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Men's Probus learns about fishing in the economy
by Sandy Lindsay

January 8, 2015
www.saugeentimes.com

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The Saugeen Men's Probus Club had the opportunity to learn more about fishing, or more precisely, the fishing industry and what the Lake Huron Fishing Club (LHFC) brings to the area's economy and conservation efforts.

Bert Kuntz and Gary Bierman explained to the Probarians the history of the Club and its on-going work in the preservation of fisheries and the role of the local fish hatcheries.

The Lake Huron Fishing Club (LHFC) was founded in 1983 as a not-for-profit organization in the Province of Ontario. The mission statement for the Club is “Dedicated to ensuring future generations will have quality fishing opportunities”. This includes education, promotion, protection, collaboration and enhancement of our aquatic activities and resources.

The LHFC has members from all across Ontario however, the majority of the Club’s almost five hundred members come from within the boundaries of Bruce, Grey and Huron counties.

The LHFC has developed productive partnerships with all the Municipalities within this area. More recently, the LHFC has partnered with Bruce Power, which carries the same core values as our Club – that is, to enhance and help Mother Nature as much as possible to help preserve our precious resources.

Bruce Power’s commitment to financially supporting our initiatives has propelled the LHFC into our Conservation Projects on a grand scale. For instance, the School Hatchery Program has blossomed from three schools in 2012, to 27 schools in 2015. Fish ladders have been constructed at Walkerton as well as Maple Hill in the last two years. None of this would have been possible without the financial support of Bruce Power who are great Stewards of the Community.

The first LHFC fish enhancement project was the construction of a Chinook salmon production facility in the Town of Port Elgin. To fund the construction and operation of this project, and enable other conservation and fish enhancement efforts, a source of funds was required.

The Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby born in 1983 is now a 16 day event. Over the years, the Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the LHFC to fund a variety of community projects. The Derby is very proud of the enhancements to the fishery along the Bruce County Lake Huron Shoreline, the Saugeen River and its many tributaries.

 

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The Derby is held during the peak of summer, from July 23rd to August 7th inclusive in 2016. It has become Lake Huron’s largest open water fishing derby, drawing over 40% of its participants to the area from a distance of greater than 80 kilometers. The tournament draws anglers and their families to the area for fishing and fun in the sun. Whether angling the crystal clear waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, relaxing on the sandy beaches or taking in the incredible sunsets, the Chantry is a true family vacation destination that adds considerably to the local economy.

In 2015, there were over 1700 participants in the Derby with 40 per cent coming from more than 80kms away from Owen Sound and Bruce County, including Americans and some Europeans, resulting in millions of dollars being spent in the region.

The Derby's partnership in conservation with the Lake Huron Fishing Club continues to be of the utmost importance to the entire sports fishing industry, which has become a major economic driver for the area's tourism.

Thousands of hours of volunteer work are completed each year by LHFC members. The Club endeavors to protect the fishing rights of all citizens and assist Government Agencies on assessment, enforcement, and various new enhancement programs involving the Lake Huron and area fishery. The Club is non-profit and totally relies on donations and work of volunteers for funding.

To read more about the Lake Huron Fishing Club, read articles below:

Teaching Students

Volunteers at Denny's Dam


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