Movie Monday: River Trip with Cepelas

Image: A film still showing a fisherman with his catch (SPRA 0253.01.07, Fonds 253: Jerry Stojan family fonds)

Movie Monday highlights videos from the Archives’ film collection. Every week, an archival film will be featured on our YouTube channel and here on our blog. The Movie Monday project is made possible with the generous funding support of Swan City Rotary Club of Grande Prairie.

Today’s Movie Monday features footage from a fishing trip taken by Jerry Stojan and friends circa 1956. Fishing has been a popular activity throughout the history of the South Peace, and many of the family fonds at the Archives include photos and films depicting fishing trips. Possibly the earliest fish-related photograph we have at the South Peace Regional Archives is a photo of a survey party with their catch, dated 1905. Families whose film collections include footage of fishing trips are the J.O. Watson, Griff James, Foster, Wozniak, and Jerry Stojan families.

In 1956, the year this particular film was taken, the cost of a fishing license in Alberta was lowered from $2.25 to $1.00. According to a Macleans article in May of 1957, the province was “literally begging people to catch more fish… Alberta has no size limit, except on pickerel and northern lake trout.”

In the Peace Region, popular fishing spots were – and still are – Stony Lake, Moonshine Lake, One Island Lake, and Sturgeon Lake. In 1925, an article was printed in the Grande Prairie Herald citing Sturgeon Lake’s many qualities: “fine sandy beaches, abundance of shade, excellent water to bathe in and the wonderful fishing possibilities”. The Wapiti, Murray, Peace, Smoky, and Kakwa rivers were also enjoyed by fishing and boating enthusiasts. Many of these bodies of water can be spotted in various Movie Monday films.

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