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Hub Trail Challenge Report

In the past the Sault Ste. Marie Naturalists have participated in the Hub Trail Challenge.  Persons involved were:  Don and Vivian Hall, Robert and Joy Cohen, Mary Ryckman and Donna Ryckman-Rooney, Gerry Rooney and Tony Walker.  Prior to the actual day of the challenge Dave Euler, Val Walker, the Halls, Tony Walker and Robert Cohen all walked along the Fort Creek areas from second line to Third line to become familiar with the route. 

Year one,  2012

This year we had nature observation questions on sheets of paper that people travelling along the Hub Trail by bike could pick up at the north end or south end.  There was an adult quiz and a children’s quiz.  Along the trail there were markers in areas that we hoped they would make observations about.  For example  #1 What leaf is found on the Canadian flag?   #2 Can you see this type of tree from here? #3 What kinds of animals or mammals might live near Fort Creek?  Can you name two?   #4 What creatures do you think might live in a hollow tree?  Name one.  #5 What is your favorite activity to do on the Hub trail?    Then we would ask for their name. 

Year one prizes were awarded at the Bondar Pavilion at 3 p.m.  You had to be present to win. 

Year Two  

No paper quiz. This year we save on paper and pencils and only had the questions on one Bristol board sheet at either end of the Fort Creek area.  There were stations along the way marked with numbers that corresponded with the questions.  So a cyclist could read the questions at one end then bike along the trail stopping at each numbered sign and make an observation.  People seemed to like the labeled items in nature.  For example : This is an European Larch tree,   This is a white birch tree,  Cavity trees provide places for animals or birds to live  etc. etc.  Then when the cyclist got to the other end of the Fort Creek area they could easily complete the questions verbally.  This took away having to check answers and mark papers etc.  I feel that the nature observation and education on the route is what people are looking for.  They don’t really care to leave their names or win prizes etc. 

To prepare for 2014

We need to consider Who, What, When, where and why.


Do we want to participate?  It is a great chance for the Sault Naturalists to interact with the community and promote ourselves.  Perhaps each number along the way could have our logo on it. 


Do we have enough volunteers?  In the past we have needed two people at each end of the section we are responsible for.  I found at the south end that if a Naturalist was not there helping people with questions (if I was just counting on the Conservation volunteers) the answers given and how the question was discussed was not always professional and in the clubs best interest. 

Bare minimum: 2 at each end= 4, and one gofer Total of 5 people.  It may be better to have 2 gofer for a total of 6.


Set up:  from 8:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.  Set up # signs along the trail.  I used a bike and a wagon to carry the stuff.  It took one hour to get to one end. 

Table set up at each end has in the past been handled by the Conservation Authority.  Remind volunteers to bring water to drink, sunscreen and personal items.  It they have cell phones they we will exchange numbers so we can communicate.  If the club has radios perhaps we could use them. 

Have cold water bottles available for the few people who are not prepared.  Plant and bird guides can be available at the tables.  I have small paper cups for people to drink from water coolers. 

Conservation Authority provided 2 bundles of passports, sticker and a few pens.  Their staff looked after stamping the passports at the south end.  Robert and Joy stamped at the North end (I think) but later we found out there should have only been one stamp per our section. 

Don Hall made promotional posters for our club and they were posted at the south end.


July 1 for activity

Preplan questions  and prepare signs:  one week before

Set up : takes longer than you think

Take down is pretty quick.


Fort Creek Conservation area between Second Line and Third Line 


Bristol board – three dollars

Paint for signs- three dollars

Canvas for signs – 10 dollars

Canada flags- free from Canal

Canada flappy sign- dollar store- two dollars

Wooden stakes- free from Rooneys

Wagon- borrowed from neighbor

Bike- fast and easy way to get around

Radio- does club have ones?

Cell phone numbers- exchange

Prize- in the past we had birding guides but I don’t think we need them anymore (my opinion) 


People pick up a passport at one of six location.  They can go to one station or all six along the Hub Trail.  The purpose is to promote use of the Hub Trail .  All non-motorized users are welcomed.  Participants enter their passport at the Bondar Tent to win prizes.  At Finn Hill Algoma Public Health give out sunscreen, At Velorution you get a free bike bell, At the Marconi Club you get lemonade and ginettis.  Fun, fun fun. 


Make sure all volunteers know the purpose is to promote our club to the users of the Hub Trail.  Have membership info available.  Have knowledgeable Sault Naturalists at either end.  Maybe have SooNats wear SooNat t-shirts or identifiers. 

Make up signs that can be used from year to year.  Build on previous year etc.

Ensure there is toilet paper in the outhouse at Second Line and a wash station.  Ie)  water tub with towels and or water spoute. 

In the future have Sault College Interpretation students prepare list of questions for interpretive signs that could be used in this section of the hub trail.  

Donna Ryckman-Rooney

(Posted 5/5/14)


Membership Committee Report


Up to April 28th  2014

Number of memberships

Not renewed  from 2013

Projected Income for 2015

Life Memberships




















Guest membership









Information:                86 memberships from Canada

                                             17 memberships from United States

Total members                          103


Membership Committee Report

Submitted for May meeting 2014

Respectfully reported by

Don and Vivian Hall 

(Posted 5/5/14)


Fisheries Management Planning Report 

In 2004, the Ministry of Natural Resources introduced the Ecological Framework for Fisheries Management to enhance fisheries management in Ontario. This new approach included public input into decision making from Advisory Councils for all 20 planned Fisheries Management Zones (FMZ) in Ontario. Each Advisory Council consists of 15 to 20 volunteers representing a variety of stakeholders and interest groups.

In 2008, the 20 new Fisheries Management Zones (FMZs) were created under this framework. The Algoma District is included in FMZ 10 and the FMZ 10 Advisory Council was one of the original three pilot councils established. The focus of this council was on lake trout sustainability based on the findings of the Northeast Lake Project (2000-2005). Data from this project determined that lake trout populations in FMZ 10 generally are in poor health with only 17% of these lakes being fished at a sustainable level.

The Ministry of Natural Resources with the support of the FMZ 10 Advisory Council has developed a strategy to manage lake trout in Zone 10. Several regulatory options were presented to the public for comment in the spring of 2009. Based on comments received, recommendations of the Fisheries Advisory Council and the best available science, new fishing regulations have been developed for lake trout in Zone 10, yellow perch on Manitoulin Island and walleye in the French River.

Changes to Zone 10 Lake Trout Fishing Regulations in 2010

Catch & Possession Limit:

Sports fish Licence: Limit of 2 Lake Trout (down from 3)

Conservation Licence: Limit of 1 Lake Trout (down from 2)

Sizes Limit:

Sports fish Licence: 1 Lake Trout any size, 1 Lake Trout under 40 cm

Conservation Licence: 1 Lake Trout any size

(Note: Previously there was no size limit on lake trout)

Open Season:

January 1 to Labour Day (reduced from Jan 1 -Sept 30).

The rational for these changes in the FMZ 10 fishing regulations is based on the fact that approximately half of the female lake trout mature by age 7 and generally at 40 cm in length. In addition mature female are more vulnerable to angling from mid summer to late summer given energy requirements associated with egg production. Limiting the harvest of lake trout over 40 cm to one fish, and closing the season on Labour Day will reduce the number of mature females harvested. Protecting mature females will ensure the sustainability of lake trout populations.

In 2010, 18 new lakes in Zone 10 are now designated for additional fishing opportunities. These lakes are stocked with hatchery lake trout and there is no size restriction on angled fish. These „put-grow-take‟ lakes deflect fishing effort from vulnerable naturally reproducing lake trout lakes.

Manitoulin Island is considered unique in FMZ 10. It has a warmer climate and a different geology (limestone vs shield) and as a result has a higher aquatic productivity. As a result, the lake trout lakes warrant special consideration. The regulation changes on Manitoulin Island include a reduction from three to two lake trout for a sport fishing licence, with no size restriction. The open season will remain January 1 to September 30 in 2010.

For other changes in FMZ 10 Fisheries Regulations for French River Walleye and Manitoulin Perch see http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/278898.pdf

Valerie Walker

FMZ 10 Council Representative

(From 2009 Annual Report)


Fisheries Management Zone 10 Council Report/Lake Trout Fact Sheet

In January 2008, the Ministry of Natural Resources created 20 new fisheries management zones (FMZ) based on biological, climatic and social criteria. These FMZs will become the unit of management for the majority of lakes so that fish populations are monitored, assessed and regulated at the zone level. Each new fisheries management zone will have an advisory council, which will help develop management strategies for the zones. Valerie Walker is a member of the FMZ 10 advisory council, which includes the Algoma District. Click on EFFM.doc to download a file with more information and maps. Following is a message from Val.

 As the Club’s representative on the Fisheries Management Zone 10 Council, I am sending you this ‘hot off the press' Lake Trout Fact Sheet. This fact sheet summarizes the state of the lake trout resource in Northeastern Ontario. It also highlights the province’s new Ecological Framework for recreational Fisheries Management.

 Ontario is now divided into 20 Fisheries Management Units (as opposed to the former 37 Fishing Divisions). The Algoma District is included in Zone 10. As you may be aware, the Ministry of Natural Resources has created a council made up of local stakeholder representatives to help develop management strategies for our local sports fishery. The focus of the Zone 10 Council is on a plan for the sustainability of lake trout. Right now, lake trout here are in poor health overall with 27% of lake trout lakes in decline and 41% considered degraded.

 Zone 10 Council recommendation for changes in the 2010 Lake Trout Fishing Regulations is reflective of the need to reduce the harvest of lake trout via a reduction in the daily catch limit as well as a reduction in the open season. Here is Council’s recommendation:

Lake Trout limit = 2 /day

1 any size

1 less than 40 cm

Season: Feb 15 Sept 30

 (Currently 3 LT any size, Jan 1- Sept 30)

 In addition, there are 37 “recovery” lake trout lakes that have been identified in Zone 10 that have proposed restrictions to further limit harvest.

 A Ministry of Natural Resources public consultation is planned for this March, so watch this wiki www.soonats.pbworks.com for your opportunity to comment on this important issue.

Valerie Walker

FMZ 10 Council Representative

(Feb. 2009)


Forest Management Planning Report

The Algoma Forest Local Citizen Committee of Sault Ste. Marie (LCC) formed in 1990. Since that time a Sault Naturalist member had participated to represent naturalist viewpoints regarding forest uses and benefits.

This year the team for Algoma has been finalizing the Forest Management Plan for the years 2010 to 2020. Information centres were held for the public to comment on proposed initiatives, review of public responses received at the information centres were made, a summary report was submitted for the draft plan, and a further open house was held in July 2009. The draft plan was finalized and sent to the Regional Director in November of 2009.


1. A variety of members have changed on the committee this year. Ongoing training for new members will be necessary.

2. LCC members have voiced concerns that social and economic benefits be discussed in more detail.

3. Tourism and recreational values as well as fibre and other non-timber resources of the forest must be enhanced.

4. an adjustment to the shelterwood system of forest extraction was proposed.

5. The LCC unanimously approved a forest planning objective to address climate change. Many other plans have not incorporated this however our committee felt it was necessary to get the MNR and industry thinking about climate change in a formal way. The recommendation, included in the 210-2020 FMP states:

“This plan commits to the adoption of all relevant and practical aspects of any climate change policy developed for forest management planning purposes by the MNR, as soon as any such policy is approved for implementation even though the policy may only be required for future FMP‟s, approved after the policy becomes effective. This commitment only applies to those aspects of any policy that will not require a plan amendment to be implemented.”

Sault Naturalists Annual Report - 2009 Page 9

The committee has a good working relationship with the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Clergue Forest Management Planning office however the planning process is complex and arduous. The Forest Management Planning Manual states that the local citizen committee be “integral” to the planning process as well as “monitor” the plan itself. This should continue to be the central focus of the LCC as it develops through time.

I am pleased to sit on the committee on behalf of the naturalists.

Donna Ryckman-Rooney

Local Citizens Committee Representative

(From 2009 Annual Report)


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