Connecting Lake Simcoe's Community

Bikes for Cuba needs help in supporting young competitive cyclists in Cuba by making equipment donations.
Or, if you are visiting the Holguin / Guardalavaca area, you can help by transporting donated racing bikes and gear during your next Cuban holiday! The shipping cost is paid by Bikes for Cuba — all you have to do is take the bike with you.
Canadians took more than 30 bikes to youths in Banes in 2010.
In 2011, the goal is to take 100 bikes to young cyclists in Holguin!
For more information, photos of the young riders with their new bikes and stories from people who have transported bikes, go to

Despite almost constant rain and miserable fishing conditions, 78 teams competed in the first annual Perchin for MS Fundraiser Perch Fishing Tournament on Saturday, March 5, at Sibbald Point Provincial Park.

“I was completely flabbergasted that so many anglers came out to fish this event,” said host and organizer Doug Poirier.  “These anglers all heard the same weather forecasts we did — and all knew the rains were coming. They decided to fish anyway and although they got wet, they did not let the rain dampen their spirits."

Each team paid a $40 entry fee: half went toward the Muscular Sclerosis Walk in their name, and the other half went toward cash awards. The 10 heaviest perch would win the tournament. There was also a separate BIG Fish Pot that anglers could enter for $5 each.

At 8 a.m., all anglers took off from the newly renovated public launch area at Sibbald Point. They could fish anywhere within the 1.5 to two-kilometre designated zone, which was well marked with orange pylons.

Some elected to stay in one area and capitalize on the roaming abundant perch found within most of the zone. Others, like the eventual winners, Wil Wegman and his son Izaak, of Bradford, used their cross sleds to traverse within the zone to upgrade their catch.

“We had our 10 perch within 20 minutes or so, but then the trick was to try to find the jumbos that Simcoe is famous for," Izaak said. "We elected to move around a lot, and hope for a bigger fish here and there to upgrade. We found HT Marmooska jigs were most productive in the morning but by afternoon we switched to HT dropper spoons to get our fish.” The father-son team weighed in with 5.78 pounds of perch for their win.

Winning team member Wil Wegman writes Lake Simcoe Living's Hooked on Fishing column and hosts Lake Simcoe Living's Hooked on Fishing show on LSLTV. (Click on the LSLTV logo on the Home Page at

The biggest single fish of the event was caught by Brad Jamieson, who landed a beautiful 1.2-lb, 13-inch perch. Jamieson won a taxidermy replica mount of his fish, to be done by Advanced Taxidermy and Wildlife Designs.

Although most anglers who fished the MS Perch Fundraiser were from the Greater Toronto Area, others came from Owen Sound and Niagara in the west to Muskoka and Haliburton in the north and east to Ottawa. There were even some anglers from the U.S. Many were hard-core competitive anglers who look for competitions such as this to test their skills.  Others were recreational ice anglers who enjoy meeting others in a fun-filled event where proceeds go to a worthwhile cause.

The fundraiser was supported by a large number of prizes from company and individual sponsors.


The MS Connection:

Poirier started the Perchin for MS event to promote education and awareness around MS. As an avid angler and conservation officer who lives with MS, Poirier knows firsthand about its limitations, but says that unless you have a friend or relative with it, people seldom have a good understanding of the disease. “The goal of the event was also to raise a bit of money for MS and I am pleased to announce that thanks to some generous monetary donations we raised almost $4,000 that will go directly to the MS Society of Canada,” Poirier said.


TOP EIGHT ... and their weight 

1. Team Wegman - Wil and Izaak Wegman, Bradford - 5.785 lb - $500 cash & 2 Fish TV Cameras

2. Team VR - David Hamilton and Mike L., Sutton - 5.170 lb - $500 Cash

3. Team Northenders - Richard Colangelo - 4.885 lb - $300 Cash

4. Team Malaguti - Paul  Malaguti, Peterborough, and Matt McNeice, Barrie - 4.345 lb - 2 Clam Kanai Fish Trap portable huts

5. Team Dean Mizmo - Kelly Dean, Keswick  - 4.185 lb - $200 cash

6. Team Killoran/Taylor - Justin Killoran and Ryan Taylor, both from Willow Beach - 3.955 lb - 2 Eagle Portable Fish Finders

7. Team Perch Masters - Gary Kernohan, Minden, and Brad Jamieson, Bradford - 3.780 lb - 2 Mustang Survival Suits

8. Team Double "V" - Paul Valeriote and Mike Valeriote, Elmira - 3.775 lb - Pick from the prize table


Doug Poirier (centre) with winning father-and-son team Wil and Izaak Wegman.

Prizes For All:

Other top prizes included local fish hut rentals for the day with fish fryers and luncheons at the Briars Resort and Spa.  All other teams were given the opportunity to pick a prize from the prize table, and everyone walked away with a prize!


Team Poirier, consisting of Doug and his entire family, would like to thank all the participants, volunteers and companies and individuals for their generous contributions to make the 1st Annual Perchin’ for MS Event such a resounding success. For more information or to support next year’s event, please contact Doug Poirier at: 
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Spring is quickly approaching and with the warmer temperatures, everyone looks forward to getting outdoors.

However, the warmer temperatures also bring rain, melting snow and ice, which can contribute to higher, faster flowing water in our waterways.

In addition, slippery and unstable stream banks and extremely cold water temperatures can lead to very hazardous conditions close to any water body.

The Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority reminds residents and visitors to the Lake Simcoe Watershed of the dangers that exist near streams, rivers, ponds and lakes around this time of year.

Keep your family and pets away from any water’s edge and help make this a safe and enjoyable spring.

For more information, contact a conservation authority:

• Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority   905-895-1281

• Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority    705-424-1479

• Kawartha Conservation   705-328-2271 or 1-800-668-5722

• Conservation Halton    905-336-1158

• Credit Valley Conservation    905-670-1615

• Toronto & Region Conservation Authority   416-661-6514

• Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority    905-579-0411

• Ganaraska Region Conservation Authority   905-885-8173

A memorial tree program that focuses on reforestation efforts on the Lake Simcoe Watershed has been announced by the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, in partnership with the McClelland & Slessor Funeral Home in Barrie and the Innisfil Funeral Home in Stroud.

The funeral homes are operated by Simon Slessor and Stuart Clark.

“The LSCF is very excited about our new partnership with the McClelland & Slessor and Innisfil Funeral Homes,” says Cheryl Taylor, executive director of the LSCF. “This partnership demonstrates Mr. Slessor's and Mr. Clark’s environmental commitment to our community, ensures the continued growth and enhancement of one of our most precious resources and will honour the lives of friends and family.”

For each family they have served, Slessor and Clark will make a donation to the LSCF in support of restoration projects being carried out by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority.

In addition, a McClelland & Slessor Memorial Grove is being established at the Luck Conservation Area in Innisfil. Each year, one large tree will be planted in honour of the families the funeral homes have served. Families will also have the opportunity to purchase their own individual memorial tree to be planted in the grove.

"We have participated in a tree planting program for several years, but we have had reservations because the plantings were not local,” says Clark, funeral director at McClelland & Slessor. “When Ms. Taylor approached us with this wonderful community-focused option, it was an easy decision for us. The families we serve have local roots and so should the trees that we plant. We look forward to a long and positive partnership with the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation.”

Later this year, there will be a dedication service at the McClelland & Slessor Memorial Grove. The service will be open to all who wish to attend. For more information please contact McClelland & Slessor Funeral Home in Barrie at 705-722-6656 or the Innisfil Funeral Home at 705-431-1717.

For more information on the Lake Simcoe Conservation Foundation, call 905-895-1281 or visit

EcoENERGY and Ontario Home Energy Savings Program, the home energy retrofit grant programs, are scheduled to end March 31.
Homeowners who have already had an initial assessment should schedule their final visit as soon as their retrofit work is completed, to ensure that they receive the full benefit of the program in a timely manner.
All participants in the program must have their second (post-retrofit) assessment prior to March 31, 2011, when the program is
scheduled to end.
If you have any questions or concerns about the programs, you can contact the Windfall Ecology Centre's client services team at 905-727-0491 or 416-465-6333.

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