OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 27, 2013) -
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The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, presented Hedrik Wachelka with a 2012 National Recreational Fisheries Award at a ceremony last night in Ottawa.
"Mr. Wachelka has an admirable passion for muskie angling and the conservation of this species in Ontario and Quebec," said Minister Ashfield. "He is a fine example of the dedicated volunteers across Canada who are helping to sustain and develop our strong recreational fishing tradition."
Hedrik Wachelka has been a muskellunge, or "muskie," angler for almost 50 years and he has made this fish his life's work. In 1988, he was one of the organizing members of the Ottawa Chapter of Muskies Canada. He has served this organization in various capacities and is currently Education Director. Mr. Wachelka is also a strong advocate of respect for the aquatic environment and for catch and release angling. He has volunteered to work with researchers and has been a leader in educating others about habitat restoration and conservation. He has raised public awareness of the importance of water quality and fish habitat in the urban environment around Ottawa.
"I am really honored to receive Canada's Recreational Fisheries award today and it is flattering to be recognized for my past efforts. I have always been concerned about working to protect freshwater fisheries whether related to muskellunge or sunfish and I will continue to contribute to the promotion of conservation and sustainable sportfishing for years to come," said Mr. Wachelka
Due to his efforts, the minimum catch size limit for muskellunge was increased, resulting in over 95% of fish being returned to the water. By raising the profile of muskellunge and promoting catch and release angling practices, Hedrik Wachelka has contributed greatly to the sustainability of this species in both Ontario and Quebec. His important contributions have also been recognized by fellow members of Muskies Canada, who have established the "Hedrik Wachelka Conservation Award," given each year to their top conservation project.
"Recreational fishing is a tradition worth preserving and protecting for future generations," said Minister Ashfield. "I offer my sincere congratulations to Mr. Wachelka for his significant contribution to recreational fishing in Canada."
Canada's National Recreational Fisheries Awards were created in 1989 to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations in areas such as recreational community leadership, restoring and enhancing fisheries and fish habitat or promoting conservation and sustainable recreational fishing.
The Government of Canada remains focused on four priorities that Canadians care most about, as outlined by the Prime Minister, including their families and their pride in being a citizen of this country.
For more information about the National Recreational Fisheries Awards and about submitting nominations for future Awards, please visit our website at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/rfa-ppr/awards-prix_e.htm.
Minister Ashfield presented a 2012 National Recreational Fisheries Award to Mr. Hedrik Wachelka. Canada's Recreational Fisheries Awards recognize outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations in areas such as recreational angling, community leadership, restoring and enhancing fisheries and fish habitat or promoting conservation and sustainable recreational fishing.
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