From the President’s Desk
It's hard to believe that 10 years have gone by since that first meeting of Friends of the Grand River in January 1995 at the High School. And looking back, we (FOGR) have a lot to be proud of:
And there is so much more.
Yes, we have seen changes to river and the number of people that use it. And, yes, for the most part it is a stocked fishery, but there are wild fish. The million-dollar question is what percentage is wild? Or does it really matter?
In a perfect world it would be great to have a natural, self-sustaining population of trophy brown trout or any species of trout for that matter.
What we should be concentrating on is keeping what we have and improving on that. In 1995-1997, a 20-inch brown was a big deal, today we see fish greater than 25 inches; not bad when you consider we stock fish between 6-8 inches, weighing between 50-70 grams.
FOGR not only sits at the table with the government agencies but is considered a equal partner in this fishery and presents a unified voice to the parties that develop polices and projects affecting the Grand River watershed. FOGR strives to be part of the decision-making process that determines such development.
So, in closing I'd ask that each and everyone of you renew your membership and encourage a friend in becoming a Friend of the Grand River, the future of this wonderful resource is in our hands.
Tight Lines and Best Wishes,
Larry R. McGratton
FUNDRAISING RAFFLE 2006:
A full SAGE Outfit worth $1,150*!
Generous donations of fundraising prizes from SAGE Fly Rods and Bob McKenzie Agencies in the past six years have allowed us to raise over $20,000.00 and heading fast towards $25,000.00 for conservation activities on the Grand, and there have been six 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/light steelhead or light saltwater .
Here's the prize package:
(* suggested retail price, plus applicable taxes, $1150.00CND)
A maximum of 350 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 3, 2006.
Tree Plant 2006
Saturday, May 6, 2006. 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 fifth and final year for this area. We have three kilometres of stream that we have been working on over the last four years.
The plan is to create a riparian zone between the stream and pasture land.
So if you are not already busy on May 6, come and help out.
All you need is a pair of boots, gloves, 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 Wellington County Rd. 7 (Elora-Guelph Rd.) and Nichol 2nd Line, approximately 2.5 km south of Elora.
For more info, contact (who else?) Terry Ryckman @ (519) 843-3806.
Is your club or business looking for a way of getting involved in the Grand River brown trout fishery.
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.
New regs: simplistic approach to complex challenge
We got involved, and you can help too!
Many members of The Friends of the Grand River (FOGR) may be aware of the proposed changes to Ontario's recreational fishing regulations, due to be implemented in 2007 after "consultation" with the public and after federal approval.
Recently published exception lists show the proposed regulation changes do not call for the removal of the special regulations on the Belwood tailwater, so our stretch of the Grand is not affected on the face of it.
The draft regulations may be viewed at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) website:
At it's core, the new management process has the philosophy of simplicity; current regulations zones will be amalgamated, and so-called "species toolkits" will be used to implement similar regulations wherever a species occurs.
For instance, almost all of southwestern and south central Ontario will be in a single Zone 16, and with some exceptions, common regulations, such as seasons and limits, would apply to all of that area for any particular fish species.
The attempt to simplify sport fishing regulations may be a laudable goal, but the result is often unrealistic and not in the best interests of either the anglers or the fisheries resources.
The fact of the matter is that all rivers and all lakes are NOT the same in the proposed Zone 16, anymore than all roadways in Zone 16 are the same.
Would it be rational to have a common speed limit for both Highway 401 and for Queen's Park Circle?
Expert biologists from the OMNR developed the current regulations. Why undo all their effort; wasn't it worth anything?
The public consultation process to date through the Environmental Bill of Rights website has been badly flawed.
Consultation largely has been limited to chatting with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH). Even the web-site-based consultation is complex, daunting and sheer hard work to understand.
Here are a few examples of how the proposed changes could affect recreational fishing in southern Ontario:
In short, we are getting fisheries "management" dictated by government funding constraints, presented as if it were state-of-the-art fisheries science instead of what it is: watered down enforcement and minimal investment in Ontario's recreational fisheries.
The FOGR Board of Directors encourages all members to view the proposed changes at the website addresses listed above, and to submit their comments before 8 April 2006 in writing, quoting EBR listing XB06E6001 and mailed to:
( This article has been severely edited to meet space constraints in our newsletter. Check out the FOGR web site for the full version.)•
Sunday, April 23, 2006
Come join us, find out what FOGR has planned for 200 6 . Have you got some time to volunteer?
Road clean up — April 23, 2006, 9 a.m.
Take a look at the river with only one week ‘ til opening of trout season.
The CREW Corner
CREW is a special projects working group within FOGR, established in 2003 to support the establishment of a brown trout fishery on the Conestogo River, between the Conestogo Dam and St Jacobs.
To date, we have:
2006 SAGE Conservation Rod Draw
Have we got a deal for you! The bigger than big Sage rod draw will be held again this year.
Purchase one rod draw ticket with your membership and receive $5.00 off the price of your 2006 membership. What a deal? Sorry, only one discount is allowed.
Send a cheque in to our post office box (address is on the front page) and just put in a note of what type of membership and how many tickets you'd like. Or use the form below.
No pressure to buy the tickets. Yeah, right! Like you'd pass up on a chance for a Sage VT2 — 9'0”, 6-wt. With reel, line, fly box and flies. Retail value: $1,150.00 and change. If you need more info. Contact: President Larry McGratton at (519) 843-3102.
This lottery is licensed under provincial legislation.
2006 Membership Dues
Despite inflation and a change in government, we kept our prices down. $25 per year for a single member, $35 for family, $20 for seniors and $10 for students under 16. Memberships expire at the ends of April. You will get a membership card in the mail.
Name: _____________________________________ Phone: _______________
Your e-mail address: _____________________________________________
Membership type (circle one):
Rod draw tickets: _____ x $10 = $ _______
Renew your membership, or join FOGR at the same time as purchasing your tickets and recieve a $5 discount on a one-year membership in the Friends of the Grand River.
Total = $ ________
Cheques made payable to:
Friends of the Grand River
So, what do I get for my membership?
Friends of the Grand River is a volunteer-run organization. No paid staff, no business consultants, just a lot of worker bees.
If you join, you get the chance to do some grunt work. If paper and managing is your line, join the board. The burned-out bunch there now will welcome the extra help.
You get a newsletter — sometimes. Sorry about that, but it's a fact of that volunteer thing again. We try hard, but occasionally we slip.
You get representation — on fishery management plan committee, we speak on your behalf when things come up like changes to the fishing regulations.
Friends of the Grand has a voice which is recognized for its candor, honesty and sometimes for being strident. But we get things done. If you are part of that “We” we'll be even stronger. Join now. We want you. It's not an old boys' club. Every member counts.
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