It was spring rainbow trout stocking time at Gleason Brook.
Involved were more than 7,000 yearling rainbow trout raised at the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association (BPSA) hatchery on North Acres Road west of Wiarton and … a batch of enthusiastic volunteers.
Photos by Paterson Media – Kat McCulloch For larger view, Click on Image
This time a record 55 volunteers of all ages took part in the annual stocking session on Saturday April 15, 2023. In the past, we had a maximum 40 fish stockers in the bucket brigade. This year 20 of the 55 participants were new BPSA members experiencing the event for the first time.
So, what’s involved?
The tanker trailer arrives at the site beside the creek just off Grey Road 1. The rainbow trout are netted into pails each one containing about 20 fish. Then the volunteers in a human chain, pass the buckets down a deep path to the falls. There the pails containing the fish are emptied into a spout and 30-foot pipe down to below the falls where the hatchery raised trout are introduced to the wild for you to catch two years from now.
Half of the cost of operating the BPSA Fish Hatchery is provided by the Ontario Community Hatchery Program (CHP) which is funded by the Province and delivered by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. CHP supports 38 qualifying hatcheries across Ontario. The work performed by the club is done by members who volunteer their time putting in hundreds of hours a year raising fish for the sports fishery.
It’s obvious that BPSA members are proud of the work they do. BPSA Hatchery Manager Al Sutter says “We are helping maintain sustainable recreational and sports fishing…it was very encouraging to see so many out to help on Saturday and we are thrilled see many new members join our cause.”
“A lot of people come to this area to fish,” said Sutter “so we are proud of our conservation efforts.”
Since BPSA began fish stocking in the 1960s, they have planted over four million rainbow and brown trout and salmon in Georgian Bay. BPSA boasts the longest operating volunteer run community fish stocking hatchery in Ontario.
BPSA EVENT UPDATE:
Archery: 2023 BPSA youth and adult archery program kicks off on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 with an open shoot from 6pm to 8pm; 8pm to dusk for adults only. Wiarton’s outdoors store “The Great Ape Empire” is working with our archery co-ordinator to promote participation in our archery sessions.
Monthly BPSA meetings are held on the last Thursday night of the month.
Upcoming: a Professional Wildlife Control Specialist, will speak at our April 27th meeting on coyote biology, habits and distribution.