Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

May 21, 2009 14:26 ET

Students helping to bring Atlantic salmon back to Lake Ontario

More than 450,000 salmon fry to be stocked this spring in one the largest freshwater conservation projects in North America

Attention: Education Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, Sports Editor CLAREMONT/ON/OFAH MEDIA ADVISORY--(Marketwire - May 21, 2009) - MEDIA ARE INVITED

As part of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program, youth from area schools will release Atlantic salmon fry, raised in classroom hatcheries over the winter, into Duffins Creek next week. During May, salmon partners will stock 450,000 Atlantic salmon in the Credit River, Duffins Creek, and Cobourg Brook, bringing the total number stocked so far to more than 1.6 million.

Atlantic salmon were eliminated from Lake Ontario by the late 1800s, as a result of the impacts of human development, including deforestation and dam construction. Today, over 50 organizations are partnering to Bring Back the Salmon in one of the largest freshwater conservation projects in North America. The goal is to achieve a wild self-sustaining population of Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario within the next 10 to 15 years.

Last fall, 49 two-and-a-half year old Atlantic salmon returned to spawn on the Credit River, 10 on Cobourg Brook and 3 on Duffins Creek (the first Atlantics to return naturally to spawn in over 120 years). These returns came a year ahead of expectations, and are a strong indication that the restoration program is succeeding.

On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, students from St. Henry Catholic School, Scarborough; St. Wilfrid Catholic School, Pickering; and St. Paul Catholic School, Toronto, will release Atlantic salmon fry into Duffins Creek.

Atlantic salmon are being raised in 92 school classrooms and outdoor education centres through the classroom hatchery program within the Greenbelt and the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. More than two thousand school children are engaged in restoring Atlantic salmon.

Partnering to lead the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program are the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada, an Australian organization that supports conservation projects around the world, has committed $1.25 million to this program, and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO) has provided $250,000 from its Natural Heritage Fund. Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) is actively involved in the restoration program through the implementation of the Fisheries Management Plan for Duffins Creek and Carruthers Creek. Also supporting the effort are Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, Fishing Forever Foundation and the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation, as well as conservation authorities, community stakeholder groups and landowners.

Event Details:
WHO: TRCA, O.F.A.H. Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program Coordinator, Chris Robinson; MNR Lake Ontario Management Unit, Management Biologist, Marc Desjardins; Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada representative, Ted Robinson; dignitaries from Town of Ajax: Regional Councillor Colleen Jordan, 9:15 release only: Councillor Pat Brown, Councillor Joanne Dies, 12:00 noon release only: Councillor Renrick Ashby; and area school children
WHEN: Tuesday, May 26, 2009
WHERE: Claremont Field Centre
4290 Westney Road, Claremont
W side of Westney Rd., about 2 km. N of Hwy. 7, and 15 km. N of Hwy. 401
Duffins Creek Environmental Education Centre
4290-A Concession 7, Pickering

Event Schedule:
9:00 a.m. - Media and children gather at Claremont Field Centre
9:15-11:15 a.m. - Brief overview of Claremont outdoor education program and hatchery
- Welcome from Toronto and Region Conservation, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada, and the Ministry of Natural Resources
- Photo opportunities to see dignitaries and children in hatchery setting
- Move to stream
- Photo opportunities of stocking of classroom hatchery fish

11:15 a.m. - Move to nearby Duffins Creek Environmental Education Centre
12:00 p.m. - Photo opportunities to see dignitaries and children release classroom hatchery-raised salmon
12:30 p.m. - BBQ for media, dignitaries, staff

The O.F.A.H. is the province's leading private, nonprofit fish and wildlife conservation organization, representing 100,000 members, supporters and subscribers, and 660 member clubs. With over 50 years of experience, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) helps people understand, enjoy and look-after the natural environment. Our vision is for The Living City®, where human settlement can flourish forever as part of nature's beauty and diversity. For more information, visit www.bringbackthesalmon.ca or www.trca.on.ca.

/For further information: Rowena Calpito
Supervisor, Media Management
Toronto and Region Conservation
rcalpito@trca.on.ca
416-661-6600 ext 5632

/ IN: EDUCATION, ENVIRONMENT, FISHERIES, SPORTS

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