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OFAH Media Releases 2008

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OFAH FILE: 842

May 5, 2008

For Immediate Release

May marks the beginning of walleye season

Anglers encouraged to check fishing summary, safety gear, before heading out

For thousands of anglers in Ontario, May means one thing—walleye. In most of the province, walleye season opens during one of the first three Saturdays in May. In parts of Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, (Zones 14 and 20), the season is already underway.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) encourages all anglers to take the time before heading out on the water, to ensure that they are aware of the new fishing regulations that may affect them. This past January, the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) began implementing new provincial fishing regulations, a substantial change from the previous system. One of the major shifts is a move to Fisheries Management Zones from divisions. Anglers should familiarize themselves with their zone regulations as well as the many exceptions for each. The Ministry has introduced an interim strategy for inland walleye (Zones 15, 16,17,18) that includes reduced catch limits and size limits. As well, new live bait regulations are in place. The Fishing Ontario 2008-2009 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at service centres, tackle shops and online, contains most of the information anglers will need.

"Fishing is an important part of our heritage, and a fantastic way to spend a day in the great outdoors," says O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "Making sure that you know the regulations, have the required licences and permits, and are fully equipped for safety, is a smart way to start the season." Fast fishing and boating safety facts:

  • Most Ontario residents between 18 and 64 years old require an outdoor card and a licence to fish, and must carry the card when fishing.
  • A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is required (and must be carried) to operate a small-motorized boat.
  • Seasons and catch limits vary across fish species and zones; check the new regulations summary carefully.
  • Live bait can no longer be released into any water, including the water in which it was caught.
  • Most small passenger vessels, including canoes, must be safety-equipped with a paddle or anchor, a bailer, sound signaling device, buoyant heaving line and a flashlight. Regulations vary by size and type of vessel.
  • Every person in the boat must have a Canadian-approved, properly fitting lifejacket or personal flotation device with him or her.

With over 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information about the O.F.A.H. visit www.ofah.org; for information on fishing in Ontario or to download the fishing summary, visit www.ontario.ca/fishing; for boating safety and operator regulations, go to www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety.

Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 270 Jeremy Holden

O.F.A.H. Fisheries Biologist

705 748-6324 ext 268

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OFAH FILE: 842

May 14, 2008

For Immediate Release

Enforcement key to addressing harassment of anglers and hunters

Human Rights report focuses on harassment of Asian anglers

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), the largest nonprofit fish and wildlife conservation based organization in Ontario, with 83,000 members and 655 member clubs from all backgrounds and walks of life, believes that the release of a report by the Ontario Human Rights Commission yesterday, which focuses on the harassment of Asian anglers, reinforces the need for increased enforcement of the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Act which states that it is an offense to harass any angler or hunter while fishing or hunting, regardless of race or ethnicity.

"Section 13 (1) of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997 (F.W.C.A.) clearly states that it is illegal to interfere with anyone who is engaged in lawful hunting, trapping or fishing," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "Anglers, hunters and trappers have frequently experienced harassment of some type, and the O.F.A.H. was instrumental in having this section included in the act for this very reason. The Commission, police agencies, conservation officers, government departments, outdoor groups and individual anglers and hunters all play a role in ensuring that everyone, regardless of race, is able to engage in lawful activities without fear of reprisal. In this case, this will involve both education about the law and enforcement of the fisheries regulations, which make it clear when you can fish, how you can fish, what you can fish for and most importantly, where and when you cannot fish in the interest of protecting fish stocks. For example, sanctuaries are designated as no fishing zones for this reason and must be respected."

Mr. Reader stated that it is imperative that all anglers and hunters read, understand and adhere to the regulations, which are released by the Ministry of Natural Resources each year, and that they are aware of the protections afforded to both anglers and the resource under the F.W.C.A. He also noted that it is critical that when violations occur, it is imperative that enforcement of the law, both by conservation officers and law enforcement officials occurs in a timely manner. "If a violation is reported, whether this involves harassment while fishing or a suspected violation of the regulations, enforcement of the Act and the regulations is crucial. Without enforcement, infractions will likely continue."

If you see someone breaking the law while fishing or hunting, don't take the law into your hands by challenging them directly. It is clearly the responsibility of the Ministry of Natural Resources to enforce their own regulations, and violations should immediately be reported to the District office, a Conservation officer, the TIPS line or the local O.P.P. detachment. "Enforcement by the M.N.R. or police is critical, and we know from one recent case where a violation was reported and investigation of the complaint occurred in a timely manner, that a charge was laid and conviction obtained," said Reader. "Fishing is a great leveler. Everybody, regardless of who they are, loves to fish and should have the opportunity to do so, in a safe and lawful manner while respecting conservation of the resource."

It is up to all anglers and hunters to ensure that fishing remains a safe and enjoyable activity, and that all participants understand and abide by the laws as set out under the F.W.C.A. and the fishing and hunting regulations. It's common courtesy and common sense.

Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 270 Greg Farrant

Manger, Government Relations and Communications

705 748-6324 ext 236

705 875-0274 (cell)

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May 21, 2008

For Immediate Release

M.N.R. Minister Cansfield to join celebration of

one million Atlantic salmon stocked into Lake Ontario

Huge milestone reached for one of North America's largest freshwater conservation projects

Thanks to the efforts of the Lake Ontario Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program (L.O.A.S.R.P.), the Atlantic salmon is making a comeback in Lake Ontario, after an absence of more than one hundred years.

On May 28, the L.O.A.S.R.P. will celebrate stocking ONE MILLION Atlantic salmon into Lake Ontario. The celebration and stocking will take place on the banks of the Credit River at the Belfountain Conservation Area in Belfountain. The Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources, will attend and will assist in the release of salmon fry into the Credit River.

The release of a million fish is a key milestone, made possible through the support of the major sponsor, Australia's Banrock Station Wines, which has committed $1.25 million dollars to the project, their largest contribution to any conservation project outside Australia.

More than 30 partners and sponsors are taking part in the L.O.A.S.R.P. In addition to Banrock Station Wines, the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Liquor Control Board of Ontario, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, Fishing Forever Foundation, Fleming College, Trout Unlimited Canada, as well as conservation authorities, local community groups and private landowners are providing support to the program.

The L.O.A.S.R.P. is one of the largest freshwater conservation projects in North America. The program includes fish production and stocking; habitat restoration and water quality enhancement; research and monitoring; and education and outreach.

Event: ONE MILLION Atlantic salmon stocked in a Lake Ontario tributary Date: May 28, 10:30 am Attending: Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Natural Resources Location: Belfountain Conservation Area, 10 Credit Street, Belfountain (Caledon) Map:

http://www.creditvalleycons.com/recandleis...belfountain.pdf

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario. For more information about the L.O.A.S.R.P., visit www.bringbackthesalmon.ca or www.ofah.org.

Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 270 Chris Robinson

O.F.A.H. Atlantic Salmon Restoration Program Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 237

705 761-1276 (cell)

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OFAH FILE: 842

May 22, 2008

For Immediate Release

Provincial fall wild turkey regulations now in force

O.F.A.H. welcomes hunt, advises hunters to review regulations before fall season

As promised by the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.), there will be a fall wild turkey season in designated parts of Ontario this year. Changes to regulations pertaining to wild turkey in the Open Seasons-Wildlife section under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997, were finalized on May 15 and are now in force. The move had been expected, as the fall hunt was proposed in the Wild Turkey Management Plan, which was posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights (E.B.R.) for public comment in February.

"The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is pleased that the fall wild turkey season will proceed as promised in parts of Ontario," said O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "The wild turkey is thriving, and expanded hunting opportunities provide for sound wildlife management, time in the outdoors for hunters, and economic benefits for many communities that derive their livelihood from the outdoor industry."

A fall wild turkey hunting season has been approved in Wildlife Management Units 64, 67, 68, 73, 76, 77, 78, 81, 82, 84, 89, 90, 92, and 93. The season will run each year from the Tuesday following Thanksgiving until the second Sunday following Thanksgiving.

Regulations for the fall season vary slightly from the spring, so the O.F.A.H. is strongly encouraging hunters to thoroughly review the regulations before the season opens. Whereas in the spring hunters may purchase two licences and harvest a season total of two birds over two or more days, the fall limit is one bird per hunter, per season. Unlike the spring season, fall harvested wild turkeys may be of either gender, with or without a beard.

Wild Turkey Facts:

  • The O.F.A.H. initiated the highly successful program to bring back the extirpated eastern wild turkey to Ontario more than twenty years ago.
  • There has been a hunting season since 1987, and during that time, wild turkey populations have continually increased. Moderate estimates place Ontario's turkey population at well over 70,000 birds.
  • The wild turkey is a popular game bird, even though hunters require special training and certification to obtain the turkey designation on their hunting licence.
  • Since 1987, the O.F.A.H. has trained 78,300 turkey hunters in seminars held across Ontario.
  • Last year, wild turkey licence sales contributed $936,789 to the M.N.R. Special Purpose Account.

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario.

Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 270 Rob Pineo

Forestry and Wildlife Biologist

705 748-6324 ext 240

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OFAH FILE: 842

May 30, 2008

For Immediate Release

Toronto Mayor escalates vendetta against legal firearms and firearms owners

Restrictions on gun ranges and clubs pointless exercise in war against gun crime

Not content to rest on his laurels and his ill-fated pursuit of a ban on handguns as a means of stopping gun crime in Toronto, Mayor David Miller has now turned his sights on legal, law abiding recreational sport shooters, which will impact upon shooters like Avianna Cho, a member of the Canadian Olympic team headed for Beijing in August.

A report entitled, "City of Toronto: City-Based Measures to Address Gun Violence" will be considered by the powerful Executive Committee of Council on June 3, 2008. The Planning and Growth Committee will consider a zoning bylaw on September 10, 2008.

"By canceling the leases of the Scarborough Rifle Club and the CNRA Gun Club at Union Station, and targeting law-abiding firearms owners, manufacturers and distributors, the Mayor is once again laying the blame for escalating gun crime in Toronto at the doorstep of the legal, heavily regulated, licensed and trained firearms community, instead of focusing his efforts on addressing the real causes of these crimes," said Jack Hedman, President of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.

Earlier attempts by Mayor Miller to ban handguns, which are ostensibly already banned and tightly controlled, have failed to impress the federal government, who rightly pointed out that the measures being pursued under their recently passed crime bill, including increased border enforcement, more police on the street and more stringent use of sentencing provisions for gun crimes, will more effectively target the root causes of gun crimes.

The O.F.A.H. is alarmed by the fact that the Mayor either doesn't understand the problem, or worse still, doesn't want to understand, having found an easy and convenient scapegoat for the ills that plague his city. Legal, law-abiding firearms owners should not be the focus of his crusade, when it's the access to and use of illegal firearms by criminals and gang members to commit crimes that needs to be addressed. Worse still, the Mayor makes statements that are not reflective of reality, and conflict with statements made by his own Chief of Police who told the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Justice that close to 80percent of seized firearms have been smuggled in across the border. The Mayor's inflammatory rhetoric, including irrational statements that guns are 'routinely' stolen from 'so-called' legal owners and are responsible for the glut of guns on the streets of Toronto may play well on the six o'clock news, but are a gross misrepresentation of fact.

"Make no mistake, while the report going before the Executive Committee is referred to as a 'staff' report, the Mayor's fingerprints are all over it," said Mr. Hedman. "Fortunately, several Toronto Councillors see this for what it is, and have rightly characterized the Mayor's vilification of the legal firearms community as nothing more than 'cosmetic', 'political junk food' and 'an insult to law abiding citizens'.

The suggestion that legal shooting clubs, and recreational sport shooters are in anyway responsible for the ongoing spate of gun crimes in Toronto is dismissed by others, including the Deputy Chief Firearms Officer for Ontario, who noted that he has received absolutely no complaints about either of the clubs targeted by the Mayor. The Deputy CFO also stated that the closure of ranges and attempts to ban recreational firearms from Toronto won't stop legal owners from joining clubs elsewhere in the GTA, nor will it prevent them from owning, purchasing and continuing to use firearms in a safe, legal and regulated manner.

The Mayor's demonization of legal firearms owners, and his insistence on casting them as the villains of this piece is particularly disturbing, since a review of legal firearms ownership in Ontario clearly demonstrates that the GTA, and in particular the City of Toronto, has the fewest number of legal, registered firearms anywhere in Ontario. If this doesn't tell him that it's not the legal firearms owners who are responsible for the carnage on the streets of Toronto, then what will? In 2005, on 4 of 129 homicides were committed with a registered firearm, and 6 of 108 in 2006. What does it take for the Mayor to understand that it is the use of illegal, unregistered firearms that are available on any street corner, that are the problem?

It's time that Mr. Miller put an end to the empty oratory and actually turned his attention to the real issue at hand. It's also time that he stopped portraying legal, responsible, law-abiding recreational shooters like Avianna Cho as the villains, who are not now, nor have they ever been, part of the problem. In light of two recent public opinion polls, one conducted by Toronto radio station AM640, in which 94 percent of respondents said that the Mayor's proposals won't curb gun violence; and a second on Victoria radio station CFAX1070, in which 95 percent responded that it makes no sense to ban responsible gun use is safe settings, the public seems to have an equally jaundiced view of the Mayor's proposal.

The bottom line is this: gun bans in countries like England, Australia, Wales, Jamaica and others has not reduced gun crime, in fact, the opposite has occurred. Similarly, the proposal to shut down legal recreational shooting ranges and banning firearms companies from setting up shop in Toronto will not stop criminals and gangs from acquiring illegal firearms and committing crimes.

If the Mayor ever puts forward a practical idea that actually makes sense and will make a difference, legal firearms owners are likely to step up and support him. Until then, he should put his time to better uses and spare us the useless window dressing.

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest, nonprofit fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario.

Contact

Greg Farrant

Manager, Government Relations

705 748-6324

705 875-0274 (cell) Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext 270

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OFAH FILE: 842

June 5, 2008

For Immediate Release

<h3 align="center">Conservation the biggest winner in O.F.A.H. Lottery

100 lucky ticket holders win great prizes and support conservation efforts</h3> There were five grand prize winners in the 34th Annual O.F.A.H. Conservation Lottery draw held May 30, but the biggest winners were the fish and wildlife conservation programs supported by the proceeds of the lottery, hosted by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.).

The top five prizes included Dodge vehicles, Lund boats, Yamaha motors and ShoreLand'r trailers. In total, one hundred prizes, worth almost $300,000, were awarded to lucky ticket holders. A Yamaha ATV, Shimano rod and reel combinations and outdoor gear were among the other items won.

Grand Prize winner, Bill Riddell of Princeton, was just heading north for a week of fishing when the avid angler received the good news on Friday. Bill won a 2008 Dodge Durango, Lund 1700 Pro Sport boat with Yamaha 115 h.p. outboard motor and ShoreLand'r trailer, a prize package valued at more than $87,000.

"I have been an O.F.A.H. member for 25 years," said Riddell. "I buy the lottery tickets to help support conservation projects. Winning this prize is a fantastic bonus."

Second grand prize winner John MacIntyre of Kingston, says the 2008 Dodge Dakota Quad Cab 4x4, couldn't have come at a better time, as he was badly in need of a new vehicle.

Doug Verrall of Sutton took the third grand prize, a 2008 Dodge Caravan, Peterborough resident Russell Grimshaw held the lucky ticket for fourth prize, a 2008 Dodge Dakota 4x2, and Randy Lovie of Zurich won fifth prize, a Lund 1625 Classic boat with Yamaha 40 h.p. outboard motor and a Shoreland'r trailer.

"The lottery is yet another way that the outdoors community supports conservation," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "For 34 years now, O.F.A.H. members and member clubs have raised tens of thousands of dollars for conservation initiatives through ticket sales on great lottery prizes donated by our generous sponsors. Thanks to everyone who bought a ticket and helped support habitat enhancement, wildlife reintroduction, and outdoor youth programs."

The O.F.A.H. Conservation Lottery is a major fundraising event for the O.F.A.H., the largest, fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario, and is conducted under Provincial Lottery Licence P070669. For a complete list of winners and prizes in the 34th Annual O.F.A.H. Conservation Lottery, visit www.ofah.org/lottery.

Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext. 270 Dave Pind

Marketing and Purchasing Representative

705 748-6324 ext. 225

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OFAH FILE: 842

June 20, 2008

For Immediate Release

All media are invited to attend the workshop for photo, video and interview opportunities or follow up with local students <h3 align="center">Youth in training to face off against invading species

Students from across Ontario converge for workshop June 23, 24, 2008</h3> More than thirty college and university summer students will converge on Trent University in Peterborough on June 23rd, and 24th to learn all they can about alien threats to Ontario's environment, and what they can do to prevent their spread. They are registered for a workshop hosted by the Invading Species Awareness Program, a partnership of the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (O.M.N.R.).

The students are employed for the summer with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, the Ministry of Natural Resources, conservation authorities, and non-government organizations.

There will be students attending from 16 different natural resource offices from all over the province of Ontario. During the summer the students will form an “invasive species hit squad,” attending a number of events to educate the public about different invading species, and the steps that they can take to stop them from spreading to new places.

The purpose of the workshop is to provide the students with all of the information that they will need to have a successful summer season of public education and outreach, and invasive species monitoring.

Funding assistance for this initiative is also being provided by the Government of Canada's Canada Summer Jobs Program and the Invasive Alien Species Partnership Program.

Who:

What:

When:

Where: 35 college and university summer students

Invading Species Awareness Training

June 23, 9 am – 5pm (Note: 3 p.m. outside tour of Trent nature areas, invasives)

June 24, 8 am – 1 pm

Trent University, Environmental Sciences building, Peterborough

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the largest nonprofit conservation-based organization in Ontario.

<h4 style="color: rgb(255, 0, 0);">Watch the Invading Species website next week for a full bio page on the 35 students</h4> The following is a list of host communities and organizations involved in the program this summer. To contact students, or for further information, call Francine MacDonald, O.F.A.H. Invasive Species/Aquatics Biologist (ext 238), or David Copplestone (ext 247), Invasive Species Outreach Liaison at (705) 748-6324.

Eastern Ontario:

Berwick, South Nation Conservation

Chutes a Blondeau, Voyageur Provincial Park, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Lanark, Mississippi Valley Conservation Authority

Manotick, Rideau Valley Conservation Authority

Pembroke, Pembroke District Ministry of Natural Resources

Northeastern Ontario:

Manitoulin Island, Manitoulin Tourism Association, Manitoulin Area Stewardship Council

Parry Sound, Eastern Georgian Bay Stewardship Council, Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve

Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources

Northwestern Ontario:

Kenora, Lake of the Woods District Property Owners Association

Central Ontario:

Alderville, Lower Trent Conservation and Alderville First Nation

Alliston, Nottawasaga Valley Conservation Authority

Aurora, Ontario Streams

Orillia, Kids For Turtles

Peterborough, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Southwestern Ontario:

Windsor, University of Windsor

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Contact

Francine MacDonald

Invading Species/Aquatic Biologist

705 748-6324 ext. 238

cell 705-761-1503 Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext. 270

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OFAH FILE: 842

July 2, 2008

For Immediate Release

<h3 align="center">Children are the focus of Ontario Family Fishing Weekend

Province-wide licence-free family fishing – July 4 through 6, 2008</h3>ffwlogo.jpg From Adolphustown to Wheatley, and in dozens of Ontario communities in between, plans are well underway for Ontario Family Fishing Weekend, running July 4 through 6, 2008.

For the fifteenth consecutive year, the Ontario Family Fishing Weekend Committee, led by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), will offer a full weekend of free fishing at family-friendly events hosted across Ontario. Canadian citizens do not require a licence to fish in Ontario waters during this weekend, however all other fishing regulations apply. The province-wide event runs during National Fishing Week (July 5 through 13).

"Fishing connects kids with the outdoors,” said O.F.A.H. Executive Director, Mike Reader, “and through the generosity of the many conservation-minded clubs that host Ontario Family Fishing Weekend events, thousands of families will share a great day together in the fresh air.”

Over 60 events are already planned, with details posted on the event website. More host groups are invited to get onboard, and the O.F.A.H. is offering tools to help them get started. To receive a free Ontario Family Fishing Weekend information package, call Mark Cousins at 705-748-6324 ext. 233. The package includes volunteer and participation certificates, flyers and posters, Take-A-Kid Fishing and Catch Fishing booklets, and tips for event planning. To add a new event to the growing list, or to find an event near you, visit www.familyfishingweekend.com.

Ontario Family Fishing Weekend is delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association, the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Foundation, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters.

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Contact

Mark Cousins

O.F.A.H. Ontario Family Fishing Weekend Coordinato

705 748-6324 ext. 233 Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext. 270

© 2008 Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters

All Rights Reserved

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mnr.jpgofah.jpg <h3 align="center">Fall wild turkey hunting season in place

McGuinty Government Provides More Hunting Opportunities</h3> Ontario is giving hunters more opportunities to hunt wild turkey in southern Ontario.

A new fall wild turkey season is now in place in specific Wildlife Management Units in southeastern and southwestern Ontario. The new fall season allows hunters to take one bird from October 14 to 26 during 2008.

The spring wild turkey season was also recently expanded on St. Joseph Island and in the Bracebridge and Minden areas. Wild turkey populations have rebounded and are healthy nearly 25 years after being reintroduced in the province. Since 1984, Ontario has worked with partners, including the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) and the National Wild Turkey Federation, to recover populations of this bird.

"The tremendous success of the wild turkey restoration project has made it possible to increase fall hunting opportunities in many parts of the province," said Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield. "I encourage turkey hunters to visit the Information Updates for Hunters on my ministry's website and carefully review the new regulations before heading out to the field this fall."

"A new fall wild turkey hunting season is welcome news," said OFAH Executive Director Mike Reader. "It means more time in the field for Ontario's turkey hunting enthusiasts, and it will have economic benefits for the many communities that rely on the outdoors industry."

QUICK FACTS

  • Wild turkey disappeared from Ontario in 1909 due to unregulated hunting and habitat loss.
  • About 4,400 wild turkeys were released beginning in 1984 at 275 sites across the province as part of the effort to restore this bird. There are now over 70,000 wild turkeys in Ontario.
  • A new record spring turkey harvest for 2008 of 10,492 birds demonstrates the continued health and growth of the provincial wild turkey population.

LEARN MORE

Contact

David Bauer

Minister's Office

416-314-2212 Jolanta Kowalski

Communications Services Branch

416-314-2106 Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705 748-6324 ext. 270

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OFAH FILE: 842

July 9, 2008

For Immediate Release

<h3 align="center">More fun than a video game—Camp Get Outdoors

Outdoor experience is the real deal </h3> getoutdoors.jpgYouth from across Ontario will be trading their game controllers for fishing poles, kayaks and archery ranges this week, as the incredibly popular O.F.A.H. Camp Get Outdoors gets underway again on the shores of North Fox Lake in the heart of the Muskokas.

The summer camp is an outreach program of the national award-winning O.F.A.H. Get Outdoors initiative. Started in 2002, the camp quickly caught on and now fills in just days, with many consigned to the waiting list. Over two, four-day camps running July 12-15 and July 17-20, 130 boys and girls between the ages of 8 and 18 years will discover the fun that awaits them in the great outdoors.

"The O.F.A.H. Camp Get Outdoors is the only summer camp in Ontario that gives youth the opportunity to experience Canada's outdoor heritage first hand,” says Get Outdoors Coordinator Keith Beecroft. “We've built a summer camp around the core values of the Federation, focusing not only on conservation, but also leadership, and the enthusiastic response we get every year tells us that these values are shared by families across the province.”

The camps offer non-stop excitement, including the Hamilton and Area Fly-fishers and Tyers (H.A.F.F.T.) fly tying station, the O.F.A.H. Sea kayaking expedition, the Shimano youth bass and walleye fishing tournament, the Excalibur archery featuring Olympic level instruction from Bruce Schneller and crossbow range, Cabela's .22 Sharp Shooter range, featuring Stoeger firearms. Campers are also encouraged to bring their game calls, for competition in the annual Game Calling Competition. There is also a half-day canoe trip, wilderness camping, and Survivor-style leadership and team building initiatives.

"The support we receive from companies like Cabela's, Stoeger, Shimano, and Excalibur, combined with the efforts of our many outstanding volunteers, makes it possible to provide our campers with an incredible outdoor experience that will stay with them for a lifetime," adds Beecroft.

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the largest nonprofit, charitable fish and wildlife conservation organization in Ontario. For more information visit www.ofah.org or www.getoutdoors.org.

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Contact

Keith Beecroft

Membership Programs Representative

705-748-6324 ext 255 Alesha Caldwell

Get Outdoors Program Assistant

705-748-6324 ext 264 Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705-748-6324 ext 270

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OFAH FILE: 842

July 10, 2008

For Immediate Release

<h3 align="center">Province unfairly targets anglers with regulation changes

Move fails to address the real challenges facing sturgeon recovery and conservation</h3> The Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) recently took immediate and drastic steps in its bid to conserve lake sturgeon populations in Ontario by implementing a regulation change that caps lake sturgeon limits at zero, effective July 1, 2008. While the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) supports efforts to conserve and rehabilitate lake sturgeon, it believes that the M.N.R. in its initial statement, has left many of the real barriers to sturgeon recovery unaddressed.

The regulation changes can only be viewed as the M.N.R.'s simplistic approach to deal with a complex issue of resource abuse, fueled by a growing demand for caviar. Two individuals were recently charged for illegally fishing sturgeon and selling caviar. Increased enforcement is clearly the better response to this issue. "With this regulation change, the M.N.R. has cast anglers as the primary threat to the resource, and law-abiding recreational anglers strongly object to that false characterization," said O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "The M.N.R. should be looking to anglers as partners in lake sturgeon management, through programs such as angler diaries."

The O.F.A.H. believes the M.N.R. acted correctly in choosing not to completely close seasons for sturgeon, as a zero quota still allows for catch and release fishing. Maintaining opportunities for anglers to catch sturgeon provides a wealth of traditional knowledge that is valuable in managing the resource. The Federation hopes to work with the M.N.R. and other stakeholders to develop a management plan that would include selective sustainable harvest and mandatory reporting by all harvesters.

Perhaps the most significant challenges to sturgeon recovery, habitat degradation and habitat loss, are left unaddressed by the recent regulation change. Lake sturgeon rely on access to large river systems for spawning, systems that are being continuously dammed, fragmenting populations and preventing access to critical spawning habitat. In fact, over 500 new dam sites have already been identified for potential hydro development as part of the province's direction toward renewable energy. Many of the proposed dams are on rivers known to support lake sturgeon and will have lasting negative impacts. Pollution of the Great Lakes ecosystem is another obstacle to recovery, as chemicals continue to enter the lakes unchecked, and historically degraded sites sit waiting for critical funding to begin restoration. The O.F.A.H. hopes that any provincial management plan will consider these obstacles as well, and not simply restrict its focus to the fishery.

Sturgeon fishermen bring attention to the species through the visibility of their activities, and they serve as custodians of the resource. They have much to gain from enhancing the sturgeon fishery, and just as much to lose, if the resource is not protected.

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information visit www.ofah.org.

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Contact

Jeremy Holden

Fisheries Biologist

705-748-6324 ext. 268 Lezlie Goodwin

Communications Coordinator

705-748-6324 ext 270

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When Wild TV found out that the O.F.A.H. turned 80 this year, they wanted to get involved in the celebrations. As a special thank you for your O.F.A.H. membership, they are offering you a FREE Wild TV Recoil: On Demand kit, with your active participation in the Sign Up 8 in 2008 challenge.*

Wild TV is Canada's only 24/7 fishing and hunting network, and proud supporter of the O.F.A.H.

"Our product is uniquely Canadian," said Ryan Kohler, Vice President of Wild TV. "There is no better way to get your fill of outdoors action than by tuning into our station, day or night. Fishing and hunting are a big part of who we are as Canadians, and we are excited to offer O.F.A.H. members programming that features their favorite pastimes."

The O.F.A.H. has worked hard over the last 80 years to enhance and create fishing and hunting opportunities, while protecting your fishing and hunting rights. "Without the tireless efforts of the O.F.A.H. and its members, there's no telling how dismal the state of affairs would be for fish and wildlife. We're proud to offer an exciting lineup, that reflects the heartbeat of your members, and a new way to enjoy our world class network," added Kohler.

The next best thing to actually fishing and hunting, is catching your favorite fishing and hunting shows on Wild TV -- especially during the off-season. Don't forget to tune in to The Angler & Hunter, a production of the O.F.A.H., on Wild TV every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

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Recoil: On Demand - Anytime, Anywhere!

It just got a whole lot easier to catch all of your favorite Wild TV action, with their new online service, Recoil: On Demand.

"Recoil is quite simply hunting and fishing, anytime, anywhere," described Kohler. "It's a new way to watch what you want, when you want to. It bridges the Internet video from your computer to your television, providing you with access to Recoil's massive programming lineup, from the comfort of your living room."

FREE RECOIL ON DEMAND KIT WITH EVERY NEW REFERRAL

As part of the Sign Up 8 in 2008 challenge, Wild TV wants you to have a free Recoil: On Demand kit, and 3 months of free on demand action for simply signing up one new member as part of this promotion. An incredible $34.95 value!*

If you are already signed up for the Sign Up 8 in 2008 challenge, simply refer a new member to the O.F.A.H. and you will automatically be sent a Recoil: On Demand kit*, in addition to the great prize you are already set to receive.

Need to sign up for the program? Visit www.ofah.org/great8 to enroll, or contact Keith at campaigns@ofah.org or by calling (705) 748-6324 ext.255. Once your first referral is processed as a new member, you will receive both the Recoil: On Demand kit, as well as your reward from t he Sign Up 8 in 2008 challenge.

Clubs, please contact Kim Staples at kimberly@ofah.org or by calling (705) 748-6324 ext. 252.

* Offer available on referrals from July 16th - August 31st or while supplies last. Limit one Recoil: On Demand kit per club or member

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Wild TV is excited to offer you a free contest for a trip of a lifetime!

Wild TV & Rainbow King Lodge are giving away a DREAM fishing trip for two to Alaska.

Rainbow King Lodge is Alaska's premier fishing destination, with world-class rainbow trout, Pacific salmon, halibut, grayling, and char, acclaimed to be the most prolific in Alaska, if not on the entire Earth.

The prize package valued at over $15,000 includes: airfare for two to Alaska, additional transportation (float plane), luxurious accommodations, meals, a $1,000 fishing gear package from Wholesale Sports, and an adventure of a lifetime.

Interested? Click here to enter online!

The Wild TV Alaskan Fishing Adventure Giveaway is a contest organized & promoted by Wild TV

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OFAH FILE: 842

October 20, 2008

For immediate release

O.F.A.H. purchases Ontario OUT OF DOORS

Outdoor magazine a good fit for Ontario's largest conservation organization

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.), representing 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, is pleased to confirm early media reports that it has entered into an agreement with Rogers Publishing Ltd. to purchase Ontario OUT OF DOORS (O.O.D.) magazine.

"We are pleased and proud to assume ownership of Ontario OUT OF DOORS and all associated properties," said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. "The magazine reflects the values and interests of anglers and hunters, and we are excited to be at the helm as it continues to inform and engage our members and others about topics and issues affecting the outdoors community." Ontario OUT OF DOORS is published ten times annually, featuring the work of some of Canada's top outdoor writers and photographers, and has been a key player in outdoors publishing in Ontario for 40 years.

The purchase affords in-house control of O.F.A.H.'s major membership communications tool, Ontario OUT OF DOORS, as well as Angler & Hunter HOTLINE, a special 16-page insert edition available only to O.F.A.H. members. It also expands on the Federation's media reach and influence, which includes The Angler & Hunter television program and a significant online presence.

Over the coming weeks, the O.F.A.H. will continue to secure its publication team, which hopefully will include some key employees of Ontario OUT OF DOORS.

O.F.A.H. ownership of O.O.D. will ensure O.F.A.H. members have continued access to a first-class magazine with a strong, ongoing commitment to fishing and hunting and outdoor journalism, and a proactive approach to expanding its subscriber base and newsstand sales, as well as O.F.A.H. membership.

"This is an exciting time for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and its staff," Reader added. "This acquisition will provide new opportunities for our employees, as we build the team of professionals who will produce Ontario OUT OF DOORS."

With 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.

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The OFAH responds to local ARA letter writer:

http://www.niagarathisweek.com/opinions/article/225690

OFAH official: Many municipalities support Sunday gun hunting

Letters

Dec 12, 2008

I am writing in response to a letter from Jan Yates that appeared Dec. 3, in which the writer uses several erroneous arguments in support of her position against Sunday gun hunting and against a possible review of the issue by West Lincoln Municipal Council.

Since the introduction of Sunday gun hunting by the former Minister of Natural Resources in 2005, 168 of the 230 municipalities in southern Ontario have opted to allow Sunday gun hunting. Given this significant level of support, I would respectfully suggest that many municipal leaders across the province, who have made a decision to support Sunday hunting after extensive public consultation, do not share Ms. Yates concerns.

Since the inception of hunter safety courses in Ontario in the early 1960's, the safety record of hunters in Ontario is enviable. In fact, according to figures from Statistics Canada, the Canada Safety Council and the National Safety Council, hunting is safer than biking, golf, ice skating, baseball, soccer, boating, swimming and tennis. Hunting is also safer than common activities of everyday living. When compared to the most common causes of accidents causing injuries, including car accidents, home accidents, falls, insect stings and lightning strikes, the accident rate among non-hunters is 0.001 per cent. Hunters are trained to know the range of their firearms, how and when it is safe to discharge a firearm, and cannot hunt in Ontario without having passed the Canadian Firearms Safety Course and Hunter Safety Course. Those who hunt for wild turkey are required to take a third separate course before hunting that species. Hunting is carefully regulated by the Ministry of Natural Resources under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, and firearms owners are subject to severe penalties under the Firearms Act, the Criminal Code and other statutes for the careless use of a firearm whether hunting or not.

Despite doubts expressed by the writer, the Ministry of Natural Resources clearly states that hunting is the most effective wildlife management tool available to them, without which they may not be able to control burgeoning wildlife populations. This is important given that in many areas, wildlife populations are increasing, which is good news, except for the increased threat that this may pose to public safety. According to the Ministry of Transportation, each year over 15,000 wildlife/car collisions occur across Ontario; one every 38 minutes; 90 per cent involving white tail deer; which represents an 86 per cent increase over the last decade. With milder winters, more roads being built, and increased urbanization in traditionally rural areas, the conflict between people and wildlife, particularly on the roads, is expected to continue.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters works with the Ministry of Transportation, the Ontario Provincial Police and municipalities like the City of Ottawa to warn the public of the threat posed by increased wildlife numbers on the roads. These accidents cause deaths, thousands of injuries and billions in insurance claims each year, to say nothing of the effect that this carnage has on the animals themselves. Without regulated hunting, the number of wildlife/car collisions would likely increase substantially.

The writer also suggested that crop and livestock damage is not an issue. I would point out that according to the Ontario Soil & Crop Improvement Association, the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) and the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario (CFFO), the amount of damage being done by all forms of wildlife is significant, and amounts to more that $50 million annually. In fact, in a letter to the Premier on October 11, 2007, the OFA suggested that the damage being done had reached 'crisis proportions', and lest the writer forget, this kind of damage costs all of us, farmers and taxpayers alike. I would also point out that in the Niagara region, there has been considerable recent concern expressed over burgeoning coyote populations, so much so, that local municipalities are looking for new ways to control this and other related wildlife populations.

Ms. Yates suggests that Sunday hunting violates a quality of life issue. With all due respect, I must disagree. There are few activities that do not now take place on Sundays. People can gamble, buy liquor, shop, bet at the racetrack, go to casinos, target practice and engage in a wide diversity of other recreational pursuits on Sundays, so why not hunting? Furthermore, bow hunting is already allowed throughout Ontario. For those who work five days a week, or shift work, Sunday hunting offers additional recreational opportunities. Whether Ms. Yates agrees or not, for many families, hunting is a family activity, and providing a few extra days per year, during current hunting seasons, to engage in this pastime is important to them.

By suggesting that hunters 'invade' private and Crown land, firing 'lethal weapons', Ms. Yates makes another mistake. Private landowners have the choice of whether or not to allow hunting on their property at any time, and this doesn't change just because Sunday gun hunting is approved. Her suggestion that non-hunters should be fearful of falling victim to a 'stray bullet' is not only factually incorrect, it is based upon an inherent misunderstanding of the statistics, a failure to recognize that a myriad of laws and regulations exist to govern the responsible use of firearms and a lack of knowledge with regard to the scientifically based regulation of hunting, all of which are designed to allow for hunting in a safe and responsible manner.

Greg Farrant

Manager, Government Relations & Communications

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

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OFAH FILE: 842

January 22, 2009

For immediate release

Start the presses!

Ontario OUT OF DOORS publishes February issue with O.F.A.H.

Ontario OUT OF DOORS (O.O.D.), the province's leading outdoors magazine has launched the first issue under its proud new owner, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.). Purchased from Rogers Publishing Limited in December 2008, O.O.D. has a long and respected tradition of providing the outdoors community in Ontario with the best news and articles on issues related to hunting, fishing and the outdoors. The first O.F.A.H.-published edition of O.O.D. will reach O.F.A.H. members, subscribers and supporters this week, and will hit the newsstands in early February.

"We're delighted to launch the first issue of Ontario OUT OF DOORS magazine under the O.F.A.H. banner," said O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "O.O.D. offers readers, subscribers and O.F.A.H. members across the province the best in outdoors journalism, and celebrates the rich heritage of our hunting and fishing traditions. The reputation and strength of the O.O.D. brand will increase our ability to communicate with our members, subscribers and the general readership about the importance of conservation, and the key role anglers and hunters play in the management of our natural resources."

O.O.D. is published ten times a year, including the popular Fishing Annual, which appears in the spring, and the Hunting Annual, which appears in the fall. Readers will find the magazine is sticking with its winning formula, under the editorial control of Editor-in-Chief John Kerr, Associate Editor Ray Blades and Art Director Tamas Pal, along with a familiar team of editors, contributing writers, photographers and illustrators who have helped make the magazine a success in the past.

"O.O.D. will continue to provide the best fishing and hunting coverage and commentary on issues of the day affecting the outdoors community, using a new design format introduced last year that received overwhelming support from O.O.D. readership," said John Kerr. "We are passionate about our hunting and fishing heritage and the conservation of our valuable natural resources, and our readers will see that reflected in the magazine."

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 655 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org, www.huntontario.com or www.fishontario.com.

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Contact

Lezlie Goodwin

O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator

(705) 748-6324 ext 270 Greg Farrant

Manager of Government Relations & Communications

(705) 748-6324 ext 236

Click here to download the PDF version of this release

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OFAH FILE: 842

March 27, 2009

For immediate release

Polls show public support for abolition of registry

Majority of Canadians agree with Prime Minister that the long-gun registry must go

On March 23, 2009, a Toronto Sun online poll asked, "Do you support Prime Minister Stephen Harper's call to scrap the long-gun registry?" An overwhelming majority, 84 percent, supported scrapping the registry. A survey by Toronto-based CP24 the same day, asked, "Do you think the Government should scrap the Federal long gun registry?" Fully 66 percent responded that the registry should be scrapped, or that it was a bad idea from the outset. Polls run by The Globe & Mail, CTV News, Ipsos-Reid and others dating back to 2002, have repeatedly demonstrated that Canadians believe that the registry is ineffective and should be abolished.

O.F.A.H. Executive Director, Mike Reader noted that the latest results are especially telling, given that they were conducted in Toronto, the largest urban centre in the country. "The outdoors community knew from the outset that the long gun registry would not be effective in preventing crime, because it targets licensed, law-abiding citizens who use legal firearms for hunting or recreational sport shooting instead of targeting criminals who use illegal handguns to commit crimes in our communities. Canadian taxpayers are fed up with paying for the registry that never has, and never will, reduce crime or increase public safety."

The O.F.A.H. is one of many organizations across the country that has fought the long-gun registry from the beginning. In the decade that the registry has been in place, it has been poorly managed, with cost overruns verging on two billion dollars. It has been subject to repeated privacy violations and has done nothing to reduce violent crime. Two reports by the Auditor General of Canada have called into question the effectiveness of the registry, and soundly criticized government overspending on a program that was supposed to cost no more than $20 million.

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 655 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit www.ofah.org.

* Myth: The firearms program and the long gun registry will protect public safety.

* Fact: In her report, the Auditor General of Canada pointed out that no authoritative study has been done, more than a decade after its launch that shows any impact on gun statistics stemming from the long gun registry.

* Myth: The firearm's registry prevents tragedies such as happened at Dawson College.

* Fact: The registry did not prevent the shooting at Dawson College, nor can it prevent any other random act of violence.

* Myth: The current firearms system prevents individuals who should not possess firearms from gaining access to them.

* Fact: The system does nothing to prevent those convicted of violent crimes from obtaining firearms, nor does it provide for supervision of these individuals. They are not even required to report a change of address to police.

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Contact

Greg Farrant

Manager, Government Relations and Communications

(705) 748-6324 ext 236 Lezlie Goodwin

O.F.A.H. Communications Coordinator

(705) 748-6324 ext 270

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