Conservation partners celebrate two millionth milestone!

Posted on May 18th, 2010

Atlantic salmon restoration effort is enhancing biodiversity in Lake Ontario
In a fitting lead up to The International Day for Biological Diversity on May 22, conservation partners working to “Bring Back the Salmon” to Lake Ontario will stock the ceremonial two millionth Atlantic salmon into the Credit River. The May 20 event will take place at the Belfountain Conservation Area in the village of Belfountain, with the Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, assisting in the release.

Since 2006, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) and the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) have been leading the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program (LOASRP) with the support of more than 50 partners. The goal is to bring the extirpated (locally extinct) Atlantic salmon back to Lake Ontario, where they were once abundant.

“As conservationists, we recognize the value of biodiversity to our lives, so it is fitting that during the International Year of Biodiversity, we are achieving this significant milestone,” said Mike Reader, Executive Director, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. “With the continued support of our partners, we are optimistic that Atlantic salmon will once again thrive in Lake Ontario and its tributaries.”

“Today is a good day for biodiversity, a good day for Atlantic salmon and now we have two million reasons to celebrate,” said Natural Resources Minister Linda Jeffrey. The LOASRP has received major sponsorship from Australia’s Banrock Station Wines, with a $1.25 million commitment over the first phase of the program, and from the LCBO, who have contributed $250,000 over the same time frame.

“Banrock Station Wines is proud to play a role in this important conservation initiative, and with our partners, we are pleased to celebrate the achievement of two million fish released,” said Banrock Station Winemaker Paul Burnett.

“The Atlantic salmon restoration project is the cornerstone of LCBO’s Natural Heritage Fund and part of our broader environmental commitment,” notes LCBO President and CEO Bob Peter. “Today’s milestone shows what can be achieved when conservation organizations, business and government work together.”

Program partners also include the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, Fish For Ever Foundation, Fleming College, Trout Unlimited Canada, Credit Valley Conservation Authority and several other conservation authorities, community groups and private landowners.
Event: Stocking TWO MILLIONTH Atlantic salmon in a Lake Ontario tributary
Date: May 20, 11:00 am – noon
Attending: Honourable Linda Jeffrey, Minister of Natural Resources, major partners, political representatives, and other VIPS
Location: Belfountain Conservation Area, 10 Credit Street, Belfountain (Caledon) [ MAP ]

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 670 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario. For more information about the LOASRP, visit www.bringbackthesalmon.ca or www.ofah.org.
Lezlie Goodwin, Communications Coordinator
705-748-6324 ext 270
(onsite) cell: 705-760-5537  

Terry Quinney, PhD
Provincial Manager, Fish and Wildlife Services
705-748-6324 ext 242

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