Hunting is not allowed in areas marked red.

Hunting is not allowed in areas marked red.

Pitt Meadows set to ban hunting from dikes

City changes will be in place for this year’s season.

Hunters will no longer be able to shoot ducks and geese from most dikes in Pitt Meadows.

The city is set to amend its firearm bylaw to enact the changes, which were prompted by an increase in complaints from walkers and joggers who were concerned about guns being fired so close to people.

Hunters will still be able to hunt in fields, with permission from land owners, but firing guns towards the shore from the water will not allowed.

“The changes were discussed with the farming community, gun clubs and advocacy groups, who understood the need for changes because of the increase in conflict between the different user groups,” said city director of operations Kim Grout.

She added that the proposed changes to the bylaw are seen as an attempt to strike a balance between an outright firearms ban and regulating where people can hunt. The city gets between three and four complaints about hunters annually.

Since Pitt Meadows is one of the only areas in Metro Vancouver where hunting is still allowed, B.C.’s Ministry of Environment does not support a complete ban because hunters play a vital role in controlling the Canada Geese population.

To hunt in Pitt Meadows, you will still require a Fraser Valley Special Area Hunting Licence. Only shotguns are allowed.

Parts of eastern Maple Ridge are also open to hunting.

“I think this is a long time coming and welcome the change. Safety has to be paramount,” said Coun. Bruce Bell at a meeting Tuesday.

The city gave three readings to its bylaw Tuesday but will advertise the changes before final adoption, which expected by the end of June.

The changes will come into effect for this year’s hunting season. The city will also be adding more signs along dikes to warn people that hunters are around.

• For more information on the changes, visit pittmeadows.bc.ca.