As part of our effort to share content related to Indigenous issues, please check out the video below which describes the fish hatchery operated by Shawanaga First Nations. Thanks to their efforts since the 1970’s, anglers throughout the waters of Shawanaga and Pointe au Baril have benefitted.
Inspired by the teachings of their grandfathers to “give back what we take,” community leaders became interested in walleye culture and restoration in the Shawanaga River in the late 1970’s. In 1996, a hatchery was built at Shawanaga Landing. The spawning bed is located about 2.5 kilometers from the mouth of the Shawanaga River. The hatchery used a flow-through system to produce 3 to 5 million walleye fry that were released into the water annually. This has since kept walleye stocks at a reasonably sustainable level.
The community’s Hatchery Operator, Aaron Pamajewong, says that the goal has always been sustainability. “Our elders taught us long ago that to ensure the sustainability of the resources that allow us to survive as human beings, we must give back. Involving our children teaches them this traditional community wisdom.”
In 2018, SFN upgraded its hatchery with new technology. This new culturing technology features a state-of-the-art water recirculating system that destroys harmful bacteria. It has allowed the community to double its current fry output for stocking purposes as well as produce, for the first time, an important number of advanced fingerlings.