Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

May 05, 2008 11:53 ET

Recreational Fisheries Awards

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - In a ceremony in Ottawa today, the Honourable Loyola Hearn, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans awarded the 2008 Recreational Fisheries Awards. This year, two individuals and three organizations received the prestigious award.

"I am very pleased to honour this group of Canadians who are doing their part to keep Canada's recreational fishing industry strong," said Minister Hearn. "These Canadians are committed to building sustainable fisheries today, for the benefit of all Canadians tomorrow."

The Minister was joined at the ceremony by a number of Members of Parliament and Senators who share in his belief that recreational fishing is a tradition worth preserving and protecting.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans created Canada's Recreational Fisheries Awards in 1989 to recognize the outstanding efforts of individuals and groups working to ensure that Canada's recreational fishery remains healthy and abundant.

The 2008 recipients of Canada's Recreational Fisheries Award are:

Council of Conne River Micmacs, Conne River Reserve, Newfoundland and Labrador

Mr. Carl Purcell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Mr. George Ferguson, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia

Quebec Wildlife Federation, Charlesbourg, Quebec

St. Albert & District Fish and Game Association, St. Albert, Alberta

Any individual, group, business or association is eligible for the award, and can be nominated at any time during the year by an individual or organization, and a co-sponsor. Projects upon which nominations are based must be supported by documentation and undertaken in Canada, independently of government agencies, by Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

For more information about the Recreational Fisheries Awards and this year's winners, please visit our website at


Canada's Recreational Fisheries Awards

Summary of Achievements of 2008 Recipients

Council of Conne River Micmacs, Conne River Reserve, Newfoundland and Labrador - The Council of Conne River Micmacs have a long history of promoting conservation as a top priority. Through their actions, the Conne River Micmacs have served as an example not only for the province, but for other Canadian jurisdictions in how aboriginal and non-aboriginal constituencies can jointly work on behalf of sound and sustainable fisheries management. They have also been instrumental in working to protect and, where necessary, restore a major Atlantic salmon river and near-by streams in the province. Through their recognized leadership and initiative, they have been able to build cultural, political and interpersonal bridges leading to significantly improved fisheries management for Atlantic salmon.

Mr. Carl Purcell, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia - Mr. Carl Purcell has worked diligently on behalf of Atlantic salmon conservation during the past three decades. During this time he has served as a board member of the Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA) and currently serves as its President after having previously held this post from 1988 -1991. He is an active member of several Nova Scotia river associations and is admired for his communications skills and strong leadership. He has been a pioneer in promoting the conservation and protection of fish and their habitat and his reach has extended throughout Atlantic Canada. As a result of his efforts community groups remain interested and active and enhancement work is conducted on streams throughout Nova Scotia.

Mr. George Ferguson, Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia - Mr. George Ferguson has been contributing to the conservation of wild Atlantic Salmon since 1988 when he was one of the original founders and directors of the Sackville River Association. He played a prominent role in bringing salmon back to the river and assisted in securing a permanent counting fence on the site. Mr. Ferguson has been a leader in many of the province's conservation networks. He was President of the Nova Scotia Salmon Association (NSSA) from 2001-2004 and served as the first chair of the Nova Scotia River Watch Program. Mr. Ferguson has volunteered countless hours of work to instigate and sustain an acid rain mitigation project to assist endangered salmon populations in acid rain impacted rivers; the first like it in North America. He has been recognized for his contributions with the NSSA's David Symonds' Award and the Nova Scotia Lieutenant Governor's Award for conservation.

Quebec Wildlife Federation, Charlesbourg, Quebec- The Quebec Wildlife Federation (QWF) is one of the oldest wildlife organizations in Quebec. The QWF has worked to establish programs and youth education projects that protect the environment while promoting conservation. In 2002, the QWF initiated the "Operation Renaissance" project to reintroduce the once abundant striped bass back into the St. Lawrence River. This is one of the most ambitious wildlife projects in the Province of Quebec. The striped bass saw a dramatic decrease in its population in the early 1960's and finally disappeared completely toward the end of that decade.

Because of a unique combination of unfavourable conditions, it was the only species of fish to disappear from the St. Lawrence. More than one million bass of all sizes have since been reintroduced into the river. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada recently designated the striped bass populations of the Southern Gulf and Bay of Fundy as threatened. "Operation Renaissance", therefore, is important to all of Atlantic Canada.

St. Albert & District Fish and Game Association, St. Albert, Alberta - The St. Albert & District Fish and Game Association has organized "Fun Fishing Days" for over 30 years for the disabled residents of Alberta. They have worked with Camp He-Ho-Ha, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind, and St. Joseph's Auxiliary Hospital to provide opportunities to individuals who would otherwise not be able to participate in recreational fishing. Each year over 100 people take part with volunteers being partnered with each participant. It has become a highly anticipated event that creates lasting memories. The association has actively partnered with the Alberta Fisheries Management Branch in the St. Albert area and in the spring of 2006 provided much needed assistance to relocate northern pike in Big Lake and the Sturgeon River to Cow Lake. They have also acted as a conduit to share information with anglers and sportsmen's groups throughout Alberta and their willingness to provide support when requested has been an important component contributing to successful fisheries management in the province of Alberta.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada - Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Joshua Zanin
    Special Assistant, Communications