Provincial anglers and hunters group donates funds toward Gore Bay micro-hatchery proposal

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone D donated a total of $500 to the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club and United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin at a meeting held in Sheguiandah recently. In photo, left to right, is OFAH secretary Debbie Halverson, OFAH president Roy Polsky and GBFGC and UFGCM member Ches Witty.

by Tom Sasvari

SHEGUIANDAH—The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters Zone D (which includes Manitoulin Island) has made a financial donation toward a proposal from two Island fish and game clubs for a micro-hatchery fish program being developed and involving Charles C. McLean Public School in Gore Bay. As well, the OFAH has provided a donation towards supporting the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club’s (GBFGC) annual kids fishing derby.

Chris Robinson, chair of the GBFGC, provided an update to OFAH Zone D members as to current club activities, including a project the club is jointly working on with the United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin (UFGCM) for a micro-hatchery program to be developed in Grade 4 at Charles C. McLean.

Roy Polsky, chair of the OFAH Zone D, told the meeting, “the total estimated cost of the micro-hatchery project is $1,600 and we have received a request from the clubs for 25 percent funding for equipment for the project.”

It was pointed out by Mr. Polsky the OFAH Zone D executive had recommended that funding support of $400 be provided to the UFGCM-GBFGC toward the project.

OFAH Zone D members approved the $400 donation toward the program. As well, prior to the meeting, the GBFGC had received the OFAH Zone D support of $100 towards its annual kids fishing derby.

Jim Sloss, chair of the UFGCM and a member of the GBFGC, said “up to 25 percent funding can be provided (by OFAH) to a project, and the total cost of the project is estimated at $1,600 depending on what type of chillers and equipment we need. We will need to put in a chiller to cool the water that is going to be in the micro-hatchery tank in the classroom.”

“And we will be working on fundraising for the rest of the costs needed, and are about to strike a committee to look at doing this,” said Mr. Sloss. “The idea is for the club to provide the C.C. McLean students with about 20 to 30 salmon eggs in the fall, and they will be able to raise them and follow the growth of the fish in the micro-hatchery, checking oxygen levels, feeding the fish, keeping tabs on water control and whatever is necessary.”

“The elementary school in M’Chigeeng is doing the same type of thing with walleye,” said Mr. Sloss. “The program we are looking at is OFAH sponsored and they are encouraging clubs like ours to get involved in this type of program.”

Mr. Robinson told the OFAH Zone D members at Saturday’s meeting the GBFGC held its seventh annual kids fishing derby on Lake Wolsey in March, with well over 100 kids taking part.

Mr. Polsky outlined other funding that has been approved by the zone, including $2,500 to Manitoulin Streams for stream rehabilitation projects, $2,600 for the youth trappers course for the purchase of trappers kits and OFAH memberships, $500 for the 24th annual hunters’ education conference, $1,500 to the United Walleye Club for school micro-hatcheries and education program, and another $2,500 to help defray the cost of the club’s shocker boat (a vessel used to harvest walleye to be milked for the hatchery program) and $1,250 to sponsor a hospitality room at the 87th OFAH annual conference.