We had our second birthday October past and although it may seem like we have not done much we truly have been working hard for wild Atlantic salmon. It seems, though, that the bureaucratic obstacles hampering our efforts to help them keep increasing day by day. However, we are not easily discouraged. We shall prevail.
Thankfully, we have the backing of some wonderful people to help us help salmon. Problem is it takes a long time to get the various ducks in order to see concrete results. We are getting there.
Recently, one of our affiliates, the Richmond County Wildlife Association, received permission to move ahead, on the Grand River, with the collection of kelts to be rejuvenated. Unfortunately, Mother Nature has put a twist in the rope and they have been unable to see, not alone, catch kelts. Now it is back to getting DFO’s permission to extend the license period. At the time of this writing, it has not been received.
In mid-May, Wild Salmon Unlimited approved a plan and granted funding to another of our affiliates, the Inverness South Wildlife Association, to carry out habitat work on the Graham’s river, in preparation for the acceptance of smolts.
These two organizations deserve our sincerest thanks for their undying efforts in spite of the hard work and frustrations they encounter at times.
Once again, this year the Pieorway Rod Company has kindly donated two beautiful salmon rods to help us raise some money. Tickets on the rods were well received at the Sydney Mines Sport show and they will be available at our annual general meeting (AGM) on June 18, 2016. It will be held at 13:00 at St. Patrick’s Hall, NE Margaree, NS. Ticket prices are $3.00 each or two for $5.00.
Some good news on the fundraising front is that we have received charitable status so when you pay your membership your fee will now be tax deductible. And, finally, we have just completed an update to our website: wildsalmonunlimited.com John Stinson, your secretary, and I will be trained to post information to the site very soon.
So, come out to your AGM renew your membership, buy some tickets, give us your opinions and enjoy the refreshments.
From President Bob:
Where did the year go? It seems like I just finished reminding you of our AGM but that was 2015. Time waits for no man, not even me. Anyway, before I forget, this year’s AGM will be held in the same place. Our editor has outlined the details in his editorial.
Your Board of Directors has been busy during the year meeting with government officials both Federal and Provincial. Both the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and NS Fisheries and Aquaculture were represented at a meeting in Pictou in early spring. The topic of discussion was our plan, in partnership with the Richmond Wildlife Association, to collect kelts from the Grand River in Cape Breton, rejuvenate and spawn them with the intention of eventually putting their smolts back in the river. The DFO officials were difficult to convince, however, about a month later the Richmond group received a license to proceed. Unfortunately, it appears the kelts had other intentions and as of this message, none have been caught or even seen. Cliff Boudreau of the group has been carrying the load on this and our hats are off to him. He has contacted the DFO with a request to extend the license. Hopefully, we will get some kelts soon.
Just recently WSU has given funding approval to the Inverness South Wildlife Association to carry out some preparatory and enhancement work on the Graham’s river in Mabou. This work will enable the river to better accommodate the introduction of smolts in the near future.
Unfortunately, again this year, we were unsuccessful in garnering funding from the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation. However, our generous benefactor, who wishes to remain anonymous, has come through again with a considerable donation that allows us to proceed with our programs. Many thanks to our donor and to Joel Robinson our liaison person for his work in this area.
I have personally been banging on doors, mostly in the Halifax area, in search of funding for our goals. Although I do not have anything definitive, yet things are looking up. Lowell Weir, our fundraising chair, has also been hard at work searching out funds and recently he has been very optimistic about his chances from a couple of large institutions. Stay tuned. Lowell, as you know by now, has been successful in getting WSU its charitable status. He deserves both our thanks and congratulations.
In closing, I thank all of our Board members, our affiliate members and members at large for their work and support over the past year. Together we can accomplish more than doing it alone. Come out to the AGM give us your input, take a chance on winning a new rod, enjoy some goodies and pay your membership at the same time. Remember, this year it’s tax deductible. See you there.
Meetings with officials:
Several members of your board of directors, along with representatives of the Richmond County Wildlife Association, met with officials from DFO and the NS Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Inland Division, in early March to discuss the possibility of catching kelts from the Grand River for rejuvenation. Permission was granted in early April. We await results or that initiative. The Margaree Hatchery manager attended the meeting and insured us that he would help us where he could in our endeavours.
As indicated earlier in the editorial we now are a charitable society. I checked with the Canadian Revenue Agency to insure our membership fees were tax deductible. It was confirmed. Lowell Weir our fundraising chairman did a ton of work on this file and he deserves our sincere gratitude. Thank you Lowell.
We are indeed indebted to our anonymous donor who has, once again in 2016, provided us with a significant sum of money to carry out our mandate. Heartfelt thanks goes to our donor and to Joel Robinson, our treasurer, for his efforts in continuing the dialogue with our benefactor and keeping all of us informed.
Out and about.
We continue to inform other organizations of our objectives and progress. Due to its proximity, we connect with the Margaree Salmon Association quite often and last fall received a letter of support from their President, Mr. Lester Wood. Our plan was to launch province-wide information sessions with our affiliates and other salmon conservation groups but due to the progress on our two projects, we were unable to carry through. We will be rejuvenating our plan in late summer.
A couple of Board members, including President Bob, attended dinner/auctions held by the Margaree Salmon Association and our affiliates, LaHave and Cobequid Associations. What they take away from these well-attended and successful dinners is that people do not give up on saving our Atlantic salmon and despite, LaHave and Cobequid having few fish in their rivers they continue to fight for their survival despite the odds.
Sydney Mines Sports Show:
Once again, this year, some of our Board members attended the annual Sydney Mines Sports Show. They did a great job selling in excess of 600 tickets on the Pieroway Rods kindly donated by Mr. Geoff Pieroway, president of the company. This show, sponsored by the Sydney Mines Fire Department, was well−attended and the volunteers were extremely helpful to exhibitors.
At the annual meeting, and on our website, you will notice that our regular membership fee is now $30.00. In addition, as mentioned earlier, it is now tax deductible. If you have not already done so, please remit your membership fee at the AGM.
|President: Bob Shortt
||Vice-Pres: Pat Wall
|Secretary: John Stinson
||Treasurer: Joel Robinson
WSU Board of Directors:
||Lowell Weir (Fundraising chair)
||Leonard Forsyth (Scientific chair)
|Jim Dustin (Scientific advisor)
|Justin Murray (Membership)
|Colin Murray (Social media)