photos by Giovanni Capriotti
SHEGUIANDAH—Grade 4/5 students from across the Island learned about fish and wildlife conservation during visits last month to the Little Current Fish and Game Club’s (LCFGC) Sheguiandah walleye hatchery.
“The trips went really well,” said LCFGC President Bill Strain. “We had 17 Grade 4 students from Assiginack Public School, 23 Grade 4 students from Central Manitoulin Public as well as nine Grade 5 students, 15 Grade 4 students from Lakeview School in M’Chigeeng and 27 Grade 4 students from Little Current Public School.”
During the students’ visit they saw first hand walleye being captured in a hoop net, eggs harvest from females and males milked for sperm with a feather used to mix the two, fertilizing the eggs.
The students also rotated to various stations to learn about bass nest building, fossils, fish and animals, walk Bass Creek, learn about aquatic life forms, see how the walleye hatchery works, discuss invasive species and learn about the importance of wildlife conservation.
“This is our eleventh year bringing the students in,” continued Mr. Strain. “We had developed the resource (the hatchery), but no one really knew about it. Ms. Stringer, the principal at Little Current Public School at the time (2005), suggested the Grade 4s visit the hatchery as it fit in well with the curriculum. It went so well that we’ve just kept expanding it over the years, eventually bringing in Lakeview students and last year, Assiginack and Central Manitoulin students.”
As part of the program, each student also receives a fishing rod and tackle from the LCFGC.
Mr. Strain said that the hatchery was doing well this year despite a cold spell which slowed the females from swimming up river to spawn.
“We have also seen a lot of variety (fish species) in the net this year, which is great to see and neat for the kids,” concluded Mr. Strain.