Stocking of the hatchery raised fish is great, but without spawning beds, nursery habitat for juvenile fish in our streams and rivers, all our efforts would go to waste. With that in mind, our club carries out an extensive stream rehabilitation program.
The stabilization of eroding banks is necessary to stop sediment from covering spawning beds. The narrowing of the stream flow to bring it back to its natural course is important to keep the stream flowing at a proper speed during low water periods in order to maintain tolerable temperatures.
When the Conservation Authority changed the pretty river flood control plan, they forgot about migrating fish. Our club has created a series of channels and small pools to allow migrating fish access to the upper reaches of the Pretty River, in both the spring and the fall.
The Ministry of Natural Resources, Huronia District and Owen Sound District both has seen fit to give our club several awards through the Community Fishery Involvement Program.
These CFIP projects have included bank stabilization, creation of spawning beds, removal of obstructions for migrating fish, low flow channels, and the excavation of a new channel at the mouth of rivers to allow access.
A project the club undertook in 1997 at The “SPOONERS HOLE” on the Pretty River was one of the biggest that was undertaken yet. The stabilization of eroding banks, combined with the ” large log structures” not only fixed the banks, but it also provided habitat for the yearling fish, and protection of migratory fish.
In 2001/2002 we completed two sites on the Pretty River on the Weir property at a cost of about $40,000. Both site were a good success with two main erosion areas stabilized and planted with new growth.
This year in 2003 we will be surpassing the challenge we had in the past with the start of a three year project on the remaining 12 sites on the Pretty River between Popular Side Road and Nottawa. We have received a $75,000 grant over three years from the Trillium Foundation to support this project which is expected to exceed this $25,000 per year estimate. Starting date for this project is July 2003.
A second major project will be undertaken in 2003 with the stabilization of the King property just north of the Popular Side Road. This project is estimated at about $4000 and with the assistance of Dave King and club volunteers this will be completed in the fall of 2003.
In addition to the Trillium grant we have received financial support from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Tatham CC & Associates, Robert Crozier, and other private donations to support our conservation efforts. These along with our fundraisers and volunteer labour we accomplish our efforts. Fundraisers include The Georgian Triangle Spring Trout Derby, The Fish Bowl for Conservation, The August Salmon Derby and our Wild Game Dinner in January.