Bill Otway, Outdoors Legend, Passes

Bill Otway
Legendary and influential outdoorsman and conservationist, Bill Otway, died on October 17, 2010, in Merritt, British Columbia.

The influence Otway had on conservation and outdoors issues in BC cannot be overstated. For more than a half-century, he worked tirelessly on behalf of BC’s hunting, fishing, conservation and outdoors community.

After Otway’s passing, Sportsman magazine account manager and Pemberton Fish & Game Club Member David Harkley worded his legacy best:

“Bill man was a force; fearless, politically connected but not handicapped with political incorrectness when bluntness was required. When so many say ‘someone else’ will save that stream or cause companies or government to take a sober second look – Otway would be showing up to help make something happen or working the back room with the power brokers.”

Otway was a long-serving, active member of the BC Wildlife Federation (BCWF) with an involvement of over 50 years. He first came to the BCWF from the Port Coquitlam club where he had fought a long battle to save the Coquitlam River from the impacts of a gravel removal operation. He became Executive Director of the BC Wildlife Federation in 1973 and served in that capacity through the terms of four presidents. He was acknowledged across the country as the most effective executive director of all the provincial wildlife federations.

In 1982, Otway was awarded the Canadian Wildlife Federation’s “Sportsman of the Year Award.”

Following his service as executive director he was heavily involved in the BC Wildlife Federation’s Saltwater Fisheries and Native Affairs Committees. Otway also worked for the federal government as Western Sports Fishing Ombudsman continuing his involvement and dedication to BC’s fishery’s resource and the angling community.

Since his retirement from the service, Otway worked tirelessly for the BCWF in protecting the fish and fish habitat of BC. He was deeply involved in getting the Cohen Inquiry established to look into the loss of the 2009 sockeye runs into the Fraser River.
Otway’s accomplishments are lengthy, but here is just a sampling of the awards bestowed upon him and the organizations that benefited from his work:

Awards
• 1982 CWF Sportsman of the Year
• 1990 Ducks Unlimited Teal Award for raising over $100,000
• 1991 Ted Barsby Trophy: BC’s Conservationist of the Year
• 1993 Silver Teal Award for raising over $250,000.
• 1999 BCWF Special Recognition “One who has made a Difference”
• First-ever Member Emeritus of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board
• National Recreational Fisheries Award presented by the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Organizations
• BC Conservation Foundation
• Sport Fishing Institute of BC
• Steelhead Society of BC
• BC Wildlife Federation
• Canadian Nature Federation
• BC Salmon Society
• Ducks Unlimited
• National Sport Fishing Institute
• North American Fisheries Society
• Outdoor Writers of Canada
• Pitt Waterfowl Management Association
• Quatsino Sound Enhancement Society
• Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation
• Lower Mainland Regional Branch
• Port Coquitlam & District Hunting & Fishing Club
Shooting Federation of Canada
• Trout Unlimited

Otway wrote countless articles for magazines such as Western Sportsman, The Outdoor Edge, BC Outdoors and many, many more. He had recently published the book Fish Cops & Game Wardens as well.

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