2017 Blue Fish Canada Activity Highlights

Lawrence and Moby with a sled standing on the frozen ice

While the late and stormy spring may have delayed the start of the open water season, it meant more time for Blue Fish Canada volunteers to promote sustainable outdoor traditions. The following are 2017 Blue Fish Canada activity highlights.

Lawrence Gunther with the co-management team in front of the indigenous-inspired Ritchie Falls eco-tourism resort

Lawrence Gunther with the co-management team in front of the indigenous-inspired Ritchie Falls eco-tourism resort

Talking computers are just one of many innovations for the blind that allow Blue Fish Canada’s blind President Lawrence Gunther to lead and represent the charity. Articles published in 2017 include:

Lawrence Gunther’s truck, camper and boat

Lawrence Gunther’s truck, camper and boat

Of course, rain snow or sun never prevents a new episode of Blue Fish Radio from being produced – 162 episodes to date with an average weekly audience of 100,000.

Episodes focus on what people are doing across Canada to protect water quality, ensure fish health, and to make sure there are fish around for future generations to catch.

Lawrence releasing an 18-inch Walleye

Lawrence releasing an 18-inch Walleye

To further promote sustainable fishing, bi-weekly “Sustainable Fish Friday” 1-minute tips are heard and shared by thousands over social media. Additionally, over-20 “Blue Fish Canada Stewardship Tips” continue to be aired as public service announcements over streaming web broadcasts. We continue to distribute at no charge print and on-line stewardship guides and shoreline clean-up kits.

What Lies Below poster

What Lies Below poster

Six years of hard work on creating the documentary What Lies Below came to fruition. Over 18 festivals around the world have now featured the 79-minute film. Numerous published reviews and interviews can be found on line. Both CBC and AMI TV are now licensed to broadcast the doc, which premiered on CBC’s Documentary Channel Sept 6. All revenues generated by this documentary are going to Blue Fish Canada. Our 2018 plans include distributing an educational program to high schools and post-secondary institutions developed using the 11 stories told in the documentary.

Lawrence Gunther introducing fish-health Symposium Panel

Lawrence Gunther introducing fish-health Symposium Panel

Behind the scenes Blue fish Canada is working closely with numerous research facilities and water activist organizations to promote water quality and fish health. Last May, in partnership with the University of Ottawa and the St. Lawrence River Institute, we organized and chaired a half-day River Symposium including six presentations to over-90 researchers and policy makers in attendance. Ensuring fish have access to suitable habitat also includes leading discussions on fish health in venues such as the Great Lake Network and the People’s Great Lakes Summit series.

Chef Steve Mitton and Angler Lawrence Gunther in their outdoor kitchen

Chef Steve Mitton and Angler Lawrence Gunther in their outdoor kitchen

Canada is far from being a land of doom-and-gloom. We have much to take pride in and celebrate. It’s therefore with considerable excitement that we celebrate the launch of a new video series Lake2Plate.

The video features Lawrence, his guide dog Moby, and a celebrity chef fishing and preparing shore-side feasts featuring sustainably and selectively harvested fish and wild forage. It’s a true celebration of the traditional shore lunch intended to inspire others to reconnect with nature.

 

Lawrence and Moby on stage at the “Fish Hunt and Ride Outdoor Show”

Lawrence and Moby on stage at the “Fish Hunt and Ride Outdoor Show”

In the spirit of carrying forward the tradition of blind people serving as story tellers, Lawrence always makes time to speak to fish and game clubs, conservation groups and at outdoor shows. Exhibiting at outdoor shows remains a priority for Blue Fish Canada, and 2018 will witness a fresh new look to our exhibit space and offerings, including a new skill-testing stewardship quiz and prizes.

Lawrence Presenting to 150 high school students

Lawrence Presenting to 150 high school students

The following quote from Lawrence Gunther published in a recent Huffington Post article sums-up the mission of Blue Fish Canada nicely:

“I started Blue Fish Canada to encourage people to find themselves a pond, river, lake or bay where they can catch a fish for dinner once in a while, and to then take responsibility for ensuring nothing bad happens to their fishing whole that could stop their great grandchildren from doing the same.”

Lawrence and bass tournament partner Lisa Goodier

Lawrence and bass tournament partner Lisa Goodier

Getting others interested in fishing sustainably is a focus of Blue Fish Canada, including organizing annual events such as: Girl Guides Go Fishing.

A shore fishing experience for 50-70 Girl Guides ranging in age from 5-16.

Young Girl Guide holding a fish

Young Girl Guide holding a fish

Yes, it’s important to make sure our water and fish are properly managed. At the same time, Blue Fish Canada is working hard to pass on the knowledge and inspiration to encourage others to carry forward the tradition of fishing. It’s up to all of us to re-engage others in this century-old practice. One we can undertake with pride knowing the resource is being managed using science and the best traditional and indigenous knowledge available.

Most especially, Blue Fish Canada is creating opportunities for children to connect with shorelines. It’s here where kids experience the abundance and diversity of life that inhabits these narrow transition strips between land and water. Life that represents more than the sum of the two parts, but a true synergy of these two vastly different terrestrial and aquatic worlds.

Two young boys holding a net and freshly caught Northern Pike

Two young boys holding a net and freshly caught Northern Pike

Please donate to Blue Fish Canada today so we can continue to provide people of all age’s access to resources so they can fish confidently knowing the tradition is sustainable for future generations.

We look forward to your on-going support, and thank all of you for helping to make 2017 a year we can be proud of.

Anchors up….

Lawrence and Moby out on the lake

Lawrence and Moby out on the lake

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