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Fish Hatchery releases over 2000 trout into Paudash lake with community help

It was a busy morning on Paudash lake this past Tuesday.

Over 2000 young trout were released into the lake with the help of a wide range of volunteers. Lake Association President and Fish Hatchery Board member Mike Thomas, says 35,000 trout have been released into Paudash over the last 8 years: 

“The hatchery’s role is to grow fish at the hatchery for a couple years that then go into regional lakes in the Bancroft area. And so Paudash is one. In 17 years we’ve done nearly 100,000 stockings (in the area)”  

5 Pontoon Boat trips were needed to release the 2600 fish. High school students Sadie and Rachel from the Northern Environmental Research Development Program (NERDS) program at North Hastings High school were onboard helping. 

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“We are going out on the lake to release some Bancroft Jewel Trout, as we call them, which are native to the Bancroft area” Explained Sadie, “We’re taking them out in special containers where there’s oxygen currently attached so we can monitor and try and transfer them as safely as possible with as little shock as possible. It’s a little too shallow over here, so we’re going to take them out where we can disperse them better in the deeper water” 

According to Sadie, water temperatures have to be right to ensure the best chance of survival for the young trout. She says the Fish Hatchery closely monitors temperatures in the lake before release. 

Highlands East coun

Hatchery volunteer Gary Fowler who used his pontoon boat for the trip

cilor Angela Lewis was also on the boat, as well as the Mayor of Highlands East Dave Burton and his wife Jane.  

“I’m excited, this is a great day for us” said the Mayor, while his wife noted how much kids will be able to enjoy fishing this summer.  

Both of them said they were fans of being outdoors and fishing whenever time permits. 

After returning to shore Mayor Burton presented the fish hatchery with a cheque for $5000 to help support the non-profit. 

Mike noted that the Bancroft area fish hatchery is the most expensive fish hatchery to run in the province. 

“We keep them in the hatchery till they grow to 12 to 14 inches, so we’re putting in the largest stocked fish in the province. There’s a better chance of survival because they won’t be prey to other predator fish as much” 

About 30 people attended the put-in including:

Mayor Dave Burton of H.E.; Councilor Angela Lewis of H.E.; Mike Thomas (Pres. of Paudash Lake Conservation Association PLCA); Gary Pirko and Brad Elkins from the NHCFH Board; Dan Smith (President of the Haliburton Highlands Outdoors Association HHOA); Ian Hendry((Chair of the Bancroft Area Stewardship Council BASC)students from North Hastings High enrolled in the NORTHERN ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT STUDIES (NERDS) PROGRAM; as well as other volunteers and local residents.

Much of the funding for the hatchery comes from their annual dinner/auction held on Saturday evening July 13th at the curling club in Bancroft. Watch for tickets on their website at:

Earlier in the week MooseFM spoke with some of our youngest community members who are also helping to support the fish stocking program: kindergarten students at York River Public School. The students have been helping raise baby trout in their classroom. More on that story to come early next week. 


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