Theme: Fisheries Connections

March 4-6, Geneva Park, Orillia, Ontario

The 2005 Annual General Meeting & Conference of the Ontario Chapter  of the American Fisheries Society was held March 4th to 6th at YMCA Geneva Park, on the shore of Lake Couchiching near Orillia. The first AGM for the newly constituted Ontario Chapter saw a change in venue due to the summer 2004 closure of the Leslie M. Frost Centre by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Despite the increased registration fees resulting from the change, attendance was almost 90 and close to last year’s recent high.

Geneva Park

We had a very full program, with 22 oral presentations, 5 posters and a biotelemetry workshop on Sunday afternoon. The theme of Fisheries Connections was well represented with presentations on fisheries management, planning and science frameworks and engaging the public in resource management. The Annual Meeting Program includes all abstracts. Student participation was outstanding, with 8 oral and 2 student poster presentations representing the Universities of Guelph, Waterloo, and Toronto. Also in attendance was a strong student contingent from Fleming College. The high calibre of student presentations made it tough on the judges, which included Dr. W.B. (Bev) Scott. Dr. Scott presented the  E.J. Crossman Award to Erin Dunlop for her presentation titled “Evolutionary changes in harvested populations”, while Nick Lapointe was presented with the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation Award by Jason Barnucz.

In keeping with the Fisheries Connections theme, the business meeting included discussions about the possibility of including an At-large Northern Ontario position on the Executive Committee to improve communications and service to our northern members. Chris Goddard, President of Canadian Aquatic Resources Section (CARS), discussed ways to better integrate Canada into the AFS Parent Society. One option for strengthening CARS would be to include the Ontario Chapter president as a member of the CARS ExComm. The membership was also encouraged to join CARS. Jason Barnucz introduced the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation (OBN). OBN is heavily involved with the B.A.S.S. Parent Society in the United States; they would like to be more involved with fisheries research and are interested in partnering with the Ontario Chapter.

After the business meeting, everyone was ready to socialize. Following a great BBQ chicken & rib dinner, delegates enjoyed the bluesy, rock & roll sounds of The Painted Dogs and caught up with old friends and colleagues. Biotactic Fish & Wildlife generously provided some of the refreshments for the social. Raffle prizes were awarded throughout the evening, including the Grand Prize Raffle draw for the float fishing trip with Past President Dave Green. (Congratulations to  Derek Parks – who seemed very excited to win!).

Delegates were pleased with the new venue – accommodations and food were highly rated, and those from the GTA felt it was convenient to pop up for the day. Generous donations from our sponsors helped to offset the registration fees of students and helped fund the  E.J. Crossman Award. Overall, the meeting was a great success due, in no small part, to the efforts of all the volunteers and speakers.

We would also like to thank the sponsors who provided financial support and/or prizes. They are:

Acres International Ltd., Bass Pro Shops, Brascan Power Corporation – Great Lakes Power, Biosonics Inc, Biotactic Fish & Wildlife, Conservation Foundation of the Hamilton Region, Credit Valley Conservation, EcoMetrix Incorporated, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Friends of the Grand River, Gartner Lee Limited, Golder Associates, Grand River Conservation Authority, Grindstone Angling, Halltech Environmental Inc., Hoskin Scientific Ltd, Lotek Wireless Inc, Lotto Sanitation, Natural Resource Solutions Inc, Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Power Generation, Ontario Waterpower Association, Royal Ontario Museum, Stantec Consulting Ltd, Totten Sims Hubicki Associates, Trout Unlimited Canada, True North Environmental Consultants and Water’s Edge Environmental Solutions.