Welcome to the TRAA
Dedication Today for Tomorrow
"For the enhancement, protection and promotion of a viable,
multi-species fishery within the Thames River watershed.
TRAA General Meeting
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
If you're not coming out to the TRAA General Meetings then you're not getting the full experience from your membership. These meetings are where major decisions are made with regard to TRAA activities and events and you can be a part of it!
In addition to regular business we will be having a couple of guest speakers to help you with the upcoming steelhead season.
Randy Bailey will be showing you how to effectively rig your float set-up. If you've ever wondered why Randy's catching fish while you just seem to be practicing your casting, you'll want to listen in. Catching rainbow trout is 75% presentation and successful presentation starts with setting up an effective rig before you cast.
The second speaker will be Paul Noble, showing you how to tie a few simple but effective fly patterns for steelhead. Flies aren't just for fly rodders any more as float fisherman in the know are having great success running flies under floats when the roe bags aren't working.
As a bonus, we'll be having an impromptu draw for a beginner's fly tying vice so you can get tying these effective patterns right away!
If you have an idea for a speaker at future TRAA General Meetings, please let us know by contacting us. We only ask that the speakers' topics be related to conservation, fishing, outdoor life... well, you get the idea.
The venue is the Western Ontario Fish & Game Protective Association's clubhouse, 790 Southdale Road East, London which is just east of Wellington Road.
As usual, guests are welcome.
Brook Trout Eggs are in the TRAA Hatchery
The first batch successfully placed!
John Schwindt of the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority and TRAA member Dan Schinkelshoek were successful in securing about 100 brook trout eggs on Friday, November 7th. These were transferred to the #1 tray in the newly refurbished TRAA trout hatchery.
This is the first attempt at collection this fall and according to John Schwindt, it looks like they are just starting to spawn. More egg collection outings are scheduled to augment this initial batch.
We are also expecting another batch of brown trout eggs within the next few weeks.
Members of the trout hatchery rotation will be contacted for an orientation day at the hatchery. You will get your new keys as well as a refresher on procedures. This is especially important because of some of the upgrades to the hatchery. If you are interested in becoming part of the hatchery rotation, please let us know at the TRAA General Meeting (see above) or contact us by email.
Check out the New & Improved TRAA Hatchery
Equipment Upgrades, Building Improvements & a General "Facelift"
Over the past six months or so, a small but dedicated and determined group of TRAA members put a lot of work into making your TRAA trout hatchery experience even better!
None of this could have been accomplished without grants from the MNR's CFWIP program and the OFAH through their CHP program.
We found that the life of our asphalt shingles was shortened by the forested location of the hatchery because of moss and other detrimental growths. Our solution to this was to install a steel roof.
A fairly routine job became precarious when near to completion, a rain shower made footing on the slick surface a challenge. Fortunately, we were able to get the last couple of panels and the cap down without mishap!
The green of the new roof blends in nicely with the natural surroundings and really sets off the new stain that was applied at the same time. The hatchery' double doors were also painted TRAA green.
White vented soffit panels were installed as a ceiling. Along with the new fluorescent lighting, this proved to really brighten the interior of the hatchery. This material was chosen because it will allow the ventilation required and will stand up to the damp environment in the hatchery.
This view is looking from the deck and through the front doors of the hatchery. You can see how the new ceiling and light fixtures really brighten things up inside. Also note the new floor and walls which were also newly installed.
Sometimes the pressure of getting everything done on time just gets to some of us!
Here we're putting the finishing touches on the drain for the circular growth tank. This included a new stand pipe design that we're hoping will be a huge improvement over the old one.
There was also extensive re-fitting of the drain pipes below the floor of the hatchery.
This tank was refinished top to bottom including some artful fibre-glassing to fix some persistent leaks.
First filling of the new growth tank and all looks well. The new standpipe worked flawlessly maintaining the perfect depth.
This is the upwelling box that was installed in 2013. We made adjustments to the tray depth so we don't have to immerse our hands as far in the cold water during the dead of winter. There were also changes made to the outflow to minimize the splashing that made the floor wet (and icy!).
Each tray cell and corresponding front cell (fry trap) is isolated from all the others.
Once the trout fry get to the "swim-up" stage, they will come through the slots into the front cells. We then move them into the circular growth tank.
The brook trout will be transferred to a separate growth tank so that they are isolated with their own separate water source.
This is the growth tank for the brook trout. This was completely stripped and polished to aid in ongoing maintenance while the brookie fry are in it. A new hinged lid was also fitted to allow them a feeling of cover and sanctuary.
The improvements to the TRAA's Keith Wales Memorial Hatchery will allow us to enhance our already successful track record in rearing rainbow, brown and brook trout. These improvements will also allow visitors an even better experience and opportunity to learn about trout life cycles.
We're proud of what we've accomplished so far and we invite you to contact us if your group is interested in a tour.
New Life for Old Waders
Here's an interesting tip to recycle breathable waders!
My venerable stocking foot waders had served me well but they had sprung a slow leak in the neoprene foot. After emptying a tube of Aquaseal in an attempt to repair them, they responded by leaking even more.
With steelhead season upon us, the decision was made to replace them (wet feet quickly end a day on the river in the dead of winter!).
As the old waders hovered over the garbage can, an idea dawned on me and they were given a reprieve from their trip to the landfill.
Both feet were cut off just above the top of neoprene "bootie" using a sharp utility knife.
The stitching that fastens the "bootie" to the waders was used as a guide for the cut.
Once the cuts were made, the "booties" were the only thing discarded.
What I'm now left with are a pair of heavy-duty, chest high and breathable rain pants!
Meet this Year's TRAA Executive & Committee Chairs
The TRAA held its elections at the March Annual General Meeting and many of the faces you'll recognize as many of the faces are the same! In addition, the Committee Chairs were also decided upon.
Without further ado, here are the folks that'll be steering the course for the TRAA through the upcoming year.
L: Rob Huber, President
and Public Relations Committee Co-Chair
M: Jeremy Beaton, Vice President
and Habitat Committee Co-Chair
R: Dan Schinkelshoek, Chairman
L: Archie Graham, Treasurer
M: Wil Mulder, Secretary
R: Randy Bailey, Warmwater Committee Chair and Public Relations Committee Co-Chair
R: Paul Holmes, Habitat Committee Co-Chair
M: Stephen Jones, Trout Committee Co-Chair
R: Paul Noble, Social Committee Chair and Web Site Chair
Local Businesses Step Up to Help Out the TRAA
The support of the following area business people is much appreciated
During the February General Meeting the TRAA voted unanimously to re-name the TRAA trout hatchery honouring Keith Wales' memory and his unselfish support of the TRAA's work in the London area, in particular Komoka Creek. Special thanks go out to Muma Manufacturing in St. Thomas for donating the beautiful laser-cut aluminum sign.
After cleaning up the area around the TRAA shed and trout hatchery, our trailer was quite full and needed to be emptied. A big 'thank you' goes out to Rick Vandersluis and Mike Seabrook of Try Recycling who allowed the TRAA to empty the trailer at their facility free of charge.
Before we could take the trailer to Try Recycling, we needed to get the spare tire for the trailer fixed. Pat Devincenzo, proprietor of Angling Sports, offered to get it repaired. Turns out the tire needed replacing and Pat took care of it.
Angling Sports also supplied cards for all TRAA members that entitle them to a discount equal to the tax on anything in the store.
Thanks Pat, your generosity is greatly appreciated.
Speaking of Support, Check Out this Offer from Ian Colin James!
This was an opportunity open only to TRAA members.
Rick Ornato is the new winner of a draw to spend an entire day on the Thames River or the Grand River learning to fly fish from Ian James, a world class guide and instructor! If you throw in that he's a sought-after speaker, teaches a course on fly fishing environmentalism at Fanshawe College and is a bestselling author, Ryan's day on the water has the possibility of becoming an event. We don't think Ryan's ever cast a fly before but no problem, Ian will have him casting well enough to catch fish within half an hour.
If you still want that one day on the river with Ian, go out Ian's Website to check out his page on guiding.
On behalf of Rick and the rest of the TRAA, thank you Ian!
A special "Thank You" goes out to Ryan Simard for donating this prize back for the second drawing.