Man who fished in northwestern B.C. is defended
"This is a letter in response to "Lure of local angling catches up with U.S. man," a story that ran Feb. 19, 2013.
I would like to add another side to Chuck Gentry, one that presents a different dimension to his time in Terrace.
First I'd like to say that by no means should this letter be interpreted as a knock against our conservation officer service here in Terrace.
Under staffed, small budgets, lengthy responsibilities and poorly worded/vague regulation does not deter the Terrace detachment from excelling in professionally performing their duties.
The Terrace conservation detachment deserves to be commended for their efforts, and require the respect and cooperation of our community.
But as for Chuck Gentry, I am very proud to say he is my friend and many residents of the northwest can call Chuck a friend, too.
Chuck would be the first to tell you he made a mistake when he purchased his 2012/13 fishing license. Chuck broke the law and Chuck admits to his mistake.
Chuck had the opportunity to high tail it out of Terrace and not pay his fine. He had the opportunity to hire a high priced lawyer to tie up the issue in court for years. Chuck did neither of these things.
Chuck waited in Terrace for four months to be sentenced, waited of his own free will. He did this because Chuck is an honorable and ethical man.
The very notion that Chuck fished every day and took advantage of our recourses is laughable if you knew Chuck. Yes, he fished, but he fished in an ethical and respectful manner.
Chuck was also a friend of our wild fish and wild places. He donated thousands of dollars to local non profit environmental groups, attended rallies, and also spread the good word about the fantastic opportunity and culture the northwest provides.
Chuck began fishing in the Terrace area in the 2000/01 season, as a nonresident and continued to fish as a nonresident until he qualified for residency in 2007/2008. He did this by spending the better part of each of the 12 preceding months in Canada.
During the winter of 2012 Chuck's sister took ill in Colorado. Chuck, like most thoughtful people, went to Colorado to be with his sister, and ended up staying longer than anticipated.
In April Chuck purchased his 2012/13 fishing license as a resident. Chuck made a mistake yes but without intent. Chuck does not deny that he made a mistake and has accepted the consequences of that mistake.
Maybe your story should have included the fact that Chuck may have paid $4000.00 plus in fines to the province but he annually spends $30-40000.00 in Terrace which he no longer will.
Whether it’s at Canadian Tire, Ken's Marine, Hot House restaurant, gas stations etc. Chuck spread new money from one end of this town to the other. So who really loses here?
The gov’t allows anyone to purchase fishing licences without the need to prove residency prior to receiving a licence. Can you get a driver’s licence without proving residency? How about a hunting licence?
Chuck offered nothing but help and advice to anyone that asked. In return he asked for nothing but some space and time on a river.
Chuck is a good honourable man with high ethics and morals that simply made a mistake. He will be missed in our community by many people.
Spey Lodge Inc,