Gore Bay Fish and Game seeks new members

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GORE BAY—Members of the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club met last week for the first time since the pandemic struck over two years ago. And while the group is planning some activities for the summer, the club is also pondering the need to recruit additional members to help with the operations of the club, including the raising of walleye in its hatchery.

“We all want to see this place run again,” said club member Ches Witty. “My question is, do we have enough volunteers who would be willing to help out to run the hatchery and raise fish?”

Club chair Chris Robinson welcomed all those members to the meeting. He said, “the Town of Gore Bay has contacted me and they indicated they will be hosting Harbour Days this year. I said we would be able to again provide the kids’ fishing pond on July 23. And Mike Meeker has indicated he is going to give us some Rainbow trout to put on the event.”

“We have been promised by the Ministry of Northern Development Natural Resources and Forestry (MNDNRF) that we will be receiving 10,000 pond fingerlings around June to raise,” said Mr. Robinson. “If everyone is in favour of this, let me know,” he said, telling the meeting he had made a list of people who might be willing to work in the hatchery. We need about eight guys in total, Ian (Anderson) said he would help out as has another club member, and Barry (Wall) said he will help out a little.”

“I agree with Barry. I’m willing to help out, but I’m not going to get in as deep in raising fish as I did before when I was in the hatchery every day,” said Mr. Witty. “I will help out, maybe a day a week, but I’m not going to spearhead it.”

Mr. Witty explained that since the clubhouse and hatchery building has not been used for anything including raising fish for the past two years, that there is a long list of things that needs to be done to get the plant ready to operate. He said it will take several members to help out. “We all have to think about this. We don’t need to make a decision right away, but the first thing we need to do is find out from the ministry when they would have the fish ready to be raised. And we need to find out if there are enough volunteers on hand to help out.”

“I think you’re making a good point. We need more people as volunteers to help get us back up and running,” said Ron Snell.

“We know how to raise fish and we will help out and teach new volunteers as well. But we need to  recruit some new volunteers to help out with the operations of the hatchery,” said Mr. Witty.

“I agree with you (Mr. Witty) totally,” said Mr. Snell. “We need to come up with a plan to get new membership, and young members. We need some new blood to help out or close everything up. We have to come up with a plan to recruit new members and to get the club’s name out there again and let them know we are still here.”

Mr. Snell said that, in the future, he would like to see more species, additional to walleye, raised in the hatchery. “We’ve put a lot of time into it and people have given us funding support for this building and to run the hatchery. Our goal has to be holding a membership drive and getting more people to help out.” 

“Every service club has the same problem, needing new members to continue to operate,” observed member Eric Ruediger.

“The main thing  we need is about four or five new young guys to join the club,” said Mr. Snell. “I’m sure the rest of us are willing to give a hand to run the hatchery.”

“We will put this all on the agenda for our meeting next month and what we are going to do to recruit new members,” said Mr. Witty. “We don’t need an answer then, but at least we’ll have an idea of what we are going to do and how we are going to recruit new members.”