Between 2008 and 2011, EGBSC held annual workshops with different themes. The purpose of the workshops was to create better public awareness on each workshop theme and create a discussion. Below is a summary of the workshop themes and presentations.
2008 – State of the Fishery Resource: Canaries in our Lakes
In June 2008, EGBSC held a fisheries themed workshop, in partnership with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. The theme of the works was how fisheries act as indicators of health in lake ecosystems. Representatives from Cottage Associations, First Nation communities, municipalities and many groups and individuals were invited. Over 50 people representing more than 20 organizations attended the workshop. Karen Buck, from Clear Lake Cottage Association, ensured the workshop was a “waste free” event.
Presentations were given by:
- Karl Schiefer, a professional ecologist and consultant who provided a historical and present-day perspective of a depressed fishery and mounting human impacts.
- Arunas Liskauskas, a fisheries biologist with Upper Great Lakes Management Unit provided a historical review of the commercial fishing industry, the changing ecology of Georgian Bay and the state of the recreational fishery.
- Steve Scholten, a fisheries biologist with MNRF provided an overview of the direction of Ontario’s fisheries management.
- There was a presentation and discussion period with Jim McMullen, a Conservation Officer for Lake Huron. Many issues and concerns were discussed, from many perspectives.
- Eric McIntyre, EGBSC Coordinator summarized the workshop and provided suggestions on what the public could do to help protect fisheries.
2009 – Water Quality
Eric McIntyre, EGBSC Coordinator explained the purpose of the workshop was to help Cottage Association representatives share key stewardship messages with their members.
Lila Tabobandung and the Wasauksing Women’s Environmental Group sang a prayer to open the workshop. They told how in the Anishinabek tradition, woman are keepers of the water.
There were three presentations by Ministry of Environment (MOE) staff, which provided information on Georgian Bay water quality monitoring, the role of the MOE District office, water quality monitoring at the Dorset Science Centre and the MOE’s Lake Partner Program.
Judi Brouse from the District of Muskoka provided information on stewardship activities to improve water quality.
Karl Schiefer, a professional ecologist and EGBSC member described two water quality monitoring projects in Eastern Georgian Bay and gave details of both.
Gord Miller ended the presentation, with a discussion on the rights of individuals under the Environmental Bill of Rights.
2010 – Climate Change
In 2010, the annual workshop theme focused on climate change the potential impacts for Eastern Georgian Bay.
Dr. David Pearson from Laurentian University began the workshop with details on the science of climate change and expected changes.
Kenton Otterbein from Ontario Parks and Glenda Clayton from the Georgain Bay Biosphere Reserve (GBBR) discussed the potential impacts of climate change on the flora and fauna in the Eastern Georgian Bay area.
Francine MacDonald followed the presentation and described how climate change will increase the introduction and spread of invasive species, while having negative impacts on native species.
David Sweetnam from Georgian Bay Forever (GBF) and Jon Midwood from McMaster University presented on the effects of climate change on wetlands, specific to Georgian Bay.
2011 – Environmental Report Card Initiative
The 2011 workshop was focused on the environmental report card initiative that was being undertaken by the GBBR, with a focus on fisheries status.
David Bywater from GBBR explained the environmental report card initiative and why it was an important project.
Rob McGregor, representing the Ontario Rivers Alliance, gave an overview of the effects of waterpower and dams on fish communities.
Arunas Liskauskas from UGLMU gave a presentation on the state of the Georgian Bay fishery, providing historical information, and update on the status of the commercial fishery and recent changes to the management objectives for Lake Huron.
Steve Scholten from the MNRF gave a presentation on the state of inland lake fisheries, providing an overview of the management zones and objectives to their Broadscale Monitoring program.