Rick’s earliest memories are of fishing adventures with his grandfather, father, uncle and cousins. At the age of 15, Rick sustained a spinal cord injury on his way home from a fishing trip. Following his injury, fishing proved to be therapeutic and helped Rick realize that he was still an adventurer. Using adapted equipment, he ventured out again with family and friends, catching lots of fish and realizing that life could continue.
Today, Rick also uses fishing as a way to help others, and to provide extraordinary experiences for people with disabilities. The Rick Hansen Fishing Challenge has raised significant funds in support of the protection of precious ecosystems and making the world a healthier and more inclusive place, and owing to Rick’s leadership, individuals like Robb Dunfield now have life-altering stories to share.
In recent years, Rick has broadened his passion for fishing to include environmental stewardship by providing leadership to two important initiatives. He is the Founding Chair of the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society which works to conserve and protect Fraser River white sturgeon and their habitat. He also formed the Pacific Salmon Endowment Fund Society, which supports the conservation and sustainable use of Pacific salmon stocks.
“People who are passionate about fishing play a vital role in conservation, awareness and sustainability,” says Rick. “While I encourage everyone to participate in the wonderful sport of fishing, I also encourage them to respect the environment and to look for ways they can ensure our resources will be available for generations to come.”