Theme: Management of Fisheries in the Age of Austerity

February 27-March 1, Geneva Park, Orillia, Ontario

The 2013 Ontario Chapter Annual General Meeting and Conference was held February 27th to March 1st at the YMCA’s Geneva Park in Orillia. The theme this year was “Fisheries Management in the Age of Austerity”. There were 52 registrants (23 of which were students) for the 2-day meeting.

Nineteen talks covered a range of subjects including “The future of fisheries and aquatic ecosystems in Canada” by our keynote speaker, Dr. Steve Cooke, the MNRs discussion of environmental DNA detection to find invasive and endangered species and emerging tools for data collection and education in fisheries. Six students gave oral presentations and it was judged that Lee Gutowsky (Carleton University) gave the best, thus wining the E.J. Crossman Award.  Lee’s presentation was titled “Smartphones and digital tablets: Emerging tools for data collection and education in fisheries”. Alexandra Muhametsafina (Carleton University) was presented with the Ontario B.A.S.S. Nation (OBN) Award for the best student poster. Alexandra’s poster was titled “The fate of dead fish in an urban stream: insights for tracking studies and fish kill investigations”. Abstracts for both presentations can be found within the Annual Meeting Program.

The Business Meeting was held on Thursday afternoon and all present were treated to great discussions about potential future AGM venues, NCD technical committees, membership, as well as ExComm duties and elections, led by President-Elect Ann Rocchi. CARS President Steven Cooke and Student President Lee Gutowsky discussed CARS and Student Subunit activities, respectively.  Lee Gutowsky also announced that Dr. Lynda Corkum from the University of Windsor was the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Mentor Award . Brian Morrison presented Certificates of Appreciation to Past Presidents John Clayton, Dean Fitzgerald and Silvia D’Amelio.

The 2013 AGM marked the first annual AFS-OC ice-fishing derby on beautiful Lake Couchiching, organized by the Student Subunit. Although the ice was thick with slush, more than 20 anglers stayed positive and jigged for perch in a couple of lake habitats including a dropoff and shallow weedbed. Unfortunately those fishing the former came up empty handed, but those covering the shallows managed a couple of nice perch. Congratulations to Sarah Steele for catching her first fish through the ice. Sarah took home a $40 gift card and an ice fishing rod and reel donated by the student subunit. An honorable mention goes to Bill Glass who was runner up in this year’s derby.

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