Pioneer extends conservation outreach to thousands more Ontario students
Pioneer Energy will help thousands of Ontario school children release salmon fry into Lake Ontario tributaries across the province this spring as part of the Bring Back the Atlantic Salmon program.
Pioneer has partnered in the program with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) since 2009. Bring back the Salmon, which is jointly lead by OFAH and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, sees more than 2,500 students raise fish in their classrooms leading up to the annual spring release.
“In the past we have sponsored a single-day event in the Hamilton-Burlington area,” said Cheryl Stubbs, Marketing Manager, Pioneer Energy. “This year we are extending our outreach so that we can assist an even greater number of students right across the province.”
Chris Robinson, OFAH Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program Coordinator, said Pioneer’s support will subsidize bus trips to take students from their schools to stocking sites so that they can release the Atlantic salmon they have raised.
“Approximately 9,900 fry are expected to be released by the students,” said Chris. “This will have a major impact on our efforts to restore the Atlantic salmon populations in Lake Ontario.”
Salmon fry are released into five tributaries – Cobourg Brook, Duffins Creek, Humber River, Credit River and Bronte Creek.
The program helps connect school children with ecological issues, and includes in-class presentations as well as off-site visits to fish hatcheries.
Until the late 19th century, Lake Ontario had a population of Atlantic Salmon native to its waters. They were eliminated through the combined effects of the environmental degradation of streams, ecosystem changes in the lake, and over-fishing. Atlantic Salmon were one of the first fish species in the Great Lakes to disappear as a result of human activities.
“Sponsors are very important to the overall program’s success,” added Chris. “Atlantic Salmon restoration was paused prior to 2006 because the province did not have the resources to launch a major restoration effort on its own after a 2003 review reported that full-scale restoration was the next step to take.”
For more information about this event, please contact:
Cheryl Stubbs, Marketing Manager, Pioneer Energy