Renewed funding for Community Hatchery Program good news for Manitoulin

ONTARIO—The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) has renewed its partnership with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters for another three years to support Ontario’s Community Hatchery Program (CHP).

“It’s great that it has been renewed for another three years,” said Little Current and District Fish and Game Club President Bill Strain. “The funding that flows through the OFAH is around $2,000 and helps keep our (walleye) hatchery (in Sheguiandah) going. We do a lot of fundraising, but that funding is important for us.”

“We’re glad that the funding will be guaranteed for another three years,” added Gore Bay Fish and Game Club President Chris Robinson. “The (Gore Bay) (Chinook salmon) hatchery has been doing well and funding like this makes it possible.”

According to a press release from the OFAH, each year more than 900 volunteers donated nearly 60,000 hours of their time at community fish hatcheries across the province.

“In 2015, the CHP provided funding and technical support to 41 community hatcheries (including the two on Manitoulin), which raised public fish for public water in Ontario,” the press release continues. “These stocked fish contribute to rehabilitation, they help conserve local genetic strains and create additional fishing opportunities for Ontario anglers.”

“Some community hatcheries would find it challenging to remain operational without the support of the CHP funding partnership,” stated Community Hatchery Program Coordinator Matt Burley. “The OFAH is a proud partner in this highly successful program and we look forward to the next three years working with Ontario’s community fish hatcheries.”

“Community-based fish culture is built on a foundation of passion, dedication and genuine concern for resource management,” says the OFAH. “Whether volunteers are raising walleye, lake trout or Chinook salmon, their commitment to raising and stocking fish is reinforced with funding and technical support through CHP. As we transition from summer to fall, when you are out on the water, think about the hard work and dedication of community hatchery volunteers who are helping to conserve local fisheries and create more fishing opportunities for all Ontarians.”

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is Ontario’s largest, non-profit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization, representing 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters and 735 member clubs. To learn more, visit www.ofah.org.