The Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA)’s popular annual Family Fishing event is back for 2021 as a week-long scavenger hunt challenge, where participants under the age of 16 can catch and identify a list of common fish species in any public fishing spot in the RRCA jurisdiction for a chance to win several prizes. The scavenger hunt started on July 3 and tuns til July 11, coinciding with Ontario’s licence-free Family Fishing Week.
“For close to 20 years, this RRCA event has been a fun opportunity for families to learn about local fish species, practice proper fishing techniques, and simply enjoy spending time in nature together,” says Jamie Would, the RRCA’s Communications and Stewardship Assistant. “This year, the scavenger hunt adds an extra layer of challenge and adventure, while also requiring you to channel your inner biologist to identify the species you find at the end of your line.”
While the event typically includes a barbecue gathering at Gray’s Creek Conservation Area, the RRCA, with the support of Ontario Power Generation and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters’ TackleShare program, is able to offer the event in a revised format that follows the precautionary measures in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Contestants can participate by taking a picture of themselves with their local catch from July 3 to 11, posting it on social media with the hashtag HookedByRaisin, and emailing the pictures to [email protected]. Each one of the five eligible fish species checked off the list will provide the lucky angler with one ballot in a draw for a chance to win one of several fishing-related prizes.
“Although you must be under the age of 16 to be eligible for prizes, anyone can participate in this challenge, provided the fish are caught within the RRCA’s watershed jurisdiction, which includes Cornwall, South Glengarry, North Glengarry, South Stormont, and parts of North Stormont,” Would says. “Ontario’s licence-free fishing week, coupled with the RRCA’s participation in the TackleShare equipment loaning program, is a great way get an introduction to this popular sport.”
Families without fishing gear can pre-register online at rrca.on.ca/FishWeek to borrow sanitized fishing rods and receive free bait from Monday, July 5, to Friday, July 9, between the hours of 8:30 AM to 7 PM at the RRCA office at 18045 County Road 2 in Cornwall. COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place. Families borrowing gear will be able to fish in the Gray’s Creek shoreline areas. All equipment must be returned by 7 PM.
To identify catches, Would recommends contestants download the Seek app by iNaturalist. The free mobile app allows you to simply snap a picture of your catch and receive identification and facts about your fish. An identification chart is also available for download on the RRCA webpage.
All participants are strongly encouraged to observe proper fishing and water safety practices.
Rod rental forms, detailed contest rules, and additional information about the event can all be found at rrca.on.ca/FishWeek, by contacting (613) 938-3611 or [email protected], or by following the RRCA on social media.
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