Where have the fish gone?

·2 min read

WALKERTON – Randy Greenall likes to fish in the Saugeen River near Walkerton.

At least, he used to. He’s said he won’t be coming back, for the simple reason he isn’t catching very many fish.

He wants to know why. He said he’s tired of hearing people say, “Someone ought to do something.” He’s been asking a lot of questions, to a lot of people – natural resources, the conservation authority, other fishermen. And he’s not getting answers. The last thing he wants to hear is that a study needs to be done, or is being done.

Among the questions on his mind are why fishermen haul so many fish out of the water below Denny’s Dam (about 1.5 kilometres upstream from the mouth of the Saugeen River in Southampton) but not above the dam. “Why is that considered normal?” he asked.

He also questions the functionality of the fish ladder at the dam.

Then there’s the dam at Maple Hill just east of Walkerton on the Saugeen River, that has raised a lot of questions in his mind about how fish get past it.

He has news clippings from the past, when fish counts numbered in the hundreds of thousands, and now, when only a few hundred are being counted. And he wants to know why, on a river that’s promoted as ideal for fishing as well as other recreation.

Greenall noted fishermen like himself bring a lot of money to a community in the way of lodging, restaurant meals and more.

He’d be interested in speaking with others who have the same questions about fishing on the Saugeen, and maybe together they can come up with some answers. “What I want is to make it better,” he said. “I want to see if we can make it better.”

Greenall can be contacted by email at randy.greenall@sympatico.ca.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times