MNR creates ‘splash’ at outdoor show

The Ministry of Natural Resources’ display at the Central Canada Outdoor Show in Thunder Bay in late February was a big splash with kids of all ages.
At least 1,000 children visited the display that consisted of an 800-gallon fish tank holding brook trout, lake trout, rainbow trout, splake, and various types of baitfish.
Conservation officers and ministry biologists helped children with a very popular “match the fish” test, and also answered questions about fish stocking, regulations, and other natural resources matters.
Children received conservation officer crest washable tattoos and young angler licence cards. The young angler licence is a free card that depicts a picture of a fish on one side, with an angler’s pledge to protect the outdoors and obey the rules on the reverse.
The display was such a big hit, in fact, that the MNR’s Thunder Bay District hopes to be back at future outdoor shows.
“This was a great opportunity to speak with the public and to educate children about our natural resources,” said conservation officer Ross Johnston, one of the organizers of the MNR display.
“It was good to see so many children at the outdoor show as they are the future of outdoor recreation and resource management.
“They were fascinated with the fish in the tank. We had everything from small minnows to a 10-pound lake trout,” Johnston noted.
“We would like to thank the organizers of the outdoor show for putting on a successful event, and look forward to future shows,” he added.
The fish came from the Dorion fish hatchery, and represent some of the species stocked in area lakes. Steve Scholten, an MNR biologist in Thunder Bay, gave a presentation about fish stocking to those attending the show.
MNR research scientist Art Rodgers displayed a moose hunting education CD at both the MNR booth and the North American Moose Foundation display.
Rodgers, the author of a book about moose, produced the CD, which is available to the public in both English and French for $5 (it can be purchased at some MNR offices and at the Center for Northern Forest Ecosystem Research located next to the library on the Lakehead University campus).
Money collected from the CD sales goes into MNR’s fish and wildlife special purpose account.
The North American Moose Foundation is an international organization that promotes and educates the public about moose, works to conserve moose habitat, and promotes hunting and viewing of moose.
More information about the organization can be found at www.moosefoundation.org
Ontario Parks also had a successful display at the outdoor show, promoting the beautiful parks in Northwestern Ontario.
The Central Canada Outdoor Show was held Feb. 25-27 in Thunder Bay.

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