Renewed three-year agreement underway to support community fish hatcheries in Ontario
PETERBOROUGH — The renewal of funding for the Community Hatchery Program (CHP) is great news for fishing in Ontario.
Another three-year partnership is underway between the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) to support Ontario`s community fish hatcheries.
Volunteer-operated hatcheries not only stock millions of fish annually across the province, they serve as community education centres that promote good fisheries management and conservation.
Each year, more than 900 volunteers donate 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, which raised public fish for public waters in Ontario. These stocked fish contribute to rehabilitation, they help conserve local genetic strains and create additional fishing opportunities for Ontario anglers.
Running a fish hatchery isn’t easy. Raising fish is not only time consuming, but the high costs of energy bills, feed and equipment can make hatcheries very expensive to operate – and that’s where the value of an initiative like the CHP comes in.
“Some community hatcheries would find it challenging to remain operational without the support of the CHP funding partnership,” says 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. 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 and follow us on Facebook andTwitter (@ofah).