Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

June 26, 2014 16:15 ET

Minister John Duncan Congratulates the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society for Its Contribution to Recreational Fisheries

A 2014 National Recreational Fisheries Award is presented to Frank Collins, President of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society, for his commitment to conservation

TAHSIS, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 26, 2014) - The Honourable John Duncan, Minister of State and Chief Government Whip, presented a 2014 National Recreational Fisheries Award to Frank Collins, President of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society today, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

The Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society's volunteers created the Les Dowding Memorial Volunteer Hatchery in 1982. It started as a co-operative venture between local volunteers, the village of Tahsis and the local mill. After the mill closed in 2002, activity at the hatchery slowed down, but in 2004, a new era began.

In 2004, a Fishing Festival was organized which provided a source of local funding; volunteers gathered fertilized Chinook eggs from local rivers; and, with the co-operation of the Conuma Hatchery incubation facility, Chinook fry were released in the spring of 2005.

Since 2004, Tahsis has seen many positive changes for the recreational anglers, local rivers, stream habitat and for its community leadership program that promotes conservation and awareness. Each year, Les Dowding Memorial Volunteer Hatchery collects 300,000 Chinook fry, the entire hatchery has been rehabilitated, and a program has been set up with the Captain Meares School to raise salmon fry in science classrooms which are then released into the Tahsis River.

The Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society is a remarkable group whose efforts are supported by the community of 400-500 people in a remote region of Vancouver Island. Each year volunteers target portions of the local rivers for streambed restoration and it's not uncommon to see 20 to 30 people show up to help with broodstock collection. This level of dedication and commitment has allowed Tahsis to re-invent itself as a busy sport fishing community as well as develop a new generation of informed, committed stewards of the resource. It is an exemplary group and well-deserving of this award and what it stands for.

Quick Facts

  • 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.
  • Recreational fishing represents an important economic, social and cultural contribution to Canada. According to the most recent survey on recreational fishing in Canada, recreational fishing contributes approximately $8.3 billion to local economies across Canada. Approximately 3.3 million adult anglers take part in recreational fisheries each year, including over 400,000 tourists who come to Canada to fish every year.
  • As part of Economic Action Plans 2013 and 2014, the Government of Canada is investing $25 million in its new Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program. Under this program, the Government of Canada partners with local groups to implement a variety of projects that restore, rebuild or rehabilitate recreational fisheries habitat.

Quotes

"Recreational fishing is a tradition worth preserving and protecting for future generations. Our Government is proud to recognize these dedicated volunteers for their outstanding commitment to conservation of resources and to recreational fishing. I offer my sincere congratulations to Frank Collins and the other board members of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society for their outstanding contribution to recreational fishing in Canada."

The Honourable John Duncan
Minister of State and Chief Government Whip

"The goal of the volunteer hatchery has always been to bring the stocks of the Tahsis and Leiner rivers to a sustainable level. In 1982 there were less than a dozen Chinook in the Tahsis River. Through the hard work and dedication of the volunteers and supporters, the Tahsis River had a return of 500 Chinook in 2013. The Leiner had a return of over 500 in 2013. The volunteers will continue their dedication to these two rivers as long as they are needed."

Frank Collins, President of the Tahsis Salmon Enhancement Society
Recipient of the 2014 National Recreational Fisheries Award

Associated Links

- For more information about the National Recreational Fisheries Awards and nomination process, please visit our website at http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/rec/rfa-ppr/awards-prix-eng.htm.

Internet: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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Contact Information

  • Leri Davies
    Strategic Media
    Relations Advisor
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
    (604) 666-8675

    Sophie Doucet
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada
    613-992-3474