From the President’s Desk
FUNDRAISING RAFFLE 2004:
Dear Friends of the Grand Members:
Generous donations of fundraising prizes from SAGE Fly Rods and Bob McKenzie Agencies in the past four years have allowed us to raise $13,000 for conservation activities on the Grand, and there have been four very happy winners of top-of-the-line SAGE rods in our membership.
Bob McKenzie Agencies represents the SAGE line of fly-fishing products in Ontario.
This year, in recognition of the great volunteer efforts by FOGR members in conservation activities, SAGE, Bob McKenzie Agencies and Ontario Sage dealers have been even more generous in their support!
The outstanding prize in this year's Conservation Fundraising Raffle is a complete SAGE outfit, ideal for fishing bass/pike/steelhead/salmon or packing into your suitcase for flying to a dream fishing destination in the south.
Here's the prize package:
· SAGE 8-weight, 9'0” 4-piece rod (890-4 Xi2, value $815)
· SAGE Large Arbor reel (Sage 3400D, value $700)
· SAGE Equator Taper 8-weight fly line (WF8F, value $72)
(* suggested retail price, plus applicable taxes, $1825.00 CND)
A maximum of 400 tickets will be sold, at $10 per ticket.
Renew your membership, or join FOGR, at the same time as purchasing your tickets and receive a $5 discount on a one-year membership in the Friends of the Grand River.
The draw will be held at FOGR's Grand Opportunities Fly Fishing Forum, Saturday, June 5 , 200 4 .
And now some late-breaking news: The Grand River Conservation Foundation has presented us with a cheque for $1,000 to defray the costs of this year's tree planting on Swan Creek. The Foundation is Grand River Conservation Authority's charitable arm. To the Foundation goes our appreciation and assurance that good use will be made of the money.
Larry R. McGratton
Are we blessed, or what?
At our Fall Gathering in October, we invited Len Yust, Trout Unlimited Canada's (TUC) new Ontario Executive director, to speak to us.
Len told us about TUC's intentions of increasing the profile of the organization in Ontario including fundraising and working to build new grassroots chapters.
He said he prefers to be forward-thinking, and I believe we agreed it would be more productive for all of us to look to the future rather than chew over past history.
However, we can't ignore our past. It's there, and it should rightfully colour our views and actions in the present.
To back up a bit, Friends of The Grand River (FOGR) grew from the ashes of the old Grand River chapter of TUC. Suffice it to say that there was some disagreement over the flow of funds to Calgary, the location of the TUC head office, and too little appearing to be returned to the Grand.
Eighty-four people turned up at that meeting in the local high school on a stormy February Sunday afternoon and agreed to start FOGR as a project-oriented group dedicated to improving conditions in our watershed. And we're still going strong. — witness the 35 people who turned out for the informal fall session.
TUC is famous for its fundraising dinners, and it garners lots of corporate support. Len was in the middle of arranging a big dinner in Toronto as a key fundraiser.
Maybe this is what Friends of the Grand is lacking.
While it's nice to have some bucks, a lack of funds hasn't impeded our ability to improve the river. OK, as someone said at the meeting, escalators at the 2nd Line bridge would be nice, but railway-tie steps are an acceptable upgrade.
Maybe TUC will be better able to affect fishery management policy in Ontario generally. That's all to the good, but we're having success working in our own backyard on fishery plans.
Maybe in the future we can develop an affiliation of sorts with TUC, after all, we're on the same side. To Len, I say thanks for coming to see us, that we can and should work together, and we look forward to that. •
Let's organize your giving
Many companies have a charitable contribution policy that allows them to match contributions made by their staff.
If you choose to donate to Friends of the Grand River, maybe we could extend the donation by taking advantage of that type of policy.
Friends of the Grand River is a registered charity. We have the special number and can issue charitable receipts.
We have never got really sophisticated about our fundraising, but the recent talk we had from Trout Unlimited's Len Yust pointed out the fact that there are doors which we haven't yet opened.
A couple of members were overheard after the meeting saying their company could offer help to TU. So be it, but don't ignore the friends you have in your own backyard.
If you have any ideas about how your company could help, please let us know. Maybe it would we could benefit from a corporate donation, maybe some in-kind help, perhaps a product donation for one of our fundraisers, especially the draws we have at Grand Opportunities.
Your firm won't get too much back for its efforts: a lot of sincere thanks, mention on our web site, and the knowledge that it is contributing in a meaningful way to the betterment of the Grand River, one of southwestern Ontario's most important arteries.•
Checked out our Web site?
Thanks to the efforts of Romie Smith and Bruce Wainman, we have a brand new look to the FOGR web site.
Check it Out!!
Stay up-to-the-minute with our meetings, work projects, an archive of newsletters — there's lots of new information and great links there.
If you have friends interested in Friends of the Grand, pass on the URL.
Are your kids doing school projects on rivers?
The more hits we get, the more people know about us.?
Is your club or business looking for a way of getting involved in the Grand River brown trout fishery.
Why not sponsor a kiosk for the 2004 season?
You get recognized for your contribution on our web site as well as on the sign on the kiosk
For more Information: contact
Terry Ryckman at (519) 843-3806
What are your views?
If you have a view that doesn't agree with anything written in Grand Times , don't hesitate to write to us.
We've never had a 'Letters to the Editor' section, mainly because we've never had any letters.
As this is your newsletter, you have every right to see your views in print.
Take us to task; tell us we've done the right thing. While the editors and the board (often one and the same) try to do things in all of our best interests, sometimes the target may be missed.
Although we hold the pen, it doesn't mean we have to always have the last word.•
Annual General MeetingSunday, April 18, 2004
2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Wellington Terrace Home for the Aged
Come join us, find out what FOGR has planned for 2002. Have you got some time to volunteer?
Road clean up — April 18, 2004, 8 a.m.
Stream Etiquette (Larry's Rules)The Grand River fishery has increased in popularity over the past several years due to the success of the stocking programs, media coverage and word of mouth. As the popularity of the river increases, so does the number of anglers using the resource.
Stream etiquette is often overlooked in the face of a big fish waiting to be caught.
Here are a few basics that are guaranteed to show other angler's your respect for the Grand River Tailwater Fishery:
Respect Another Angler's Space
Don't Walk into a Run
Don't Jump into Another Person's Spot
Walk Quietly Around Others
Saturday, June 5
Canada's premier hands-on fly fishing show
Grand Opportunities is set for Saturday, June 5, at Belwood Lake Conservation Area..
With seminars are conducted right on the beautiful Grand River, this is truly a unique opportunity to improve your fly fishing skills right on the water
Join FOGR at the end of the day to “Explore the Grand's Secrets” at th Friends of the Grand's Fundraising Dinner in the evening. (Well, we intend it to be more "fun" than "fund.") Price for tickets for dinner are $35.00 .
A new event this year is Fun Fly Challenge, a light-hearted competition to test your fly-fishing and laughing abilities
There will be events for the whole family, and it will be a good chance to meet other fly fishers.
Look for the famous used-equipment sale, raffle table and games and a women's introduction to fly-fishing course. At our meet-the-reps corner, talk to the guys who distribute the top-line equipment.
We do need some help with this event: working the registration desk, event security, selling raffle tickets, the BBQ and the children's program.
Contact Steve May (519) 741-4176 or Larry McGratton for more information (519) 843-3102.
Dues time is here again
Sorry to bring this up, folks.
The price is the same, and we'll still try to do as much as we can with the buck that you provide.
Our dues fall due on April 1, but we cut people some slack.
Renewal forms are enclosed with the newsletter. And buy a couple of Conservation Fundraising Raffle tickets as well.
Maybe buy two tickets and a membership for $40. What a deal!
If you can get your $25 to us, we'll make it work for you. Please send to:
FOGR'S Involvement in the Conestogo River
A new chapter of FOGR is being formed on the Conestogo River — FOGR: THE CREW PROJECT
What does THE CREW stand for? The C onestogo R iver E nhancement W orkgroup
The group is made up of current and new members of FOGR that would like to work on the Conestogo River with a overlap of all members of FOGR and other partners with like minded goals of bettering rivers in southern Ontario through hands-on work projects.
Last November, MNR, along with GRCA, FOGR, KW Fly Fishers, TU Canada and local municipal representatives stocked the first brown trout into the Conestogo River. Three hundred and fifty adult brown trout (MNR brood stock) were released below the Conestogo Dam.
The summer before last, FOGR did a temperature study on the Conestoga River and found sections below the Conestoga Lake dam were comparable to the Grand. It obviously has some good coldwater inputs in places because of the variation in the temperatures.
The potential is good, and there's lots of energy being generated by a dozen or so hearty souls who have got together to do this work. FOGR has made a donation of $1,000 to help get them off the ground.
Welcome aboard The CREW! For more information on how to get involved on the Conestogo River, contact Brad Norris at (519) 885-2087.•
Tree Plant 2004
Saturday, May 1
The annual tree plant will see 250 trees (3' to 6' in height) planted at Swan Creek.
This is the third year for this area, we have three kilometres stream to work on over the next few years.
The plan is to create a riparian zone between the stream and pasture land.
So if you are not already busy on May 1, come and help out.
All you need is a pair of boots, a shovel and a willing heart to make a difference to your environment.
FOGR will supply lunch and refreshments for all volunteers.
Location : Swan Creek, where it crosses County Rd. 7 (Elora-Guelph Rd.) and Nichol 2nd Line, approximately 2.5 km south of Elora.
For more info, contact Terry Ryckman @ (519) 843-3806.•
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