From the Presidentís Desk
At long last!. The tailwater fishery management plan is reality.
Big deal, you say. Well, it really is a good-sized deal. We’ve been working on it for a number of years. It gives us and the Grand’s fisheries managers direction for the next five years.
At the end of that period, there will be a review, a chance to look back, see what we’ve done, pick out what we’ve done wrong and what still needs to be done, and assemble a new plan for the next five years.
Be proud of the role played by FOGR in the plan-making. The Grand is one of the few rivers to have a distinct fishery plan, and we know of no other river in Ontario that has a similar tailwater plan.
Copies of the plan will be available from the GRCA web site in the near future. A few hard copies are in circulation.
Get your tickets here! Once again, Sage had supported FOGR by supplying one of their new line of rods: a 7” 10”, 4-wt. TLX — fifth generation high-modulus graphite. Once we sell these tickets, and they’ll go OK, Sage, Ontario’s Sage dealers and Bob McKenzie Agencies will have been instrumental in adding $20,000+ to FOGR’s coffers. Now that’s support for conservation.
We’ve said all along that we don’t endorse products or retailers and suppliers. But we know who are friends are.
As always, we will be bouncing from one crisis to the next this spring. It’s always the silly season. We have lots of projects in a short period between the weather warming and vacations starting. Help out if you can. If you come out to get your boots wet during fish stocking and to dirty them up planting trees, say “Hi!”
Look inside for details on the CREW project Committee.
Keep in mind that Grand Opportunities is coming up on June 4. It’s always a fun day and doesn’t take you away from the stream for too long. We guarantee that the seminars will be as good as ever, and the hamburgers will be available as always. However, I do recommend the banquet in the evening. Catered by the Breadalbane Inn in Fergus, it is a fun night. No heavy fundraising, just good company, good food and a pleasant evening with friends. All the best now, and have a good fishing season.
Tight Lines and Best Wishes,
Larry R. McGratton
“I saw the sign, did you see the sign?”
Like magic they appeared on a number of county roads. The signs are about the same size as a speed limit sign. What stands out as you’re driving is the silhouette of a fish, a real fish, not one of those Pac-man stylized things.
The Wellington County Stewardship Council is behind the habitat identification program. FOGR secretary John Dadds, then a member of the Council stole the idea from the West Coast. He’d seen similar signs on salmon rivers in British Columbia and across the border in Washington state.
Drew Cherry, another FOGR member and Council member, and Steve May, also an FOGR member and then the assistant stewardship co-ordinator with MNR, did all the work involved — many meetings with the county, designing the sign and arranging for them to be installed.
You’ll see the signs up and down Wellington county, not just around the Grand River and its tributaries. In fact, the County of Wellington is a supporter because they waived their hefty fee to place signs like this our on their roads.
The signs are not intended to identify the good fishing spots, in fact a statement on the sign advises people to respect private property.
One of the events that prompted the campaign to get the signs in place was a minor fish kill a few years back on the Irvine River in Elora when a resident drew down their backyard swimming pool in the fall and dumped the water down the street.
The heavily chlorinated water quickly found its way through the storm drains into the Irvine where a few non-game fish succumbed before dilution removed the sting.
One of the directions in the new tailwater fisheries management plan is to establish a Yellow Fish Road program in Fergus and Elora. That will have a similar effect as the rural roadside signs.
Trout Unlimited’s YFR efforts sees yellow fish painted on curbs of residential streets near storm drains as a reminder that what goes down them ends up in the river. Usually it is a youth group that takes up the challenge of doing the painting and informing neighbours about what they’re doing.
If you get a chance to pass this idea on, it would be nice to see it picked up and use elsewhere.
You may have noticed no date given for fish stocking in the Dates to Remember section.
Get your name on the list if you can help. It is always an interesting opportunity to see some new bits of the river and meet some like minded individuals. Email the FOGR.
Grand River Access
The new steel access stairs at 2nd West Garafraxa and Blondie's Launch are installed just in time for opening day A work party to get the access points into shape prior to open day is being put together. If you are interested in help out or would like more information contact Terry Ryckman (519) 843-3806.
Grand River Clean-up
Once river levels drop back to normal flows a river clean–up project will be organized this year, the area will be determent at that time. If you are interested in this project contact Larry McGratton (519) 843-3102.
Grand River Dinner
The first ever Grand River Fisheries Implementation Committee Dinner is be organized for January 25, 2006
Kids Fishing Day (Belwood Lake)
Friends of the Grand River is one of several partners involved with this event to get kids involved with fishing. This event will take place on May 15 and is open to kids between 9 and 14 years of age. The event will feature free fishing seminars, a BBQ lunch and prizes. Participants must pre-register by calling or e-mailing Derek Strub at Belwood Lake CA. (519) 843-2979 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There will be a morning and afternoon session and they will fill quickly! A PDF brochure for this event will be available on the GRCA web site (www.grandriver.ca) or the FOGR web site. Friends of the Grand will also be helping with the BBQ and a fly-tying station so if you can help, contact Steve May (519)886-0491 or email@example.com.
A special event hosted by Friends of the Grand River and Belwood Lake Conservation Area “Grand Opps” is now entering its 11th year. This Fly Fishing Forum has grown into one of the highlights of the fly fishing season for Grand River anglers.
Grand Opportunities provides a great venue for you to learn about fly fishing, meet top fly anglers, trade in some old equipment or help support FOGR’s conservation efforts.
There are fun and games, used equipment for sale and a BBQ for lunch. Kids can enjoy tying flies and fishing the stocked trout pond. There is even an evening dinner so you don’t have to go home and cook after a great day meeting new and old fly fishing friends.
The unique format of the sessions offered allows people to learn about the sport from some of the best anglers in the region.
The used equipment sale is always popular and raises money for FOGR projects. There are also many raffles and games where you can win great prizes. Make sure you bring some play money as it all goes to a good cause. The Fun Fly Challenge is another aspect of this day that you can get involved with.
There is always something for members to help out with at this event and it is this crew of volunteers that makes Grand Opportunities the event that it is.
If you would like to help out with a part of this day call Steve May at (519) 886-0491. There are many fun tasks that you could do to help keep this event the success that it has been over the past several years.
If you would like to find out more about the event check out the Web site for the poster and brochure that are available and remember to circle June 4 on your calendar so you can take part in Grand Opportunities.
Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Show
Friends of the Grand River are going to have a display at the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Show on the weekend of April 9&10 2005, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The show venue for 2005 is Holiday Inn Burlington, Ont.
Guelph Line south of the QEW.
Saturday, May 7, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The annual tree plant will see 250 trees (3’ to 6’ in height) planted at Swan Creek. This is the fourth 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 7, 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.
Location: Swan Creek, where it crosses County Rd. 7 (Elora-Guelph Rd.) and Nichol 2nd Line, approximately 2.5 km south
For more information contact Terry Ryckman @ (519) 843-3806.
RIVER WATCH Reinstated!
Have you seen the New River Watch? The River Watch program is back, although it never really left.
River Watch will co-operate with the Ministry of Natural Resource as a volunteer base of interested members from Friends of the Grand River. The River Watch program will initiate an on river presence to educate and promote the specially regulated tailwater sections of the river.
Josh Jagelewski has volunteered to be the FOGR River Watch coordinator; Josh has a background in
This is a NON-CONFRONTATIONAL / NON-ENFORCEMENT program.
Be a part of the River Watch program to “Preserve today’s resources for tomorrow”
Attend the River Watch Information Meeting on
For more information contact
Saturday, April 23, 2005
Friends of the Grand River recognized by Wellington County Council and the Citizens of Wellington.
FOGR Adopt-a-Road Program
Dear Mr. McGratton
On behalf of Wellington County Council and the Citizens of Wellington County it is my pleasure to extend our sincere thank you to you and the members of the Friends of the Grand River for a job well done!
We look forward to presenting your group with a certificate of appreciation at the County Council meeting on April 28, 2005
THE C.R.E.W. REPORT
This column is an update on what’s been happening with CREW & FOGR.
The project committee has had several meetings and met as well with Friends of the Grand River. These discussions have ultimately led us to an understanding of who we are.
When the CREW members sat around the table some 14 to 16 months ago we realized we needed to form a group of some sort to work on the Conestogo River. The desire and need to give something back to this river was second to none.
The two choices were Friends of the Grand River and Trout Unlimited. As you are aware, we chose Friends of the Grand River.
We at this time do not and can not have individuality within this partnership. We can not because the Friends of the Grand River has charitable status and can’t allow anything to jeopardize that. We also, because of the times we live in, will require insurance, which would be very expensive for us, and thus we would not survive.
So in a nutshell, CREW is a river-focused project within Friends of the Grand River and its members are full FOGR members, receiving the standard benefits of FOGR membership, including newsletter and insurance coverage. No separate bylaws or constitution are needed for a project, So the Crew project committee can devote all our energies to working on the Conestogo River.
Funds raised for work on the Conestogo projects will be part of the Crew project budget, but will go through FOGR, as is the case for other projects in the organization. Also like other projects, the CREW project committee can apply for project funds and equipment through the FOGR Board of Directors, and other FOGR members will lend a hand with projects on the Conestogo.
We are always on the lookout for projects, so keep this in mind when you are on the river. The CREW project committee will always look at any proposals brought forward. Proposal ideas are not limited to fishing alone. The CREW project committee aim is to benefit all who use the river for any recreational activity, so bring your ideas forward.
Conestogo River Projects For 2005
At this time these are the projects at hand:
What We Accomplished in 2004
To everyone give yourselves a pat on the back for all your efforts in our first year on the Conestogo River. We made great progress and I’m sure it will continue in years to come. What we achieved this year. I apologize if I have missed any.
Dates to remember
Conestogo Access point cleanups: Saturday, April 16
Conestogo Tree plant
A word to the wise:
Free Door Prize: Hand crafted landing net by Chris Mouriopoulos
Wellington Terrace Home for the Aged
SAGE Conservation Rod Draw
2005 Membership Dues
We’d feel much better if you renewed your FOGR Membership if you haven’t already done so. $25 per year for a single, $35 for family, $20 for seniors and $10 for students under 16. Memberships expire at the end of April. If you’ve already done, a big thank you. You will get a membership card in the mail.
Name: _____________________________________ Phone: _______________
Membership type (circle one):
E-mail address: _____________________________________________
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