Saturday, January 28, 2017

Lack of volunteers could mean end of the Kincardine Trout Hatchery and the Chantry Chinook Classic Fishing Derby

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The Lake Huron Fishing Club is in desperate need of volunteers. Otherwise, the club will have to close the Rainbow/Brown Trout Hatchery in Kincardine, and will no longer be able to run the Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby in the summer.

Dick Verrips of the fishing club, said that president Phil Hahn has appealed to the membership to assist, noting the urgency and critical need for volunteers, with very little response, to date.

"Without members taking on additional volunteer hours, the hatchery will close, and the Chantry Classic Salmon Derby will cease to exist in the near future," said Verrips. "It will be a sad day to see our sports fishery end in this way."

The hatchery in Kincardine produces rainbow and brown trout for stocking Lake Huron. To date, it has stocked 468,517 trout yearlings, said Verrips. It will stock 60,000 rainbow and 60,000 brown trout yearlings in 2017. The hatchery operates on an average yearly cost of $37,500, money obtained through various grants and fund-raising.

"Al Wilkins, our current Kincardine hatchery manager, is resigning, effective April 10," Verrips said. "Although a number of the manager duties have been assigned to other volunteers, there still remains a critical need for additional volunteers."

Volunteers are needed for the following positions:

Hatchery Co-ordinator: responsible for co-ordinating duties of all hatchery volunteers, liaising with the Lake Huron Fishing Club and Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and monitoring all operations related to fish culture. The co-ordinator will be the contact person for all hatchery inquiries. In order to ensure a smooth transition, the current hatchery co-ordinator will work with the new co-ordinator for up to a year.

Maintenance Handyman: responsible for the overall monitoring and maintenance of equipment.

If interested, contact Wilkins at 519-396-9764 or

The Lake Huron Fishing Club not only operates the trout hatchery in Kincardine and the salmon hatchery in Port Elgin (which has a good contingent of volunteers), it also does the following:

• Provides stream enhancements and environmental improvements
• Assists government agencies on assessments
• Initiates projects at schools
• Hosts the annual Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby

The work of the club relies on thousands of volunteer hours by club members. From time to time, the club will be posting current club activities and programs, and asking interested Facebook members to JOIN US, or VOLUNTEER for a number of specific tasks.

For information on volunteering at the Chantry Chinook Classic Salmon Derby, contact Bert Kuntz at or call 519-389-4203 (home) or 519-502-4043 (cell).

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