After a three year absence, the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association’s (BPSA) annual Family Day Open House resumed, attracting record numbers. More than 300 kids, parents, aunts, uncles and various other categories of visitors, attended the event February 20th at BPSA headquarters west of Wiarton.
This conservation club is best known for fish stocking, something it has done since the sixties to benefit the recreational fishery. BPSA volunteers have stocked more than four million fish in local waters as well as completing rehabilitation projects in two Colpoy’s Bay streams.
Most visitors first headed to the hatchery to view thousands of rainbow and brown trout to be released into Georgian Bay in the next year.
photos: Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch
Other BPSA programs were also in the spotlight on Family Day.
After touring the hatchery, guests enjoyed outdoors archery lessons, checked out the indoor shooting range, got tips from firearms range masters, and had a chance to examine rare firearms, some dating back to the 1800s.
Guests also learned about the Invasive Species Awareness “Boot Scrubber Project”, and about the BPSA’s plan to plant apple trees featuring the types of apples that deer love to eat.
Guests were invited to cook hot dogs over an open fire and also enjoyed other free refreshments served by members of the BPSA volunteer army.
After examining rare handguns, South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Garry Michi had high praise for this club and its volunteers.
Michi told BPSA Handgun Club President Al Hunter “… over the years you folks have done very valuable work for our community … it is so important that you include the young people in what you do … I am a hunter and understand how important BPSA is to our outdoor community.”
BPSA Vice-President Kelly Lang also thanked the dozens of volunteers for helping to make a the open house a truly great day for all who participated. “I was pleasantly surprised at the attendance we had and the interest expressed. It was busy and non-stop and was great to witness. I salute everyone!”
BPSA meetings are held on the last Thursday night of each month and all are welcome to attend. The next major club event is our annual ‘KIDS FISHING DERBY’ with prizes for all who enter. It takes place at the hatchery pond on May 28th at 9:00 a.m.
BPSA outdoors archery also starts in May (weather dependent) and runs Tuesday evenings from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with the last hour for adults only.