Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

October 18, 2007 14:14 ET

Annual chinook salmon collection complete

Lake Ontario fishing community pitches in to support stocking program

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor ONTARIO: O.F.A.H. MEDIA RELEASE--(Marketwire - Oct. 18, 2007) - With the summer open water fishing season behind us, Lake Ontario anglers are already hard at work preparing for next year.

Volunteers from the O.F.A.H./Toronto Sportsmen's Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station worked with fisheries biologists from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) during the first two weeks of October to collect eggs from spawning chinook salmon in the Credit River, near Streetsville.

"The Metro East Anglers have provided invaluable support to the hatchery program as the host club," notes Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "They were out in full force to help with the egg collection and were joined this year by the Ontario Chinese Anglers Association and Fleming College students. In just two weeks, their collective contribution to this conservation initiative totaled more than a thousand volunteer hours."

Chinook salmon are popular with sport fishermen and account for over 60% of the fish caught in the Lake Ontario boat fishery. Anglers spend over a million fishing days on the lake annually, and the estimated value of the Lake Ontario fishery is in excess of $140 million annually.

The O.F.A.H./Toronto Sportsmen's Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station near Stouffville supplies a large proportion of Lake Ontario's stocking quota, including the entire Ontario chinook salmon allotment. Eggs collected for the hatchery this fall will be raised over the winter and a half million fingerlings will be released back into Lake Ontario next spring. The hatchery also raises rainbow trout, brown trout and Atlantic salmon, and for the first time in recent years, Ringwood will be collecting and rearing coho. It is unique in that it is a large hatchery funded by donations and sponsorship, and run primarily through volunteer efforts.

Until a year ago the Ringwood Fish Culture Station was one of nine run by the Ministry of Natural Resources. When the ministry announced its pending closure due to funding cuts, the O.F.A.H. and the Toronto Sportsmen's Show came up with a plan to save the station. Shimano, Yamaha, Ontario Out of Doors, Lund, Cannon, Rapala, Pizza Pizza and Banrock Station also came forward as sponsors.

The O.F.A.H./Toronto Sportsmen's Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station is just one of the many conservation partnerships spearheaded by the O.F.A.H. Other initiatives include:

· The Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, in partnership with the M.N.R., Banrock Station Wines, LCBO, Canadian Sport Fishing Industry Association, Fishing Forever Foundation and others, is bringing back a lost ecological treasure and improving our coldwater streams;
· O.F.A.H./M.N.R. Invading Species Awareness Program is recognized internationally for combating the spread of aquatic invaders such as zebra mussels, goby, spiny water flea, and sea lamprey;
· Community Stream Steward Program, hosted by the O.F.A.H., works with landowners and volunteers on local coldwater stream restoration projects that support our fisheries and healthy waterways; and
· Advocacy for effective cormorant control programs.

With over 81,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information on the O.F.A.H. or the O.F.A.H. /Toronto Sportsmen's Show Ringwood Fish Culture Station, visit www.ofah.org or www.ringwoodhatchery.ca.
/For further information: Lezlie Goodwin
Communications Coordinator
(705) 748-6324 ext 270
/ IN: ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES

Contact Information

  • Lezlie Goodwin, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 270
    E-mail: lezlie_goodwin@ofah.org