EMAIL mj.morris@live.ca


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chapleauites everywhere 'returning home' to vote for community to win Ultimate Fishing Town contest with social media making participation possible

The other day when Henry Byce messaged me on Facebook, "Sorry Chief.......they're a little bigger than the 2 you caught!! LOL", it struck me just how involved Chapleauites had become in the contest to decide the Ultimate Fishing Town in Canada.

Every morning when I get up and log in to Facebook, I am greeted by folks who no longer live in Chapleau but are part of the virtual community united in a common effort to bring victory to their home town. Fishing stories abound.

Just this morning, Hugh McGoldrick, Earlene Chambers, Paul Carson, Jamie Thibault, Bob Lewis and Lise McCarthy had posted messages on Facebook urging us to vote. Others were indicating they had. It happens several times a day as Chapleau remained in a tight race with Port Colborne for the title. Voting ends on May 31. Here is link: http://www.wfnfishingtown.ca/town/chapleau-on

I am delighted that Chapleau people are rallying in support of he community. It is great to see the community spirit.

Also as many know, after joining the faculty of College of the Rockies I led a team that developed the first college post graduate program in New Media Communications in Canada, way back in 1994. Many back then told me that email was okay but would never really catch on and virtual communities were a non starter. Social media consisted of chat rooms.

Today, Chapleau, the little town that can, is receiving global attention as it battles to win this contest, all because internet technology is providing the tools and Chapleauites everywhere are participating. To adapt an old dictum: "You can take the boy or girl out of Chapleau but you can't take Chapleau out of the boy or girl".

The photo of me to which Henry was referring was taken at Healy on Lake Windermere, 17 CPR miles west of Chapleau at our camp circa 1948. I had caught the fish from Sunday School rock, so named because Mrs. F. M. 'Maud" Hands would conduct Sunday school classes there. Henry sent me photo from his catch, taken in 2010 on a fishing trip home to Chapleau. You win Henry!

Dr. Vince Crichton, who still spends summers at the family camp on Mulligan's Bay was in touch ny email with an interesting insight into how the pickerel arrived in the Chapleau (Kebsquasheshing) River.

Vince wrote: "Where did the pickerel (walleye) in the Chapleau River between the 18 mile rapids and Chapleau come from? They were not always there. For many summers while attending high school and university I had the privilege of working for Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources which in the late 50’s and 60s was known as the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. The only fish in the aforementioned part of the river were pike, suckers, whitefish.

"One of my summer jobs was to live trap pickerel in Nemegosenda Lake and these fish in turn were relocated to Henderson Lake which is about half way between Chapleau and the 18 mile rapids. Myself along with Robert Lemieux and occasionally conservation officer Tom O’Shaughnessy would spend almost all of July camped in a tent at the north end of the lake capturing pickerel.

"My father (Vince Crichton Sr.) would come in with the Beaver aircraft every 3 or 4 days and airlift the fish to Henderson Lake. The aircraft was fitted with appropriate tanks and oxygen to ensure there was no mortality during the short flite to the river. We used what was called a trap net - when the fish were removed for the trap they were placed in holding pens which we had constructed along the shore. The camp site was at the north end of the lake and the trap net was just below the old dam at the point where the Nemegosenda river exits the lake. The net was secured to the old dam and it had a long centre lead extending down river from the capture box and 2 wings extending at 45 degree angles from the centre lead all of which helped divert fish into the capture box. Care had to be taken when lifting the net (which was pulled over the side of the canoe) daily to ensure the square stern canoe we used did not flip in the current."
Hugh McGoldrick
Here is one of Hugh McGoldrick's Facebook messages to rally us to vote: "Chapleau is movin' up agan.... We need to keep it going. We got "plenty of fish" and people know it!!! Now lets prove it with "plenty of votes!!" Come fishing, maybe you'll catch the fish of your dreams!!!! Vote Chapleau!!!"

Hugh also recalled: "One of my best fishing memories was the time I flew out with John Theriault and John Tangie for an afternoon of fishing. With a canoe strapped to the pontoon we took off in the Beaver and headed about ½ milenorth of Chapleau landing on Trump Lake. It didn’t look like much of a lake but the lake trout we pulled in suggested otherwise. We spent a few hours there and then packed all of our gear back onto the plane and headed about ½ hour east to the Chapleau River. We landed just below a nice rapid and within an hour we had our limit of pickerel. So, we jumped back in the plane and flew home to Chapleau. You can’t ask for much better fishing than that".

John Theriault

Bill Groves, long time Chapleau resident has been sharing some of his fishing photos starring his grandchildren who are clearly enjoying their trips on the pontoon boat.

Paul Carson shared a precious moment on a fishing trip with his father Ron: "In the morning we would venture up the lake to a larger camp and fill our stringer with walleye and lake trout, never go hungry because we always caught plenty of fish.... lunch would be a shore line lunch over a camp fire.... and dinner would be even more fish.... trout on the fire with lemon wedges and spices, how the meat would flake off because it was cooked perfectly.... the smallest things about fishing with my dad and brother as kids I remember fondly."

Janice Selin reminded me of a tradition started by the Chapleau Int A Huskies in the 1970s. "There is a small creek just when you turn onto the Sheppard & Morse & Island Lake road. When it was not dried up we use to creep up not to let the fish hear something was coming.

Bill Groves on pontoon boat with grandson
"All you needed to do was drop a small daredevil in & we would get many little brook trout. On New Year's day it was a tradition that all the Husky team would go to Five mile lake & ice fish. The guys chipped in & bought an electric ice auger & the girls would get a fire started on the lake & place down the Hudson Bay blankets. All the kids were very young then but we all had a great time."

Reflecting on fishing and the Huskies, I have to admit that I never went along on any of their fishing trips in Chapleau, but I did go deep sea fishing with a number of the players off the Florida coast. Danny Vaughan caught a shark, and he was in touch recently so we shared memories of the experience.

In fact as the voting ends on May 31 to decide the Ultimate Fishing Town, I am planning  to be on my way to Florida for my first visit in years. I am not planning to go shark fishing though. Keep voting Chapleau wherever you are. I will vote before I leave. My email is mj.morris@live.ca

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Michael J Morris

Michael J Morris
MJ with Buckwheat (1989-2009) Photo by Leo Ouimet


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