Those dedicated volunteer are helping to keep the tradition alive for future generations, said Minister Keith Ashfield. It's why they were awarded the 2012 National Recreational Fisheries Award on Feb. 28.
“Recreational fishing is a tradition worth preserving and protecting for future generations,” said Ashfield. “Our government is proud to recognize the important role of volunteers and groups like Manitoulin Streams.”
Manitoulin Streams has been recognized for its leading-edge work in stream rehabilitation, said Ed DeBruyn, regional director with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, speaking on behalf of the Minister.
Through the rehabilitation and enhancement of important cold water streams, Manitoulin Streams has created healthy and self-sustaining river ecosystems that contribute to the ecological, economic and social health of Manitoulin Island and surrounding Great Lakes areas.
Work performed by Manitoulin Streams volunteers directly improves and supports the important recreational fisheries resource of Manitoulin Island and Lake Huron.
Manitoulin Streams is a grass-roots organization with a focus on large-scale, community-based efforts to restore aquatic ecosystems, promotion of ecosystem health, and public education.
Since this group’s inception in 2001, volunteers have leveraged more than $2 million in funding and in-kind support towards the rehabilitation of 29 major stream sites and over eight kilometres of streams, rivers and creeks.
Key to the achievements of Manitoulin Streams have been their partnerships with landowners, industry, fish and game clubs and governments, as well as their education efforts aimed at schools, community groups and First Nations on the importance of protecting fish habitat.
Canada’s National Recreational Fisheries Awards were created in 1989 to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals and organizations in areas such as recreational community leadership, restoring and enhancing fisheries and fish habitat or promoting conservation and sustainable recreational fishing.