Terry Campbell’s love of fishing was what first got him interested in volunteering at the North Hastings Community Fish Hatchery. “I also knew a few others and so I got involved,” says Campbell.
The best part about volunteering is that it is a great way to meet other guys who also love to fish. “You hear a lot of stories, some true and sometimes not,” chuckles Campbell. It is a good place to learn tips from other experienced anglers according to Campbell. The social aspect of volunteering is definitely the best thing about it.
On Friday mornings Campbell and other volunteers clean out the tanks, removing extra food and refuse. They feed the fish according to their size. They have to pay particular attention to this and must use a certain protocol for determining the size. They take seven pails, put them on a scale and then add the fish. They count the fish and then using a formula, determine what food they require.
One good thing about volunteering at the Hatchery is that training is provided. “Sometimes there are puzzling situations and it is interesting trying to figure out what is going on,” says Campbell.
Each year eggs have to be collected from specific locations during the first part of October. They are raised for approximately a year and a half until the May of the second year.
Another highpoint of volunteering is when they are ready to stock the lakes. “We just stocked lakes with speckles. We look forward to getting the fish out on their own,” explains Campbell.
The Hatchery is located just east of Bancroft at 140 Hysert Road. Campbell suggests calling one of the directors listed on the website www.fishhatchery.ca if you are interested in becoming a volunteer. During more normal times, anyone interested in volunteering can come out on any Tuesday morning at 9 a.m. to get a closer look at what is involved in participating. Until then, making a call is the best bet.
“I would really recommend volunteering at the Hatchery. Come out and get your hands wet,” says Campbell.