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A decision has been rendered in the contentious civil trial over access to lakes in the Merritt area.

Delivering his decision orally this morning, the BC Supreme Court judge in Kamloops ruled that catch and release public fishing will be allowed on both Minnie Lake and Stoney Lake.

The ruling means the Douglas Lake Cattle Company will need to take down gates blocking access to both Minnie and Stoney Lake.

The Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club was suing the Douglas Lake Cattle Company, alleging the company blocked off public access to Minnie and Stoney lake..

The Douglas Lake Cattle company were claiming the lakes to be theirs, arguing they were man-made over many years.
 
Today's ruling has the potential to set precedent for roughly 30 lakes in the area, as well a numerous others throughout BC.
 

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