Volunteer community based fish stocking has a long history in Ontario and for decades, thousands of dedicated hatchery volunteers have made tremendous efforts to improve our recreational fisheries and educate the people of Ontario about our extraordinary resources. Fish stocking and community engagement are two very important components of fisheries management in Ontario.
In March 2013, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH), in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), launched the Community Hatchery Program (CHP) to grant funding support to eligible community hatcheries and provide strategic and targeted support for Ontario’s community fish culture and stocking efforts. In 2023, the OFAH and the MNRF entered into a one year transfer payment agreement where the MNRF will provide $300,000 over the term of the agreement and the OFAH will administer the CHP on their behalf.
The CHP provides funding support to community based fish hatchery operations, and facilitates the transfer of knowledge and technical expertise in and among community hatcheries. Through this network, the CHP will assist community hatcheries with addressing government requirements and will support hatcheries in fish health, proper egg collection, rearing and stocking of public fish for public waters.