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MEMBERSHIPS
ARE DUE!

YOU GET TO BE A TRAA MEMBER FOR A WHOLE YEAR FOR ONLY $25.00DuesYour membership also adds another voice to our efforts in protecting and enhancing aquatic habitats in the London & area community.
YOU'VE TAKEN A LOT OF ENJOYMENT FROM THIS UNIQUE FISHERY. IT'S TIME TO GIVE BACK BY BEING PART OF THE SOLUTION.

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! FUNDRAISING!
Efforts are underway
to get the $$$
we need to continue many of the TRAA's most vital projects:

$$
Improvements to the
Trout Fry
TRAA Trout Hatchery

$$
Continuation of the

Salmonid Monitoring Program

$$
Komoka Creek
Hydrological Study

Please email us if
you'd like to take
an active role in
raising the funds
needed for these
and other important TRAA activities.


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TRAA Membership
Only $25!!!!Membership

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAA Events

Visit this Page Often
You'll find links to this page and its contents throughout the TRAA Web site. And for good reason: Events & activities are what the TRAA's all about!

Participate, Help Out, Have Fun!

 

East London Kiwanis Park Clean-Up (and a little fishing beforehand!)
Saturday, September 9, 2017 - 12:30PM until 2:30PM

Image may contain: tree, bridge, sky, outdoor and natureCouncilor Bill Armstrong will be hosting a Kiwanis Park Clean-Up on September 9th, 2017. The clean-up will take place between 12:30pm and 2:00pm, where there will be garbage bags, gloves and water provided.

Also helping out are London CAReS and the University of Western Ontario.

Bill Armstrong has been a guest speaker at one of our General Meetings as well as being a supporter of TRAA initiatives so let's make a good showing at this event. For more info check Bill's Facebook page.

We are also going to be fishing the Thames River in the morning before the cleanup. Meet us in the parking lot of the dog park beside the Pottersburg treatment plant at 8:00AM. This part of the river is usually pretty good for smallmouth bass, river redhorse and some monster carp. Gear up accordingly.

If you're doing the fish before the clean-up, be sure to bring some snacks and drinks for lunch.

 

 

 

 

TRAA General Meeting
Wednesday, September 13, 2017 - 7:00PM

Meeting CartoonThis is our first meeting back from the summer hiatus so make sure you're on time to get a good seat!

There are many updates to go over concerning ongoing initiatives as well as some new projects and news for you to learn about.

As always, guests are welcome so bring your friends, neighbours, co-workers, extended family and any other friends of the Thames River watershed.

We meet at the Western Ontario Fish & Game Protective Association's clubhouse at 790 Southdale Road, London, Ontario. If you have questions please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Trout Release
Friday, June 16, 2017

Rainbow Trout ReleaseThe rainbow trout fingerlings that we raised from eggs over this past winter were released into Dingman Creek.

This year the TRAA welcomed the ECO Club from Louise Arbour French Immersion Public School, to come out and assist successfully releasing in excess of 40,000 rainbow trout.

Both the weather and the water conditions were nearly perfect, adding to a fun and rewarding learning experience for these enthusiastic students.

The trout hatchery is now idle and will undergo some upgrades over the summer in addition to the regular yearly maintenance. If you'd like to get in on this and other TRAA activities just contact us.

 

 

 

 

Brook Trout Release
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Brook Trout ReleaseThe brook trout fingerlings went on the annual road trip throughout rural areas northeast of London to be released into several different cold water tributaries. These were brook trout eggs that we harvested with folks from the Upper Thames Conservation Authority (UTRCA) to be raised in the TRAA trout hatchery.

Thanks to everyone that has put in their time and effort to collect the brook trout eggs, monitor them in the hatchery and participate in the release.

TRAA members Rob and Owen Huber, Stan Gibbs, and Bill Vandewetering did most of the transfer and transportation duties with the support of the Upper Thames Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources.

Special thanks to all of the landowners for being involved with the habitat improvements of these little coldwater streams into which these trout were released.

 

 

 

 

Family Fishing Day - Fanshawe C.A.
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Adam & Paul NThis event has become another TRAA tradition. Members have been helping the Fanshawe Campers Association with the Family Fishing Day for many years now.

We help the kids rig up, sort out the odd tangle, help measure and release fish; we're just there to generally show them some fishing basics.

TRAA members that have come come out to this event in past years find it both fun and rewarding.

We'll be setting things up at the Fanshawe Conservation Area's boat ramp area starting at 7:30am so everything's ready when families start showing up at 9:00am. The event wraps up at 1:00pm.
If you can only come out for a couple of hours that's OK. That way if we have members showing up mid to late morning, that'll allow us to help out in shifts.

If you have any questions please contact us.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown Trout Release
Monday, May 2, 2016

Two girls with troutThe brown trout were successfully released with the help of 30 Grade 7/8 students from Oxbow Public School.

It was good timing as the rain stopped just as we showed up at the hatchery. Half of the students went for a stream tour lead by Bill Vandewetering and Richard Westelaken while the other half toured the hatchery operation.

During the stream tour the bald eagle showed up to its nest with a fish in its talons, much to the amazement of our guests.

 

Student with troutA "bucket brigade" was set up with the help of Pud Hunter, Ryan Simard, Ray Baxter, Fred Smithers and Stephen Jones to get the fish loaded into the transfer tank for the trip.

The release site on Oxbow Creek was absolutely stunning. The water was a bit murky but was shallow enough to be safe for the release. There was only a one degree difference between the stream temperature at the water in the hatchery so very little acclimating was required.

Special thanks go out to Dan Schinkelshoek and Adam Bengen for coordinating the trout release with the landowner as well as contacts from the Thames Valley District Scool Board and the Upper Thames Conservation Authority.

Also in attendance to help out were Julie Welker from the UTRCA and Erin Mutch from the TVDSB.

Judging by the smiles and wet feet of the students, a good time was had by all. 

 

Here are some more pictures from this awesome event.

All hands on the buckets

Human-powered escalater

Into the transfer tank

Netting them out

Letting them go

Releasing trout

Good times

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thames River Cleanup
Saturday, May 7, 2016

Cleanup

TRAA members met with another group to do our yearly cleanup of the area around Komoka bridge (some may call it the Speedway bridge).

While a good amount of trash was removed from the area, participants commented that there seemed to be significantly less to pick up than in previous years. Let's hope that trend continues!

It's always a great way to get some fresh air, light exercise and top up your commitment to "give back".

Thanks go out to Jeremy Beaton for organizing the TRAA contingent.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Angling Sports Barbeque
Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ryan and PaulThere was hotdogs, burgers and lots of fun going on at this informal get-together.

Paul Noble put his barbequing skills to the test supplying a steady stream of hungry customers.

Ryan Simard spent most of his time trying to sell tickets for the "Count the Bobbers Contest". Ryan was also the main guy in organizing and pulling this whole event together - nice work Ryan!

Your ticket gave you a chance at a $100 gift certificate courtesy of Angling Sports! As an additional bonus, you also got the equivalent of the tax taken off any purchase in the Angling Sports store!

All the proceeds went to benefit the TRAA and our projects.

Angling Sports Logo

 

 

Once again, many thanks go out to Pat DeVincenzo and the folks at Angling Sports.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TRAA Project Days - Trout Hatchery Interior and Access Stairway

TRAA members have been hard at it all through the late summer and fall making the Keith Wales Memorial Hatchery more accessible, safer and esthetically pleasing. These improvements will also enhance the working conditions for those dedicated members who are part of the trout hatchery rotation.

Hatchery Stairs

The first and largest phase of the stairway system down to the hatchery has been completed.

 

This turns a rugged and often unsafe trail into "a walk in the park". It was built with folks of all ages in mind and with a nod to easier snow removal because after all, the trout are in the hatchery throughout the dead of winter.

 

 

 

Hatchery Stairs again

 

Rather than have stairs all the way down, we elected to connect a series of platforms or boardwalks with shorter flights of stairs to allow places to rest and also for pauses to appreciate the beautiful surroundings.

This layout also improves snow removal and hopefully, ongoing maintenance when required.

The railings are solid and are all at a consistent height which many of our members will recognize as a vast improvement over what previously existed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Hatcery InteriorThose who haven't been out to the trout hatchery lately will be astounded at the changes inside!

We have new LED lighting donated by Mike Jeffries of Gillevin International in London that will make life a lot easier for trout hatchery rotation members when they're performing their "trout-sitting" duties in the dead of winter.

Also brightening the interior is the new ceiling with improved ventilation to alleviate frosting issues during sub-zero conditions.

The back wall is also been whitened to brighten, contrasting nicely with the darker coat of stain on the new floor.



Upwelling Box

 

Again, to make the chores that much easier, the decision was finally made to paint the interior cells of the upwelling box a lighter colour - in this case dove grey.

The old colour in the cells was the same as the exterior: dark green. This, unfortunately was the same colour of the backs of the fry we were trying to avoid when cleaning the cells or trying to capture to transfer to the circular growth tank.

Nice work everyone!
It's now easier to access the hatchery and do the good work we do there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3rd Annual TRAA Paddle & Fish
Happened: July 18, 2015

We held our 3rd Annual Paddle & Fish July 18th.
Members met at the Tim Horton's on Veteran's Memorial Parkway and then left from there to the put-in
at the Veteran's Memorial Parkway bridge.
From there we paddled and fished our way down to Pottersburg Park.

Launch

 

The access point was washed out from the recent rains so we had to "portage" from the road.

After that though, the launch was smooth and easy as the fog lifted on what was to be a hot sunny day.

 

 

 

 

Dave and Pud

It was hard to believe there was so much natural beauty running through London's industrial east end.

The only thing that brought us back to reality was the occasional "ping" of a driver as we passed River Road and East Park golf courses.

 

 

 

 

Paul Noble


Paul Noble studies the end of his rod, willing a fish to takes his fly.

The shorter route allowed us to concentrate a little more on the fishing.

Luck favoured those who jumped out in front of the armada of kayaks, canoes, pontoon boats and other river-worthy watercrafts.

 

 

 

Dan & Owen

 


Another nice feature of this route was that paddlers of any age or skill level were able to dig in.

Owen Huber smiles his approval while Dan Schinkelshoek scans the river for "fishy" looking spots to cast his fly.

 

 

 


Trophy Presentation
After the flotilla reached its destination, we found some shade and barbequed up some burgers and dogs (OK, I should've said hot dogs, considering our proximity to the off-leash dog park!).

Thanks go out to Rick Ornato who did the barbequing on his nifty little portable grill (solidifying his reputation as the "Gear Pig").

Paul Noble made the trophy presentation to this year's lucky angler Jeremy Beaton.
Jeremy was obviously impressed with the largeness of the trophy as he commented frequently of its prodigious dimensions.

 

 

 

 

 

Family Fishing Day - Fanshawe C.A.
Happened: July 11, 2015

Adam & Paul NThis event has become another TRAA tradition. Members have been helping the Fanshawe Campers Association with the Family Fishing Day for many years now.

We help the kids rig up, sort out the odd tangle and generally show them some fishing basics. The TRAA members that come out to this event find it both fun and rewarding.

Left: Adam Bengen and Paul Noble try to help a young family on the fishing dock.

 

 

Jeemy & Kid

 

 

 

 

Jeremy Beaton guides a young angler to a likely spot on the pond.

 

 

 


Big Family

 

 

 

 

This happy family is ready to go fishing thanks to TRAA members rigging up rods, reels and terminal tackle supplied by the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority.

 


Smiling Kids

 

 

 

 

Having fun kids?

Let's just let the smiles answer that one.

 

 

 

Rob H and Bob P

 

 

 

It's the Rob 'n' Bob show!

The TRAA's display board was also on location at the Family Fishing Day.
At left, Rob Huber and Bob Planques take their turn chatting with folks about everything "TRAA".

 

 

 

 

 

TRAA Presented the Film "DamNation"
at the Wolfe Performance Hall, London, Ontario
Thursday, June 18, 2015
DamNation

"A moving documentary, a great venue to show it and all in support of a meaningful issue in our city: the decommissioning of Springbank Dam ...a not-so-great chapter in London's history. Thank you TRAA"
- Kenneth B. (Screening Attendee)

As you are likely aware, Springbank Dam has been back in the news with rookie mayor Matt Brown attempting to gain support for the misguided repair of this monument to environmental and fiscal disaster.

If you are a fan of free-flowing rivers for the health of our aquatic ecosystems and your community and you missed this screening, you'll want to check out this moving piece of cinema on Netflex or anywhere else you can find it.
For a taste, click here for the trailer.

It's our hope that upon viewing the movie "DamNation" you'll be inspired to carry your concerns for the health of our local aquatic and riparian ecosystem to your city councilors.

ACT NOW!!
If you haven't already done so, please take a moment to Click Here to review and consider signing & sharing our petition to the City of London to encourage them to decommission Springbank Dam.

This dam was originally built on the nationally recognized heritage Thames River to create a reservoir in downtown London, Ontario so that it could serve historical recreational purposes. The petition includes a full background and the attached fact sheet is something we put together.

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Trout Release
Monday, June 22, 2015

The rainbow trout fry were released into Dingman Creek with the help of a Grade 4 class from Princess Elizabeth Public School.
Special thanks to TRAA members Jenn Stewart, Adam Bengen, Bill Vandewetering and Rob Huber for taking the time to help out with the this event.

Rainbow Release 1
The group of 21 students was split with half going on an "eco-walk" along Komoka Creek with TRAA member Adam Bengen (foreground above) while the the other half went for a hatchery tour.

It was all hands on deck when it was time to transfer the rainbow fry.

Bill Vanderwetering and helper
Bill Vandewetering assists students with the transfer of the rainbow trout fry into the buckets.


Rainbow Release - Jenn
Jenn Stewart helps students ensure the buckets of fry make their way safely to the transfer tank.

Acclimation
The rainbow fry are released into Dingman Creek after "acclimation" to the water temperature.

This event was a great fit with a program in which these kids were already participants: a project called "Stream of Dreams Murals Society". Fish Fence
This is a shot of the painted fish the class did that now adorn the fence of their school's playground.
Very cool.

 

 

 

Steelhead Tagging and Monitoring is done for this season

TRAA members and personnel from the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA) have finished up the Salmonid Tagging and Monitoring Program for this spring.
It looks like all the migratory Rainbow trout have visited Komoka Creek, done their thing and have dropped back down as there appears to be none spotted during recent stream walks.
This program for steelhead (migratory rainbow trout) on Komoka Creek has been extended to continue and will begin again in the spring of 2016.
Thanks to all who helped out this year and a special shout out to John and Jason of the UTRCA

Here are some shots of one of our outings this season:

Measurement
Each steelhead is measured both in length and girth in the recovery tub.

Tag Sewing
A tag that is unique to each fish is securely fastened to the first ray of the dorsal fin.

Tag Sewn
Here is the tag sewn and ready to be trimmed.

Scale sample
A scale sample is then carefully taken for possible DNA analysis.

Big Male
Here's a beefy male ready for release after tagging.

Big Brown
Lots of resident brown trout, darters, sticklebacks, stonerollers, hognose & white suckers as well as other fish species speak to the diversity of this unique stream.

Tagged
If you see a tag such as this please report it to the Ministry of Natural resources regardless of whether the fish is to be released or harvested.

 

 

 

 

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.
Roofing Hatchery July 2014

 

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!

 

 

 


Finished Roof

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Ceiling Installation

 

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.

 

 


Hatchery Interior

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

New Circular Tank

 

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.

 

 


Filling Circular Tank

 

 

Fingers crossed!
First filling of the new growth tank and all looks well. The new standpipe worked flawlessly maintaining the perfect depth.

 

 


 

Upwelling Box

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.

 

 

Brookie Tank

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 


Hatchery Entrance

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow Trout Release

Fry into Transfer TankThis spring's hatch of rainbow trout was incredibly successful with low mortality resulting in a phenomenal total of over 40,000 fry ready for release day on Saturday June 21, 2014.

TRAA members and guests met at the Country Hearth Restaurant in Komoka and car-pooled to the TRAA hatchery site to help out moving the fry from the hatchery to the TRAA transfer tank.

The rainbow trout fry were released into Dingman Creek.

A big THANK YOU goes out to everyone on the trout hatchery rotation whose dedication ensured a visit every day of the week from the fall when we got the brown trout and the brook trout eggs, through the winter and into the spring when we got the rainbow trout eggs.

Thanks also go out to Chris Coligan volunteering his pickup truck to transport the transfer tank to the release site.

The pictures below from this event are courtesy Rob Huber.

 

Netting Fry
The fry have been getting fat and strong in the hatchery growth tank. The spray bar seen at the back of the picture creates a simulated current. They are hand netted from the tank and placed in buckets to make the trip up the hill to the waiting transfer tank.

Net Full of Fry
This net full of fat, healthy rainbow trout fry are ready to go into a bucket destined for the transfer tank.

Bucket Brigade
Once the fry have been netted from the growth tank into the buckets, it's time for the arduous trip up the stairs from the hatchery to where the transfer tank awaits.

Aclimating Trio
The fry travel in the transfer tank in the back of a pickup truck to the release site which in this case is this pretty section of Dingman Creek. This image shows three volunteers "acclimating" the water in the bags with that of the creek to minimize the shock of temperature change upon the release of the trout fry.

Acclimating Loner
Here the last bag of fry to be released is being acclimated. Note the riparian tree and grass cover which help stabilize stream temperatures and the banks from erosion.

Fry Swim Free
The recently released rainbow trout fry quickly adjust to their new home in the wild. It's difficult to say how many of these guys will make it to adulthood but we know that thanks to the TRAA and their dedicated Trout Committee, they'll at least get a head start.