Stocking the Saugeen River
with rainbow trout
By Liz Dadson
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Rainbow trout swim around their fish tank at the fish hatchery in Kincardine before being transported in trailers to stock the Saugeen River Sunday morning
About 25 volunteers were up early Sunday morning to help transport rainbow trout from the Kincardine fish hatchery to stock the Saugeen River near Walkerton.
It's a delicate procedure, with 63,000 yearlings put into transportation trailers for the trip.
Working together on the project are the Lake Huron Fishing Club and the Ontario Steelheaders Fishing Club.
"This is our sixth year for releasing rainbow trout into the Saugeen," said Al Wilkins of the Lake Huron Fishing Club. "We get 100,000 eggs from the Steelheaders, raise them over the winter and then release them in the spring.
"Each fish weighs about 50 grams is about eight to 10 inches long."
Four trailers, made out of old milk tanks and equipped with oxygen tanks and aerators, transported the fish to Walkerton for release.
The rainbow trout were manually scooped out of the fish tanks in the hatchery, under significant manpower, and placed in the trailers for transport.
"We can fit about 2,500 fish per trailer, so it takes about 22-23 trips," said Wilkins. "We're releasing them along 50 miles of the South Saugeen."
The Lake Huron Fishing Club continues to release brown trout yearlings in the fall, Wilkins said.
Al Frenette of the Ontario Steelheaders said the club's members are from all over the province but its efforts are centred on the Saugeen River. For more information about the Steelheaders, check the website at www.ontariosteelheaders.ca
"We enjoy good co-operation with the Steelheaders and the Bruce Peninsula Sportsman's Association in our effort to stock the local rivers," said Wilkins.
For the past two years, the Lake Huron Fishing Club has also been involved in a school hatchery program.
Co-ordinator Richard Elliott said it began with a primary class at Hillcrest Central School in Teeswater. The program has now expanded to Sacred Heart School in Teeswater and Sacred Heart High School in Walkerton.
"We give each school 100 Chinook Salmon eggs in November and they hatch them and feed them all winter," said Elliott. "The students then go with us to release them into the Saugeen River."
This year, the fish releases will be held April 30 and
For more information about the school hatchery program, click here.
Al Wilkins of the Lake Huron Fishing Club carries a net of rainbow trout
Anthony Leonard of Kincardine has netted some fish
Kyle Lantz of Hanover is part of the assembly line, carrying the fish
Jim Weir carries fish to the trailer
Alex Rossi, 4, of Fergus, checks out the trailer of fish being prepared for transport to the Saugeen River; his father is a member of the Lake Huron Fishing Club
Cecil Smale of Ripley empties the nets of fish into the trailer
Kevin Lantz of Hanover concentrates on his precious cargo
Mike Hahn of Heidelberg carries a net of fish, while Lake Huron Fishing Club member Ray Walser (L) watches the quick-footed process
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Wednesday, April 25, 2012