LAKE KAGAWONG – The Gore Bay Fish and Game Club (GBFGC) released thousands of big, healthy walleye in Lake Kagawong after having raised the fish in their fish hatchery over the past several months.
Ian Anderson, a member of the GBFGC, told the Recorder a total of 4,883 walleye were released into Lake Kagawong on Wednesday of last week. He pointed out when the club received the fish originally for raising, “they were less than 0.4 grams in size (on average), but grew to almost seven grams on average. They were larger than the fish we stocked last year.”
He noted the club had about a 50 percent success rate in raising the fish, having originally received 10,000 fish. “We had some fairly heavy losses of fish the first few days, it took a couple of weeks to turn the fish onto artificial feed. But we had some extremely healthy big fish, bigger than last year’s crop, and we felt this was a successful venture again this year.”
“It was a lot of work to raise the fish and we have a core number of locals that were really instrumental in the success,” said Mr. Anderson. “Dale Jordison and the Blue Jay Creek Fish Culture station deserve a lot of accolades for their support and help with the program with advice, answering questions and supplying the fish that was raised. Wayne Selinger, area biologist for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for his support and enthusiasm again this year, along with Paul Methner’s support and help. We couldn’t do all of this without all their help.”
“It takes an awful lot of time and effort from many people, there is a core local group of people who volunteer for this program for the long-term benefit of the fishery on Manitoulin Island,” said Mr. Anderson. “And we are encouraged with what we have been able to accomplish the past five, six years. We have seen a fairly dramatic increase in the number of walleye that are now being found in Lake Kagawong especially over the past year and a half.” He pointed out that among those that need to be recognized for helping out with this year’s program include, Eric Parsons, Randy Germain, Paul Leclaire, Ches Witty, Dennis Beleger, Bryan Barker, Chris Robinson, Barry Wall, Jeff Orford, Ron Snell and Cheyenne Barnes.
“The collective total volunteer hours put into last year’s program was about 800 hours and the numbers would be similar again this year,” said Mr. Anderson. “To be successful in anything like this takes tremendous commitment on the part of the volunteers and everyone involved and this group we have works very well together.”