by Cecilia Naismith
The annual fish lift returns to Cobourg April 21. It had originally been reported that it would take place on April 14 but has been pushed a week due to weather.
Cobourg resident Jim Jubenville has announced the date, inviting community volunteers who care about the health of the trout population to grab hip waders and a net to pitch in.
Meeting at The Mill restaurant and pub on Ontario Street at 8:30 am, the volunteers will wade in, net the trout, take them to the Ministry of Natural Resources staffer who will be on hand, then lift them over the Pratt's Pond falls so that they can proceed to their breeding grounds upstream in Baltimore – something that might otherwise have proven difficult or impossible for the fish.
The MNR people take this opportunity each year to examine the fish, weigh them and get an up-to-date picture of the health of the local fish population, Jubenville said.
Jubenville long ago became a perennial volunteer for this effort, joining Fred Ball at the task more than 30 years ago. Fred has since been joined in this work by his son Don, and now Don's children have made it a three-generation labour of love.
The April 14 date is on a weather-permitting basis, Jubenville said, and it goes on long enough for the MNR staffer to inspect 100 males and 100 females – it typically takes about two hours.