KAGAWONG—The retirement of Jim Sloss as chair of the United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin (UFGCM) leaves big shoes to fill, say members of the club.
“No one will ever be able to fill Jim’s shoes as chair,” stated Al Holroyd at a UFGCM meeting last week. “As everyone in this room knows, Jim (Sloss) is retiring as chair of the club,” stated Ian Anderson, interim chair, at the meeting. “We want to acknowledge him here tonight for all his years of dedicated and committee service he provided for the club and the Island. Jim has done an outstanding job for fish and wildlife and conservation on the Island over a lot of years.”
“Jim always had what was best for Manitoulin Island in his heart,” said Mr. Anderson. “He has left a very big and outstanding mark on natural resources on Manitoulin Island.”
“I think we made a lot of progress over the years,” Mr. Sloss told the meeting. “To think we were raising fish in nursing nets in 1987 in Gore Bay as part of the hatchery operations, and now we have a new hatchery with a water recirculating system that is second to none, as proven by Ches Witty and his helpers in the Gore Bay hatchery. This has been shown to be a wonderful way to raise fish and shows small hatcheries can raise many thousands of fish.”
“And with our cage culture program in the Kagawong Lake with the support of the MNRF (Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), we have had success with this program as well,” said Mr. Sloss.
“I think we should give Jim a hand for everything he has done over the years,” said Doug Hore. “Most of the good things that have been done on the Island in fish and wildlife are because of him.”
In 2013, when the grand opening of the new Gore Bay hatchery took place, the night was made even more special with Mr. Sloss being presented the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Award in recognition of his many years of work with the fish hatchery. The award was presented by Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Michael Mantha.
“Sometimes you know a person who is deserving of this type of recognition right away, and often you will see individuals that receive recognition and always want to step aside to recognize others,” said Mr. Mantha at the time. “Five years ago when I first came to Gore Bay I met Jim who told me about the importance of the Gore Bay fish hatchery and what this and sport fishing means to the Island community. Everyone on the Island knows the importance of the hatchery and sport fishing.”
“It is interesting how this club got started,” said Mr. Sloss. “In 1998 Hoey McDermid and Ray Fex came to me in June as they were concerned and I was getting fed up because no one was doing anything about the cormorant problem. It has been quite an uphill struggle to get where we are as a club and the Gore Bay and Little Current clubs are all doing excellent work on the Island.”
“We also need to recognize Sharon (Mr. Sloss’ wife) who has worked very, very hard for the club as well,” said Ches Witty.
Mr. Anderson will remain as chair of the UFGCM on an interim basis, until a new chair is found this fall.