MNR, local groups stock another 24,000 brown trout in local waterways

The Friends of the Grand and partners and Ministry of Nat­ural Resources (MNR) cele­brated the 20th year of the brown trout tailwater fishery in the Grand River.

The stocking program start­ed in 1989 and brown trout are placed in the  river from the Shand Dam at Lake Belwood, Fergus, and Elora, downstream to the Highway 86 bridge at West Montrose, a distance of approximately 28km.

The stocking program has averaged approximately 24,000 fish per year, totalling over half a million fish over the 20 years.

The Shand Dam was completed in 1942, and the way it was constructed created a cold tailwater fishery. The deep­er waters of the reservoir remain cool even during the heat of summer.

The dam is operated to release the cool water during the summer and that provides the cool water that brown trout require.

The “tailwater” is the water downstream of a dam and this project has taken advantage of the dam to create a brown trout ‘tailwater fishery.”

The real benefit of the program is how it has raised the pro­file of the river within the community, resulting in im­provements to water quality, and the protection of the river and its ecosystem.

“People are more interested in protecting the river when they have an interest in it”, said Ian Hagman, District Manager, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Friends of the Grand River (FOGR) are a local volunteer organization that has been assisting MNR with the annual fish stocking for many years.

The FOGR has been very active, undertaking many pro­jects, such as tree planting, de­veloping access points, edu­ca­tional programs, clean-up days, and River Watch, a program to ensure that people fish legally on the river.