The likelihood of reeling in a lake trout from Loughborough is high. The likelihood of catching a trout whose first home is approximately 70 km from the West Basin is extremely high. This is all due to the dedicated efforts of the White Lake Fish Culture Station, one of ten provincial fish hatcheries, in conjunction with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) and their mandate to “... conserve and restore biodiversity and to create, enhance and maintain recreational fishing opportunities” (MNRF printing #62879). While MNRF worked with the White Lake hatchery to supply and distribute trout fingerlings over many years, it’s only been the past five years that the Lake Association and many dedicated volunteers have been actively involved in the process.
This year’s trout stocking event was held under wonderfully sunny skies on Friday May 17th. 15,000 fingerlings, the same as the past few years, were placed in the West Basin by a small but mighty crew of volunteers. For a variety of reasons, we were only able to recruit four boats of nine seasoned veterans instead of the optimal number of seven or eight boats. However, we were fortunate to continue the partnership with the Queen’s University Biology Department Freshwater Fisheries Conservation Lab which supplied three large boats with eighteen enthusiastic students and seven instructors and drivers. All of the trout were healthy and happily swimming in the lake in under two hours.
As an added bonus, Darryn Davis a videographer from Global News/CKWS interviewed Bob Fugler, a BLLA director and strong supporter of the event, one of the Queen’s biology students and Matt Mundell, an angler and long-time volunteer. Videos of the process and the interviews were highlighted on the 6:00 news in a 1:48 minute segment (Global News).
As a few BLLA Directors, MNRF staff, Queen’s University coordinators, and George Bluett (the driver from the White Lake Culture Station who runs the show from the truck) were cleaning up, we were the surprised but most grateful recipients of barbequed hamburgers, juice and water given to us by Rick Laroque who lives by the boat launch on Loughborough Drive. He also volunteered the use of his dock to our group and his driveway for MNRF’s truck and trailer – a true community effort!
Many, many thanks to Rick and all of the volunteers who participated in this worthwhile project. We look forward to working with the team next year!