WSU News

Mar 29/20
A well overdue update


Well, I will apologize upfront for my tardiness in providing an update.  There were some technical issues when I first attempted to do this, then life got in the way.

We did have a Board of Director's meeting on Jan.24, 2020 at which I updated folks on the RFAC meeting that was held at the Margaree Fire Hall just prior to the meeting..  At that meeting some interesting information was provided by Rene Aucoin with respect to water temperatures in the Cheticamp river being influenced by surface water from Cheticamp lake.  

I proposed to the DFO officials present that their organization should perhaps consider a pilot project utilizing a selected river for a "put and take" recreational fishery.   They thought it a novel idea and would bring it back to senior management.  We'll see.  I also mentioned that DFO was in opposition to hatcheries and questioned how Atlantic salmon stocks would be brought back to 1975 levels without the judicious use of hatcheries in some form.  Added to that, I suggested that ASF seems to be the default organization for media to report on Atlantic salmon issues and since they are a strictly hook and release organization perhaps their stature should be challenged in that area.. I don't think the ASF represents the voice of all Atlantic salmon anglers.

Darryl Murrant from NS Fisheries and Aquaculture was invited and attended the meeting.  Darryl indicated there was a possibility that there could be some support by DFO to carry out some wild smolt to adult rearing on a river, or rivers, in NS and wondered whether WSU could provide some funding. It was agreed by the board to provide $20, 000 for this initiative.  Unfortunately, a week or so later, Darryl informed us that approval could not be obtained from DFO and the money was not utilized.  Darryl also indicated a group, "The Port Morien Wildlife Association"(PMWA) were looking for some funds to help with a new aquarium that would be utilized in their Fish Friends program.  The board approved a maximum of $2000 for this purpose.  Jeff McNeil, president of the  PMWA quickly got things underway and within a few days the aquarium was up and functioning.  He had placed a large WSU logo on the front of the unit.  He was very enthusiastic about the whole process and invited members of the Board to come and have a look. Jeff was told we would go there and photograph the unit at a later date.

Chuck Thompson informed everyone about a new organization that maybe getting started in PEI spear-headed by Alan Ledgerwood.  We will follow this closely as they've asked for our support.

Finally, I left the room and turned the meeting over to Chuck Thompson to discuss the idea of donating money to the Margaree Salmon Museum.  It was moved by the Board to donate $8000 to the museum to be used for work being done in calendar year 2020.  The Board felt the museum is an excellent venue to educate, not only fisher fold, but also members of the public about fly fishing and conservation, particularly, on the Margaree River.  To continue to do this the museum is in desperate need of support.

Subsequent to the meeting information provided by Bob Shortt and Darryl Murrant about an organization called the North Colchester River Restoration Association (NCRRA) that wants to do some work on the Waugh river was provided.  I've asked both Bob and Darryl to ask the group to provide a written proposal for discussion by our Board.  Bob indicated he has done that and we await their response.

In the meantime, with this Covid-19 situation upon us, we'll attempt to have an online meeting.  

That's it for now.