Monday, January 21, 2008

Should Lake Sturgeon be protected?

I saw an ad in the paper the other day, placed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada - about Lake Sturgeon.
"Fisheries and Oceans Canada is currently considering whether the Lake Sturgeon should be protected under the federal Species at Risk Act. In southern Ontario, this fish is found in the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River system. Populations of Lake Sturgeon in the Great Lakes and tributaries were greatly reduced due to commercial fisheries in the late 1800s or early 1900s, and only remnant populations still exist today. Protecting this fish under the Act will help ensure its continued survival, but may affect fishers, boaters, First Nations, municipal governments and others."

To comment on whether the Lake Sturgeon should be protected by federal legislation, you can contact Pooi-Leng Wong at Fisheries and Oceans Canada:

You don't hear much about the Lake Sturgeon these days. My father was an extraordinary story-teller, and when I was growing up, he used to tell me (over and over) two stories about fishing for Lake Sturgeon - one about the one he caught and the other about the one that got away. They were dramatic fishing stories that were so vivid when he told them, I would listen wide eyed. Somewhere, we have an old family photo of my father with a very dead sturgeon and my big brother when he was a little tyke. I don't know how many times my dad would say, "he was 57 pounds and 57 inches". He would point at my brother and say, "he was bigger than you, and better looking too", and everyone would laugh, even though they had heard his cornball humour and the same story a thousand times.

My father fished for Lake Sturgeon in a pool in the Nottawasaga River we used to call the Whirlpool, just above Montgomeries Rapids. He showed me the spot so many times. "The sturgeon hold in here in the spring, son", he'd say, and he'd launch into another version of story 1 or story 2. "Hey son, did I ever tell you about the day I hooked into an 8 foot sturgeon on a fly rod?".

I have no idea if the sturgeon still hold in the whirlpool above Montgomeries in the spring, or if their numbers are the same or less than those days, when he was a young man who loved to chase fish. I do know that when I read the ad in the paper, I thought about my father and that river, and the stories about the sturgeon that he's not around to tell any more.

I think we'd better do everything we can to protect those sturgeon, don't you?


Anonymous said...

wasn't that a gold Williams Wobbler with 6 red wigglers?

sp said...

The lake should be protected. While I'm not very trusting of the D. of Fisheries and Oceans, if they think the lake should be protected then that probably means it already should have been looked after by now.

mister anchovy said...

I'm sure that it was that combo in at least one version of the story, east texas. I love the version where he has the 8 foot sturgeon on the surface, 3 feet from him and the line parts....

Gardenia said...

I am always for protecting species - because when they are gone, they are gone forever. The ecosystem works together and when one thing goes it affects the earth and of course its inhabitants - us.

In your case, again, of course. Such a precious childhood memory - would be nice if you could return to that place any time you want and land an eight footer! :)

Wandering Coyote said...

There is an endangered sturgeon here in BC and not too long ago one was killed near Brilliant Dam in Castlegar accidentally by the company who's doing blasting around the dam. There was a huge to-do about it, even though it was legitimately an accident. The company had to go through a restorative justice program that involved sitting down with native elders and a few other things. Yet, when a bear gets killed by an idiot - NADA.