Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association Attracts New Volunteers for Annual Fin Clipping and Fish Stocking Events

Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association fin clipping volunteers came from as far away as Detroit. The annual event attracted a record sixty-five volunteers. Photo Credit: Al Hunter, Paterson Media
Submitted by Paterson Media 

It isn’t unusual for large groups to show up at events staged by the conservation group the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association (BPSA). So far this year we have had two projects that attracted an encouragingly large number of volunteers. First we had our two sessions of fin clipping at our fish hatchery west of Wiarton. The first session was in the afternoon, the second, in the evening. These clipping sessions attracted a record sixty-five volunteers. They were clipping the adipose fin of yearling Rainbow Trout raised at the BPSA hatchery west of Wiarton. The adipose fin is a soft, fleshy fin found on the back behind the dorsal fin and just forward of the caudal fin. Fin clipping helps identify that the fish was stocked.
The fin clipping volunteers came from as far away as Detroit. Members of the Lake Huron Fishing Club and the Barrow Bay & District Sport Fishing Association showed up to help. Another dozen guests who are not members of this club but “just wanted to help with this great project” took part in this community endeavor.

Hatchery manager Al Sutter looks on with daughter Lauren as Mike Smith transfers yearling Rainbow Trout prior to stocking in Gleason Brook. Photo Credit: Al Hunter, Paterson Media

Then on May 18, 2019 we had seventy members and guests show up to help with an early morning spring fish stocking session at Gleason Brook. Ten thousand Rainbow Trout were set free. Again, we attracted more than a dozen non-members who “just wanted to help.”
They “passed the bucket” filled with yearling Rainbow Trout. The trout were raised by our hatchery volunteers and now was their time to be released into the wild and be ”imprinted” to return to this creek in the future to spawn.

Murray Garniss accepts bucket of fish from young volunteer. Photo Credit: Al Hunter, Paterson Media

BPSA President Bruce Beacock says he is encouraged that non-members have heard about our 280-member club and are joining us to see what we are all about. In his words “we have been a community conservation club for a long time and it’s great that folks are checking us out.” He also said he was thrilled to see the smiles on people’s faces during our stocking and fin clipping activities “especially the kids at the fish stocking. It is a great family outing where the kids learn about conservation.”
BPSA Fish Committee Chair Ray Marklevitz says “the solid turnout shows we are appreciated …all the hard work we do in raising these fish is appreciated and that is very rewarding.”
BPSA stocks 130-thousand Rainbow and Brown Trout a year. Since the sixties we have stocked more than 4-million trout in south west Georgian Bay to support the sports fishery. We belong to the 40-hatchery Ontario Community Hatchery Program. Our volunteers put in hundreds of hours a year caring for our fish. MNRF studies suggest each fish stocked is worth 30-dollars to the community in which it is stocked.
But we are more than raising fish. We feature youth and adult firearms safety training, youth and adult archery, tree planting, and a “boot scrubber” program that teaches the public about the threat of invasive plant species. Major annual events at BPSA include our fund-raising Beef and Pork Barbecue slated this year for July 13 from 4-7pm and our Community Living Fishing Derby September 8.
For more information on BPSA please check our site at