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Fishery Officer Randy Nelson Tours with New Book - Poachers, Polluters and Politics

Posted: Monday, April 21, 2014 at 4:41pm

Cover ImageRetired fishery officer Randy Nelson’s first love was catching poachers. That obsession, plus a devious mind and enthusiasm for marathon running, spelled big trouble for law-breaking fisherman. If you were fishing out-of-season, or getting carried away and catching more than your limit, you wouldn’t want to meet Nelson. A better place to run into him would be at author events in Nanaimo and Victoria at the beginning of May, where he will be sharing stories and signing copies of his new book, Poachers, Polluters & Politics: A Fishery Officer’s Career. You can catch him at the Nanaimo Harbourfront LibraryN(90 Commercial Street) on Thursday, May 1 at 6:30pm, or at Bolen Books (111-1644 Hillside Avenue, Victoria) on Friday, May 2 at 7pm. 


The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) oversees an aspect of the province that is hugely important; BC’s waters are central to the province’s ecology and vital to our economy and our heritage. Some of the BC’s biggest issues of contention are wrapped up in managing the fisheries, and balancing industry, culture and the environment. Randy Nelson worked for the DFO for thirty-five years—a career that provided him with a whole slew of exciting, often hilarious stories about spying on poachers while hiding in hollow trees, getting attacked by grizzly bears, or awkwardly searching fishermen at nudist beaches. His work in the field, his passion for conservation, and his first-hand experiences interacting with the people of BC have not only given him a huge bank of valuable wisdom about fish conservation, but also rare insight into the identity of the province—its wilderness, its economy, and its people.

Randy Nelson, who was born in Saskatchewan, came to BC and began working as a fisheries officer without ever having seen a salmon. Since then, he has become the most decorated Fishery Officer in the history of the province. Firm but fair, and always innovative, he almost always earned the (often grudging) respect of the communities and fishermen he encountered.

Nelson is also an accomplished athlete, and has raced in over two hundred competitions, including ten marathons. This is a skill that comes in handy when trying to chase down poachers. He has lived all over the province, and currently resides in Kamloops. Poachers, Polluters and Politics is his first book—unless you count ticket books.