Photo Credit: Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch Photo: BPSA Fish Committee chair Kevin Harders shows young visitors rainbow trout at BPSA hatchery.

Submitted by Stu Paterson,
BPSA community relations 

 After a three year absence, the Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association’s (BPSA) annual Family Day Open House resumed, attracting record numbers. More than 300 kids, parents, aunts, uncles and various other categories of visitors, attended the event on February 20 at BPSA headquarters west of Wiarton.

This conservation club is best known for fish stocking, something it has done since the sixties to benefit the recreational fishery. BPSA volunteers have stocked more than 4-million fish in local waters as well as completed rehabilitation projects in two Colpoy’s Bay streams.

Photo Credit: Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch Photo: Guests were served fire roasted hot dogs and hot chocolate.

Most visitors headed first to our hatchery to view thousands of rainbow and brown trout to be released into Georgian Bay in the next year. Other BPSA programs were in the spotlight on Family Day.

After touring our hatchery, our guests enjoyed outdoor archery lessons, checked our indoor shooting range, got tips from firearms range masters, and had a chance to examine rare firearms some dating back to the eighteen hundreds.

Guests learned about our Invasive Species Awareness “Boot Scrubber Project”, and about our plan to plant apple trees featuring the kind of apples deer love to eat. Guests were invited to cook hot dogs over an open fire. They also enjoyed other free refreshments served by members of our BPSA volunteer army.

After examining rare handguns, South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Garry Michi had high praise for this club and its volunteers.

Michi told BPSA Handgun Club President Al Hunter “over the years you folk have done very valuable work for our community… it is so important that you include the young people in what you do…I am a hunter and understand how important BPSA is to our outdoors community.”

Photo Credit: Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch Photo: Donna Maginnis BPSA archery coach with a new student

BPSA Vice-President Kelly Lang thanked the dozens of volunteers “for helping to make our open house a truly great day for all who participated. I was pleasantly surprised at the attendance we had and the interest expressed. It was busy and non stop and was great to witness. I salute everyone”!

BPSA meetings are held on the last Thursday night of the month. All are welcome to attend. The next major club event is our annual KIDS FISHING DERBY with prizes for all who enter. It takes place at the hatchery pond May 28th at 9am.

BPSA outdoors archery starts in May, but is weather dependent. It runs Tuesday evenings 6 PM to 9PM with the last hour for adults only.

Photo Credit: Paterson Media, Kat McCulloch Photo: BPSA public relations director Kat McCulloch explains firearms to family day guests.