jack Nilan, a splendid fly fisherman who now has a little trout lake named for him near Fort St. James; and the likes of Lee Straight, Ehor Boyanowsky, the late Mike Cramond and many more.
I hope to keep pushing for better fish and game management, the elimination of netcage salmon farms, protection of fish habitat and other projects also favoured by Steelheader News publisher Terry Hansen.

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