BPSA celebrates 60 years of conservation


More than 250 visitors and guests young and old, helped the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association (BPSA) celebrate sixty years of conservation. The conservation club’s Birthday Party which included two specially decorated birthday cakes, took place at the non-profit organization’s clubhouse west of Wiarton.

The party marked the 60th anniversary of the launch of the 200 member club in 1962. That’s when a group of outdoors enthusiasts got together to start a program that would become the longest operating volunteer based community fish stocking effort in Ontario.

                        (L-R)PBSA President Carl Jones, Ray Marklevitz, Frank Hutter

Birthday cake cutting duties were left to BPSA President Carl Jones, and long time members Ray Marklevitz and Frank Hutter. Hutter joined BPSA in 1966 and Marklevitz in 1965.

Representatives from two neighbouring fish stocking clubs brought greetings and wished the BPSA volunteers continued success for another 60-years. All regional fish stocking clubs often work together for the good of our recreational fishery.

(L-R)Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MP Alex Ruff, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Rick Byers, BPSA President Carl Jones, LHFC President Dave Myett, Wiarton District Chamber of Commerce Vice-President Paul Sutter, South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson

South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson, MPP Rick Byers and MP Alex Ruff presented the club with certificates praising and recognizing the club and its members, for their contributions to our community.

Marlkevits told the Owen Sound Sun Times “I always lived in a hunting and fishing bubble…. I’ve always been interested in fish culture and raising fish….It comes naturally with the way I feel about conserving our natural resources.”

Marklevitz is a lifetime BPSA member and was recently presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee commemorative coin for his years of volunteer service with the club, most notably for helping to spearhead the club’s fish stocking program.

Frank Hutter says he is very proud of his and our clubs efforts through the decades. Frank has served in several executive positions including club President.

The BPSA hatchery, with an incubation system and improved aeration set-up with spring-fed water, can handle 200,000 eggs a year, with both rainbow and brown trout raised in the facility.

Said Ray “We have to support our recreational fishery by getting the kids involved. Those are the ones who are going to take over when we are done.”

Aside from the hatchery, the BPSA clubhouse property features a fishing pond, an indoor handgun and .22 range, an archery range and a 3D archery range.

While BPSA is best known for its fish stocking successes, the club holds several annual activities including youth firearms safety programs, a handgun club, a women’s Sunday evening shooting group, a children’s fishing derby, annual Family Day activities, a fishing day for Community Living clients, and youth archery.

BPSA Archery Chair Donna Maginnis noted “It was a great day with many friendly faces around. Many kids came over to archery and they kept talking about the Scavenger Hunt being so much fun. One youth exclaimed “this has been the best day ever” Glad to see so much interest in our youth programs.”

President Carl Jones told birthday party attendees “we are very proud of what we have accomplished. I remind you that there is no I in BPSA, it is TEAM BPSA all the way …we work hard and we will continue to do our best for our community for another 60 years.”

The Birthday Party featured a wildlife workshop, adult and youth archery demonstrations, draw prizes and special giveaways, hatchery tours, a scavenger hunt, barbecue and Birthday Cake. Sponsors supporting the BPSA Big sixty birthday bash were: Wiarton Foodland, Carl Jones Charlie Robertson, Great Ape Empire, Simon Says, Wiarton Marina, Coach’s Burger Joint, Fired Up/Hungry Hanger, New Orlean’s Pizza, and Ram Trophies.

For larger view, Click on Image

As President Jones noted BPSA stands for:
: fair sharing of our natural resources
: preserving, enhancing and protecting fish and wildlife.
: conservation in many forms
: youth programs designed to ensure there are anglers, hunters and conservationists in the future

If you would like more info on BPSA, visit https://bpsportsmen.com/about-us-2/

Regular BPSA monthly meetings take place on the last Thursday evening of the month in the clubhouse at 611 Northacres Road west of Wiarton. “When you join us, you will do something positive for our community and have some fun as well.”

Photos By:  James Rouse, Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch