Congratulations to this year’s recipients of the National Recreational Fisheries Awards, which were presented earlier today during a ceremony in Ottawa. Now in its 20th year, the awards program recognizes and celebrates the efforts of individuals or groups working to improve Canada’s recreational fisheries.

Honoured this year were:

  • Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation, New Brunswick
  • Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Implementation Committee, Ontario
  • Hugh Naylor, British Columbia
  • Grant Anderson, British Columbia
  • Ken Franzen, British Columbia

On hand to present the awards was the Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea. “This year’s recipients have all made very important contributions to Canada’s world-renowned recreational fisheries,” a DFO press release quotes Shea as saying. “Our government recognizes that their hard work and commitment to building sustainable fisheries will ensure that Canadians can continue to enjoy this natural resource in years to come.”

Below are the details on the accomplishments of this year’s winners, as provided by the DFO.

Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation (New Brunswick)

The Miramichi Headwaters Salmon Federation (MHSF) has contributed directly to the development of recreational fishing in the Miramichi River basin by helping to protect and improve fish habitat, operating a fish rearing facility, and promoting fish conservation. This organization is actively involved in recreational fishing issues and the development of recreational fishing through campaigns targeting young anglers, support for other groups, and involvement in strategic issues such as stabilization of river banks. With its rearing facility, the MHSF also enables other associations to stock fish and develop the potential of fish populations in various waterways in the area.

Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Implementation Committee (Ontario)

The Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Implementation Committee, made up largely of volunteers, has been working to achieve projects identified in the Grand River Fisheries Management Plan Implementation Strategy to improve the fishery and habitat in the Grand River Watershed. The Management Plan was approved in 1998 and provides direction on how the fishery and the land base that affects it can be managed to benefit future generations. Through its volunteers, this Committee has been able to generate over $4 million worth of programs, projects and activities over the past eight to 10 years. The results of this work have been increased awareness and quality of the fisheries available on the Grand River and many of its tributaries.

Hugh Naylor (British Columbia)

Hugh Naylor has worked for over 30 years to develop fisheries stewardship and volunteer participation in the Pemberton Valley in British Columbia. Mr. Naylor managed the Birkenhead hatchery from 1990-2003, which enhanced both chinook and coho stocks and provided educational opportunities for schools. He delivers the “Salmonids in the Classroom” program for local communities, plans and organizes the annual Birkenhead Salmon Festival, and has worked hard on many projects to conserve and enhance fish populations and their habitat. Through his leadership and work, Mr. Naylor models environmental stewardship and demonstrates the highest level of commitment towards fish and wildlife. He has affected generations of residents of the Pemberton area, instilling them with a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the fisheries resources.

Grant Anderson (British Columbia)

Grant Anderson has dedicated much of his life to salmonid enhancement and to educating North Vancouver Island visitors, residents and other volunteers about the fragile nature of the salmonid resource. His contributions began in 1985 when he started a volunteer hatchery for coho and chum stocks. On the Board of the Northern Vancouver Island Salmonid Enhancement Association, Mr. Anderson supported enhancement, habitat rehabilitation and stock assessment work on a number of watersheds. Most recently, Mr. Anderson and his wife have managed the Marble River hatchery and, with over 100 volunteers, have released 5.6 million chinook and 1.2 million coho fry into the Marble River. All of these efforts have contributed much to the recreational fisheries opportunities on northern Vancouver Island, and to the larger Pacific coast fishery.

Ken Franzen (British Columbia)

Ken Franzen is a tireless worker who has dedicated over 25 years to the conservation of fish and wildlife in British Columbia. He is a long time member of the BC Wildlife Federation and co-chairs the Federation’s Tidal Fisheries Committee. He has also spent over 20 years as a member of the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB), including 10 years as Chair of the North Coast SFAB. Ken has the reputation of being courageous and committed, a quiet leader by example, and of working collaboratively to ensure the future of fisheries resources. He has donated countless hours of volunteer time working with recreational fishers in the Advisory Board process. He has shown his commitment to the principles of sound fisheries management and that providing access to the resource is fundamental to instilling in people the need to conserve and use the fishery resource in a sustainable manner. His other accomplishments include: a lifelong quest to ensure fair and reasonable access for recreational fishers, development of terms of reference for local committees that form the cornerstone of the Advisory Board process, and influencing key policies and priorities for the federal government respecting tidal and non-tidal fisheries in British Columbia.