Urban Lakes Development Program Presented With HCTF Silver Award

An HCTF Silver Award was presented to the Vancouver Island Urban Lakes Fisheries Development Program this week in recognition of its efforts to increase angler participation by improving fishing infrastructure at lakes near urban centres. Scott Silvestri of MFLRNO leads the project, which has already received over $75,000 in grants from HCTF, with another $54,000 committed for 2013-14. By bringing together local governments, granting organizations and fish & game clubs, Scott and his team have made great strides in improving access to a number of fishing locations around the island while keeping costs to a minimum. The Urban Lakes project is currently in its third and final year of funding. Infrastructure projects already complete include: • Newly-constructed fishing floats, ramps and trails at Durrance Lake , Diver Lake and Westwood Lake . • New fishing floats at Fuller Lake and Mayo Lake . • Repairs to the walkway of the fishing float at Chemainus Lake . • Development of a car-top boat launch for Quennell Lake . • Improvements to the boat launch at Spider Lake . Click here to view the locations of these projects on a map. A number of potential infrastructure projects have been identified for 2013-14...
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PCAF Grants $65,000 for Community-Based Conservation Projects

Fifteen community-based fish & wildlife projects will be given a helping hand this summer as grant recipients of HCTF's Public Conservation Assistance Fund. Over $65,000 has been granted to projects working to build habitat, remove invasive species and introduce angling to people who might not otherwise get the chance. Volunteers are an essential component of all PCAF projects, and this group of successful applicants (in aggregate) estimate their volunteer contributions will be in excess of 1100 hours: that's more than 45 days of helping conservation in BC! Download our 2013-14 PCAF Approved Projects List (1st Call) for further details on project goals and locations. Missed the spring deadline for PCAF applications? There will be a second call for proposals this fall, with an application deadline of September 15 th , 2013. Visit our PCAF Application page for information on how to apply.

New Project Profiles

We’ve posted a couple of new stories on our Project Profiles page. Teacher Sara Germain describes her class’s week-long outdoor learning experience at the Hakai Beach Institute, or read about HCTF’s involvement in the long-awaited restoration of Penticton Creek . More project profiles coming soon!
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Experiential Learning at Hakai

Students in the remote village of Hagensborg, BC rarely get to connect with learning opportunities outside the Bella Coola Valley. But thanks to the fundraising efforts of teacher Sara Germain , fifteen lucky students from Sir Alexander Mackenzie School got the chance of a lifetime to travel to the Hakai Beach Institute for a week of hands-on, ecosystem-based learning in a spectacular coastal environment. Here’s Sara story about how an HCTF CEAF grant helped her students connect with the outdoors and bring classroom concepts to life: "Students in BC's Science 10 focus a quarter of their curriculum on the sustainability of life's ecosystems, so this week-long field trip was designed to solidify many of the concepts learned in the classroom relating to ecology, evolution, food webs, humans impact on ecosystems, climate change and more.  I've found that when studying for their Provincial Exam, students who’ve been on this trip are much more successful at applying these concepts because they can connect questions with ideas they 'lived and applied' out in the field at Hakai.   Upon arrival, we did an intertidal species scavenger hunt to introduce students to the new ecosystem they would be exploring for the week.  The next day,...
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HCTF Grant Helps Move Penticton Creek Rehabilitation Forward

 It’s been sixty years since Penticton Creek, Okanagan Lake’s third largest tributary, was able to support healthy fish populations. The creek, which runs right through downtown Penticton, was channelized in the early 1950’s in response to seasonal flooding. Transformed into what is essentially a concrete trough, the creek lost much of its spawning and rearing habitat for cutthroat and rainbow trout. Other tributaries to Okanagan Lake have been impacted by a range of habitat losses, resulting in a dramatic decline in fish spawning numbers from historic levels. Now half a century old,  the concrete lining the creek is failing. Rather than replacing the current structure with more of the same, the City of Penticton is using this opportunity to rehabilitate the creek in a way that will restore critical fish habitat while still providing flood protection for surrounding communities. A $63,000 grant from HCTF will provide much-needed funding to complete the design stage of the project, allowing incorporation of leading science and current best practices into the plan. In an interview with Global News , Acting Penticton Mayor Garry Litke commented on the positive effect that creek rehabilitation will have on the surrounding environment: “The long term benefits are the...
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