The Salmon School hatchery program has benefitted countless children of various ages in many towns and municipalities. Our program is currently active in forty five schools. I am hoping that with this grant, this program can continue to flourish and continue educating today’s youth about fish culture.
A History of the School Salmon Hatchery Program
In 2010 I joined the Lake Huron Fishing Club and restarted the School Salmon hatchery program with one School. The money for the program was supplied by their conservation account. In 2011 we had three Schools in southern Bruce County, with the Conservation Account picking up the tab again. But I was told that would be all the Clubs money that could go into the Salmon Hatchery Program. In 2012 we were approved for $6,000.00 from the Libro Credit Union Community Grant Funds and we expanded to ten Schools including Goderich Public, Brookside Public, Wingham FE Madill, Wingham Maitland River Elementary, Teeswater Hillcrest Public & Sacred Heart, Walkerton Sacred Heart High School, Kincardine Huron Heights, Kincardine Tiverton Township and North Port Public in Port Elgin.
In 2013, Wingham Maitland River Elementary moved into their new building and decided not to stay with the program. Bruce Power formed a Partnership with the Lake Huron Fishing Club and $12,000.00 was designated for the School Program. We then expanded to seventeen schools, adding Goderich High School (GDCI), Mildmay Sacred Heart School Junior and Senior Buildings, Ripley Huron Community School, Port Elgin Saugeen Central Elementary School, Southampton G.C. Huston, Wiarton Peninsula and Walkerton District Community School. There were six Schools on a waiting list. Goderich Public decided not to stay with the program. There were plans to expand this program when funds became available.
Bruce Powers partnership supplied funding and in 2014-15 we added six new schools; Northwoods Elementary Ethel, Resurrection Christian Academy in Guelph, Immaculate Conception in Formosa, St Nicholas Catholic School & Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School in Waterloo, and Sacred Heart Catholic School Wingham.
We currently have twenty-one schools in the program with a growing waiting list. Bruce Power’s commitment allowed us to expand again in 2015-16. We had a few schools drop out for different reasons but there will be twenty seven schools involved with the program this year. That should add up to over 1,000 students directly involved with raising Chinook Salmon in their classrooms or libraries. In 2016-17 there are more new schools with Chesley District Community School, Parkview Public in Komoka, Woodland Heights Public Elementary School in London, E.C. Drury School for the Deaf, Craig Keilburger Secondary School in Milton, Mountain View Elementary and Jean Vanier Catholic High School in Collingwood from Sarnia to Milton to Collingwood to Manitoulin Island.
To make this all happen we have formed a Partnership with the Waterloo/Wellington club from the (CBAF) Canadian Bass Anglers Federation, (BPSA) Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association Wiarton, (SSA) Sydenham Sportsmen Association Owen Sound, Bluewater Anglers Sarnia, United Fish and Game Club of Manitoulin Island. This year we added Forest City Bassmasters Club London and the (GTAA) Georgian Triangle Angler’s Association Collingwood. We would like to send a huge “Thank You” to Bruce Power for making this a reality. http://www.brucepower.com/ This year we have a great bunch of Clubs working with us to help grow to thirty-six schools raising salmon from Manitoulin Island to Sarnia to Milton to Collingwood to Waterloo/Wellington to Wiarton to Owen Sound to London, and there are more interested in joining the LHFC School Salmon Hatchery Program next year.
The first two years and our first three Aquariums were paid for out of the LHFC Conservation account. The third year I applied for a grant from Libro Credit Union for $10,000 and received $6,000.00 as they already gave $4,000.00 to another group out of that year’s allotment. We expanded by seven Schools with an extra $1,000.00 from our Conservation account. Over the next year LHFC and Bruce Power entered into a Partnership for three years that would have $12,000.00 to help expand by seven more schools that year to reach seventeen schools in four different counties. Enbridge donated $4,000.00 to help with four of our schools. In 2013-14 the Toronto Sportsmen Show donated rod & reels to hand out to each of the Schools involved with the School Hatcheries, so we asked that each of the students submit a written or art project on the program, and if they put their best effort forward, their name was put into a hat with a chance to take a Rod and Reel home. In 2014-15 Rapala gave us a Rod and Reel, Sufix Line and Trigger X baits for each class that was helping raise Salmon. BlackFly Lures gave 33 packages of 3 spinnerbaits to be handed out with the tackle packs and at each of the schools that we presented, Bassmagnet gave packages of their Stinger to add to the package, Fish’n Canada gave 22 packages of baits, Angling Sports Inc. London gave $100.00 of bait, Gay Lea Foods gave cards for 22 Free Ice Cream Cones, Ace N JJ’s Tackle Shop Walkerton gave a tackle box for one lucky student, OFAH, Ontario out of Doors, and Ontario Power Generation gave away 500 cloth back pack and 500 magazines; one for each student in the program. Fisheries and Ocean Canada gave a cloth bag, Ontario/Learn To Fish gave out 100 Posters, 500 Booklets, Measuring Sticker, Identification Card etc….enough for each student involved.
In 2015-16 BlackFly Lures stepped up and donated spinnerbaits again, and they were handed out at the different schools that I attended, with some of them going to the Fishing Friends booth at the CNE in Toronto when I was there volunteering. http://www.blackflylures.com/
And Big Jim donated a few boxes of Just Fishing Magazine last year that was handed out at the schools that I visited. http://www.justfishing.ca/
CTV London News story: Brookside School Salmon Hatchery
I’m hoping to get Rods and Reels, tackle packs, magazines, bags and any other fishing related products or information that I can hand out to help keep the students active throughout the year until they release their Salmon in the spring of each year.
Big Al’s Canada has been a big supporter and delivers the equipment needed to a contact in all of the clubs that we deal with, which saves me a lot of driving. http://www.bigalscanada.com/
Thank you for considering this program for the $1,000 grant. The money would be put to good use and would further the School Salmon Hatchery Program, educating countless youth.
Lake Huron Fishing Club Port Elgin Salmon Eggs are in the majority of the Schools 25.
(SSA) Sydenham Sportsmen Association Owen Sound has their Salmon Eggs in 5 Schools.
Bluewater Anglers Sarnia has their Salmon Eggs in 6 Schools.
United Fish and Game Club of Manitoulin Island has there Salmon Eggs in 1 School.
This year Brookside Public School made a trip to Kincardine to release their/our Salmon and had a tour of the Trout Hatchery and the Lighthouse Museum them 31 students plus adults headed to Silver Lake for the afternoon of Fishing from shore and off the docks before headed back to school. It was very windy but some fish were caught and fun was had by everyone that took part.
This year KW Muskies Canada members are helping with 2 schools and Thames River Anglers Association will be doing one.