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Credit River Tour shows how Atlantic salmon are returning after 150 year absence

Monday, June 4th 2007 3:58:15pm

Media Release - For Immediate Release

*High quality photos available


Port Credit River an important location for the Bring Back the Salmon project

(Toronto, June 4, 2007)  Today, international wetland and conservation expert Tony Sharley joined Atlantic Salmon Program Coordinator Chris Robinson from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters to lead a tour of the Credit River where the Bring Back the Salmon program is helping to re-introduce a native species to Lake Ontario and the surrounding watershed.

The tour included stops at four different sites along the Credit River, from Port Credit in the South, to Terra Cotta in the North.

"I'm thrilled with way the project has progressed," said Mr. Sharley. "It is remarkable that we will soon have a sustainable, healthy native species like the Atlantic salmon back as part of the natural ecosystem here in southern Ontario. It says a lot about the quality of work and the constant effort being put into making the watersheds around the GTA and Lake Ontario cleaner."

Banrock Station Wetlands Foundation Canada (Banrock Station Wines of Australia) is the leading supporter of the Bring Back the Salmon program and is contributing $1.25 million towards program development and implementation. Other key funding partners include the LCBO, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Ministry of Natural Resources.

The project, one of the largest in North America, is expected to restore self-sustaining populations of Atlantic salmon to Lake Ontario and its tributaries over the span of 10 to 15 years. The funding will include a number of important aspects of the program. Some of these include the stocking of a combination of fry (baby fish), fall fingerlings and yearlings/tributary in three tributaries; the establishment of a target number of adult fish to create the spawning populations needed to establish a self-sustaining population; the development and maintenance of a broodstock (adult Atlantic salmon used to produce eggs which are grown to the fry stage in the hatchery) from at least three different strains of Atlantic salmon; and, the development of an online voluntary monitoring program with Lake Ontario charter boat operators.

Chris Robinson of the OFAH believes the program bridges the interests of environmentalist and outdoor enthusiasts. "A sustainable Atlantic salmon population in and around the GTA will not only provide individuals with an opportunity to get out and enjoy their natural spaces, but also act as an indicator of habitat health and how the pressures of pollution are affecting the area."

Added Mr. Sharley, "While the re-introduction of the Atlantic salmon 150 years after its disappearance proves we are definitely moving in the right direction when it comes to cleaning our lakes and streams, we must continue to do more."

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For more information or to arrange and interview, contact:

Mark Donaldson, Communications Director, Churchill Cellars (Banrock Station), (416) 368-5108, mark(a)churchillcellars.com

Jonathan Laderoute, e|c|o, (416) 972-7401, laderoutej(a)huffstrategy.com


Banrock Station Wines is recognized internationally for its pioneering concept of funding environmental projects by donating partial proceeds of every worldwide purchase of its wines.  Banrock Station is a world-renowned rehabilitated wetland and home to The Wine and Wetlands Centre.  See www.banrockstation.com for more information.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters is Canada's leading conservation organization. It is a non-profit, registered charity, dedicated to protecting woodland and wetland habitat, conserving our precious fish and wildlife stocks and promoting outdoor education.