M’Chigeeng group looks to improve fishery

Tom Sasvari

The Recorder

KAGAWONG—The United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin (UFGCM) have received additional fish to raise as part of its Kagawong walleye project from the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) while learning that a representative of the M’Chigeeng Fish and Game Club expressed an interest in partnering with the UFGCM on a similar project or other initiatives in the future.

Mike Meeker told the Recorder on Tuesday, and informed the UFGCM at a meeting last week, “for Kagawong, we have got additional fish through the Whitelake MNR hatchery. I had talked to them a while ago and they had indicated if they had extra fry-eggs they would give us some. So I received a call last Thursday and we have received about 10,000 walleye.

“Also, in two or three weeks some walleye that have been raised by the MNR in ponds in Sandfield will be coming over here,” said Mr. Meeker. He pointed out, “we have fish left over from the first hatch in the hatchery, they are doing well and are healthy.”

“I talked to Brian Riche (of the MNR) on Monday (of last week) and have not heard yet about the approvals for the permit to transfer the fish in the tanks to nets in Kagawong, but it is expected,” added Mr. Meeker.

“We have a group formed and would like to like to take a look at your program and do something similar, or help you out,” said Neil Debassige of M’Chigeeng. “I think the group of guys we have on our committee would be all over a project like you guys are doing to stock fish in our lakes.”

“I know there would be support for it,” said Mr. Debassige. “Partnership opportunities are the biggest thing we are looking at, working in collaboration together for our fishery.”

“We would need information toward a top 10 list of what we would need to have a project like yours,” he said. “I’ll start looking working on this from our end and get back to you.”

“It would be great to see partnerships on projects like this,” said Barry Wall. “I think this would be fantastic and we need to keep going this way.”

Mr. Meeker suggested he would be willing to work with the M’Chigeeng group, regardless if it is through the UFGCM or not.

“It would be a good idea to have a with some of your group who could visit the Kagawong hatchery and maybe tour the hatchery in Gore Bay as well,” said Jim Sloss, UFGCM chair. “We’re willing to help out on projects you may be setting up or have your help on our projects. We all want to do what is best for fishery on the Island in the long run.”

“The main thing is we all like working for fish and sustainable fish populations in the future,” added John Seabrook.

“We have an active group of young guys who are ready to put in a lot of time to boost the fishery,” said Mr. Debassige. “I’ll work with Mike (Meeker) initially on this and then we can move forward.”