Gore Bay supports call for province to financially support fish hatcheries

GORE BAY—Gore Bay town council is in favour of lobbying the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources (MNR) to financially support local fish and game clubs for the work that clubs do in raising and stocking fish for local lakes and rivers.

“I suspect Central Manitoulin council had received a letter like we did from the UFGCM (United Fish and Game Clubs) requesting all municipalities for financial support for the hatchery and a broader perspective of raising fish to be stocked locally,” said Gore Bay Mayor Ron Lane at a council meeting last week.

When the current council started its term of council Mayor Lane had sent a letter to all municipalities within the area from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie for support of the hatchery, but didn’t get receive any support. “I agree the MNR needs to provide more financial support for the hatchery than they are already providing,” he said.

“I would move that we support them (Central Manitoulin),” said Councillor Harry VanderWeerden.

“I concur that the MNR should be providing more funding to the hatcheries,” stated Mayor Lane. “Years ago we didn’t need an outdoors card, and the MNR supported fish stocking; now I think all the money we are paying for hunting and fishing licences are going back into the MNR general revenue. Maybe we should be saying in a motion that the funds the MNR gets from fish licencing, should go back into fishing and hatcheries for instance. Maybe we should be more specific. Then we are at least talking about a specific area for funding support. The price of these licences are always going up, meanwhile the MNR reduces fish limits and deer and moose limits. It doesn’t make much sense to me.”

At a Central Manitoulin council meeting last week, Councillor Derek Stephens said, on hearing Tehkummah and the Northeast Town (as well as Gore Bay) has supported their motion, “I’m happy to see others our supporting our motion to lobby the MNR, for fish stocking programs and funding.”

Central Manitoulin, in a letter to the municipalities after a meeting April 24, stated “that council approves that the Municipality of Central Manitoulin write to the Ontario Minister of Natural Resources requesting that the ministry support financially local fish and game clubs for the work that clubs do in stocking fish in local lakes and rivers and that further, a copy of this letter be sent to other Northern municipalities for their support with a request that they also send letters to the ministry.” Council passed this motion due to their concerns with local fish and game clubs always needing to fund raise to maintain their worthwhile goals of stocking area lakes and rivers with fish. The point was made that when the fish licencing system was put in place many years ago, the stated purpose was to raise money to help carry out such programs, i.e. improvement to the fisheries.”