• A letter to Santa

    Dear Santa:

    In my travels around Bruce and Grey Counties this year Iíve had a chance to observe a lot of good work being done to help the environment, birds, fish and wild animals. Here is just a partial listing of the jobs being done by good guys and girls, Iím sure your elves have noticed many more.

    The Blue Ridge Sportsmenís Club who hang their stockings in Clarksburg on the Beaver River stocked 1,500 good sized brookies in Beaver River tributaries this year, where they also planted trees 4-8 feet tall. Led by Conservation Chair Ralph Fischer, members Tom McGuire, Ken Holder, Ed Farrer and others were involved in cattle fencing on East Redwing Creek, stream bank stabilization and installing their second wetland wastewater treatment pond to reduce pollution.

    Georgian Triangle Anglerís Association members at Collingwood continue to operate their hatchery raising brown, rainbow and brook trout and working on stream projects with local youth groups. Worth noticing this year Santa, is that the club have obtained their brook trout eggs from wild fish in local streams. Bruce Green, Rick Baldry, Aubrey Sawyer, Bill and Sue Nicholson have been especially good this year, Santa.

    The East Grey Hunters and Anglers deserve attention for several ongoing projects in the Meaford area. Their work on eight miles of Orchard Creek which enters Georgian Bay west of the Bighead river mouth included transporting gravel fill spawning material dredged from the lower Bighead to line the bare clay Orchard creek-bed, installing check dams and erosion control work on two major clay-banks.

    In addition, club leadership has resulted in dredging of the lower river, a yearly clean-up of Bighead riverbanks, tree planting, removing beaver dams throughout the watershed as well as installing Bighead River Scotty boxes containing 30,000 rainbow eggs. Dave Mather did a good job of getting the fish cleaning station into operation this year.

    Sydenham Sportsmenís Association members have continued their conservation projects throughout 2001 and President Richard Manley is assisted by a strong executive of very large elves who received recognition and awards that they earned many times over.

    The Rankin Resource Group, made up of Rankin River watershed stakeholders from conservation clubs, local communities and others, joined together to save and protect this priceless watershed area for the future. Chair Steve Ridley and MNR staffer Craig Todd, Ruth-Anne Carson and at least a dozen directors meet regularly to protect and conserve the plants, fish, birds and animals living in the river and lakes of the system. For all their late night meetings and other work, please make sure there is a present for them under an Isaac Lake tree.

    The Bruce Peninsula Sportsmenís Association is deeply involved with their fish hatchery and other conservation work around the Wiarton area as usual but members are hard to track down for information on specific projects. Ray Marklevitz and Ted Wilford definitely deserve more than a lump of coal in their stockings but seem to be too busy to share details about much of their work.

    The Ontario Steelheaders branch that help lift fish at Dennyís Dam every year are a dedicated and hard-working bunch of mostly silver-haired anglers. The same people maintain Steelheaderís Park on the Saugeen River which provides a secure place to leave your vehicle while you fish. For $2 a day or $20 per year you can enjoy the day without finding your windows broken and tackle stolen when you return. Pete, Rob, Syd, Rich, Doug and the rest of you, thanks for everything.

    The Lake Huron Fishing Club membership is spread from Pike Bay to Point Clark along the Huron shoreline. In Kincardine senior member Keith Blackwell never misses a day at the clubís trout hatchery and others, too many to mention, work hard at club projects too. Al and Joanne Wilkins, Carmen Gazel, Karen Passmore, Gary Beiderman, Len OíConnor, Ken and Denise McClement, and Jim Beange are just a few of those who pitch in at the boat launch, trout and salmon hatcheries and other projects.

    I might hear about other clubs and their projects before Christmas but if not, please throw a few extra toys in your bag for volunteers who you come across on Christmas Eve.

    Grant Ferris
    Grey/Bruce Outdoors
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