The Aurora Bassmasters are thrilled to announce that they have just won three prestigious Conservation Awards. The first one is the Spring Fishing & Boat Show’s Conservation Project of the Year Award for 2012. The award is for the club’s “Scanlon Creek Adopt A Stream Project.” This saw members volunteer to work with Ontario Streams and the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority to naturalize the stream and surrounding wetland at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area, located just north of Bradford in the Lake Simcoe watershed.
David Meadows, president of the club said, “We planted over $10,000 worth of wetland seed mix that helped restore degraded shoreline and wetland habitat. When we returned a couple of months later to work on mapping the stream – the evidence of our work was overwhelming. The entire area that was barren of any vegetation when we planted was now lush and green with a stunning variety of native aquatic and terrestrial plants”.
Vita Pallotta of the Spring Fishing Show told the club, “We had several great submissions this year that were all judged by the Canadian Angler Hall of Fame alumni and your Scanlon Creek Project definitely stood out as a clear winner. We congratulate you on this award and we enjoyed making the official presentation at the Industry Breakfast Friday, February 15, 2013, the morning of opening day of the Spring Fishing & Boat Show at the International Centre in Mississauga”. It was at this breakfast that fishing show host Bob Izumi presented Wil Wegman of the Aurora Bassmasters a $1,000 check for winning the Conservation Award. “These funds will go a long way to buy materials for our conservation projects,” said Wegman.
The second award that the club has just won- was the 2012 Ontario BASS Nation Conservation Award. This is presented to the club with the most meaningful conservation projects carried out in any given year. Each of the 21 Bassmaster clubs across Ontario are eligible to submit their projects for this award. (Projects shown below.) The Aurora Bassmasters tied with the Georgian Bay Bassmasters for this award based on all the projects the two clubs have done. The Ontario BASS Nation clubs are all mandated to complete at least one conservation project annually and all Conservation Directors for the 21 clubs vote for the winner of this award.
Finally, the third award is called the Berkley 2012 Conservation Award. This award is open to any of the Bassmaster Clubs within the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society’s (B.A.S.S.) Bass Nation Program across the US and Canada. There are 47 BASS Nations across the US representing 47 different US States, plus Ontario. All have several Bassmaster clubs under their umbrella. The award comes with a $2,000 cash prize for the Aurora Bassmasters. This award will be presented at the 2013 Bassmaster Classic in Tulsa, at a B.A.S.S. Conservation luncheon, on February 23. In the short six or seven year history of this ward, Ontario Bass Nation Clubs have won this award more than any other state/BASS Nation. It’s the 2nd time the Aurora Club has won which lead Noreen Clough – the National Conservation Director at BASS in the US to comment, “ The Aurora Bassmasters always put together an impressive presentation of their equally impressive conservation achievements and are to be highly commended for the outstanding work they do for the conservation of bass and perpetuation of bass fishing in Ontario!”
Winner of the 2012 Berkley Conservation award is the Aurora Bassmasters, Ontario, Canada B.A.S.S. Nation, for their 2012 slate of Conservation projects:
} Adopt A Stream Project – Scanlon Creek – as above
} Adopt A Road – Queensville: –An annual earth week event where club volunteers pick up garbage along 4 km of roadway (both sides)
} Lake Simcoe Wild Rice Restoration Project: A project with multiple partners to try and restore native wild rice beds to Lake Simcoe
} Lake Simcoe Fishing Line Recycle Depots: The goal of this project is to collect used fishing line at popular fishing areas around Lake Simcoe. The line will be collected and then recycled by Berkley Pure Fishing
} Lake Simcoe VHS Campaign: A pro-active media campaign to prevent the unwanted transfer of Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia from Lake Simcoe (and other infected waters) to other waterbodies.
} Lake Simcoe Bass Tagging Research Project: Although this five year project is now complete, tagged bass are still being reported by anglers and data still collected. The club continued to distribute “Catch and Call- You Can Help Us All” signs at popular access points around Lake Simcoe.
Courtesy of Wil Wegman, Aurora Bassmasters Conservation Director
To read about some of these award-winning projects, see Wil Wegman's Hooked on Fishing column in the May-June issue of Lake Simcoe Living Magazine.