Most Sportsmanlike in every way!!

(The following story occurred in 2012 and for some inexplicable reason never did get published in the SPAWNER magazine.   We felt it was time to make amends as it is certainly deserving of mention.
 The list of award winners in our magazine does not indicate that a Most Sportsmanlike Award winner was given for 2012.   That is incorrect.   The award went to the two individuals mentioned in this story.   SPAWN has given them free memberships for 2014 as our way of saying we apologize for the error. – Editor)

This message is to express my gratitude through SPAWN’s website for help I received in tracking down a knapsack left behind while guiding on Flat Bay River.

On June 25 of 2012 it was threatening rain so in this pack I was carrying my two clients very expensive, breathable rain wear in addition to my own. The pack and contents had a combined value nearing the $1000 level. In addition to the expensive rain jackets, there was a light fleece sweater, my entire hunting knife collection (one of little monetary value but irreplaceable as it was a homemade skinning knife once owned by my recently deceased father), a compass, a field saw, etc..

It was not until returning home after a full day of angling that I realized this was left behind!! A foggy mind resulting from just 2 hours of sleep the previous day left me struggling to recall where I had last carried the pack. To fast track the search a very good friend was contacted at his summer cottage along Flat Bay River. He understood my concern with an immediate offer to visit with his grandson the locations I described to begin a search.

After a nervous hour or so my phone rang with news which was not at all what I was hoping for …… the pack was nowhere to be seen. My friend did his best to encourage hope with a promise to follow up with his contacts in the region. His words offered a ray of hope, but to be honest I was already making plans to replace my clients rain wear and saying my goodbyes to the personal equipment that had served me so well over the years. Here’s where the story takes a twist I could not possibly have predicted.

What I didn’t know was the level of respect my friend held with the local people, in particular the Flat Bay Indian Band Council. The very next morning I received a follow up call from this friend with information that the identities of some of the locals who were in the area we had visited the previous day had been confirmed. These individuals were being contacted to see if they might have any helpful information to offer. This news did offer another glimmer of hope but again, in my opinion the chance of success was slim as the area is frequented by many.

Later that day another call was received from my friend with the unbelievable news that the pack had been located and already in his possession!!! There are no words that can describe the emotions I felt on receiving this news; elation and relief come close but don’t really do it justice. This amazing news was shared with joy and high fives with my clients as they had been placed in an awkward dilemma as a result of the loss. I was soon to learn that the fine gentlemen who found the pack on the river bank the previous day had taken all steps possible to determine the owner. They were Lenny Blanchard and Steven Colombe of St. George’s NL.

They searched the pack contents looking for ownership information but unfortunately there was no tag or identifying information on or in the pack. There was a phone number on a waterproof notepad they attempted to call but the number was unrelated. Upon learning their names I contacted them to express my gratitude and quickly discovered for myself how fortunate I was that my pack had fallen into the safe hands of such conscientious, humble, and honest individuals.

To my friend and his grandson, the individuals who found my pack, and the Flat Bay Indian Band Council, I extend my sincere gratitude, not only for their concerted efforts to help, but by restoring my faith that there still are many very good people out there enjoying our outdoor resources.

Many, many thanks to all!!

Barry Sweetland, SPAWN Board



SPAWN wins National Recreational Fisheries Award
Ottawa – SPAWN was recognized by Fisheries and Oceans Canada this year – “In recognition of an outstanding contribution to the conservation and ehancement of the recreational fisheries.”

On invitation, two Board representatives travelled to the Nation’s capital to accept this prestigious award from the Federal Minister of Fisheries, Loyola Hearn.
The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) developed the National Fisheries Awards program to honor individuals and organizations for their contribution to the conservation, restoration and enhancement of Canada’s recreational fisheries and their habitat. “These individuals and or organizations have played, and continue to play, a very important role in sustaining and developing the recreational fishing experience throughout Canada.”

SPAWN was given a pewter medallion, a framed certificate or recognition and special lapel pins.

In addition to the awards ceremony John and Craig were treated to a personalized tour of the parliament buildings and had an opportunity to visit other national exhibitions, such as the Museum of Civilization.


The Ches Loughlin Conservation Award
The Ches Loughlin award for 2006 is presented to Mr. Keith Piercey. Mr. Piercey, is past president of SCNL. He was a dynamic past president and accomplished much during his tenure in office. He currently is an advisor to the SPAWN board. He has served on our board as a director and vice president for many years and was one of our hardest workers. He is always available for extra duty, serving as an assistant guardian during night patrols, administrator of SPAWN Guardian Contract when we were the successfull bidders and administers our many student and other work programs. He is a very active volunteer in the ASF Fish Friends Program where SPAWN is responsible for the incubators at various schools throughout Western and Southern Newfoundland. In edition he helps collect the eggs from Salmon in the fall and delivers them to the school incubators in spring. He also assists with the SPAWN education program and is the assistant editor of SPAWNER magazine. He is involved in virtually all of our operations whether it is the counting fences, or special projects like Bear Cove Brook. Mr. Piercey is a committed conservationist and lends valuable assistance to the board as we formulate various policies and approaches to the many threats to the Atlantic Salmon.

SPAWN is very proud to award Mr. Piercey our Conservation Award for his outstanding contributions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.



The Ches Loughlin Conservation Award
In 2005 SPAWN established a special award recognizing a group or individual for contributing significantly to the protection of Atlantic Salmon. In recognizing our editor’s long-time dedication to this endeavour we have designated it “The Ches Loughlin Conservation Award.” The 2005 Award was presented on May 7th to all Conservation Officers in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador and accepted on their behalf by Jim Maloney, Chief of Special Investigations, Provincial Dept. of Natural Resources. Last summer (2004) a special team of 20 officers was designated by Premier Danny Williams specifically to investigate salmon violations. In their few months of operation last summer they succeeded in identifying and breaking up several organized poaching gangs. The work was province-wide with significant busts and charges laid in Bay St. George, the Avalon Peninsula, the Southwest Coast and in Central Newfoundland. Fines upto $5000 were levied and persons banned from being near scheduled salmon rivers for up to 10 years.

In accepting the award Mr. Maloney said they were commited to the operation and had worked with groups like SPAWN, Fisheries and Oceans, Parks Canada, and police in achieving their goals. He also noted that funding for 2005 operations had increased threefold. In setting up his new group Premier Danny Williams said one of the greatest detrimints to Atlantic Salmon survival is poaching and he is committed to ensuring that everything possible is done to catch those responsible. He said his Conservation Officers are already well trained and later this year they will be fully qualified to carry hand guns in conducting their duties. SPAWN is pleased to recognize the work of the Conservation Officers and is committed to assisting in any way possible to eradicate illegal poaching and angling.

“The undercover work officers do is making a significant impact on illegal activity,” said 2005 SPAWN President John McCarthy. “People now know they had better be on the lookout and think twice before acting illegaly – These Officers definately deserve the Loughlin award.”

Premier Wins Conservation Award
For the first time since its inception in 1980, the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland has awarded its Guenter Behr Salmonid Conservation Award to a politician. Newfoundland and Labrador’s Premier Danny Williams is the latest recipient. The Premier is being honoured for his recent initiatives to protect salmon stocks in this province.

In particular, Williams began by lobbying DFO to maintain current funding levels for the 2004 seasonal guardian program. But even when DFO annnounced that the program would not be cut; the Premier was still not satisfied with the level of salmonid enforcement and jumped into the area of federal jurisdiction by directing 20 provincial conservation officers to patrol our inland waters. The success of these officers in nabbing salmon poachers was phenomenal; a clear indication that DFO is currently not providing adequate resources to protect our salmon.

SAEN’s past president, Don Norman, recently had an opportunity to present the Premier with his award. During this time Norman also had time to speak to the Premier about our recreational salmon fishery. Norman was impressed with the Premier’s distain for poaching activities and his commitment to our salmon resource. Norman reports that the Premier will continue to lobby Ottawa for more enforcement money and to demonstrate the obvious need for adequate enforcement. The premier has promised $800,000 in provincial money this year for inland enforcement. As well the Premier has indicated that he has placed the issue of lack of Federal enforcement on the agenda at the upcoming Premier’s meeint in June.

The actions of Premier Williams clearly validates the recent views of all of our salmonid conservation groups. These groups have stressed the value of the Atlantic Salmon to our Province, especially in rural areas, for many years. This view has fallen on deaf ears at DFO. Such actions by our Premier can do nothing but raise the profile of the Atlantic Salmon. Clearly it is time for DFO to step up and meet the challenge of our Premier and our salmonid groups. Failure to do so wil only reinforce the view held by many that DFO really doesn’t care about our salmon.

SAEN’s Guenter Behr Salmonid Conservation award is presented annually to individuals, corporation or agencies who have made outstanding conservation contributions toward our trout and salmon resource. It is named in honour of Mr. Guenter Behr, a conservationist and charter member of SAEN’s Board of Directors, who died in 1979.

Most Sportsmanlike Angler
SPAWN is proud to present the 2005 Most Sportsmanlike Angler annual award in memory of the late Alphonsus Barrington of Badger, Newfoundland. Alphonsus epitomized the true meaning of a genuine sportsman, paritculary on the river. He was always helpful to new anglers especially children and was happy to show them how to fish and where.

Similarly, when he caught a salmon he never hesitated to show his fly to anyone on the river who was interested. Alphonsus was an excellent tyer and his deadly patterns graced this magazine for many years and were used by quite a few of our readers with good results.

But most of all Alphonsus respected the river and the fish. His poetry reflected his conservationist spirit and he never failed to pass along the need for preservation of our Salmon, in all his poems and deeds.

Alphonsus is worthy recepient of our award and SPAWN presents it proudly in his memory



SPAWN Hall of Fame Award
Dr. Larry Felt is a longtime supporter of salmon conservation. His involvement with the local Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland, the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland & Labrador, the Atlantic Salmon Management Board and other groups have made a profound difference to the status of salmon stocks in Newfoundland. Larry served as a spokesman for recreational fishing groups and a technical advisor for the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and played a key role in negotiatiing with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, unions, and government officials in both private and public forums.

A member of the Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland for more than 10 years, Dr. Felt served as the association’s President for four years and was a member of the Canadian government’s Atlatic Salmon Advisory Board. In the early 1980’s he worked for the merger of ASA and IASF which created the Atlantic Salmon Federation and served on the first Management Board. Larry is currently in his second year as President of the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Dr. Felt has always had an intuitive appreciation of the problems surrounding the salmonid species and his advice to SPAWN is always accurate and well-researched.

SPAWN is very proud to accord Dr. Larry Felt its greatest honour, the annual Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.

Keith Piercey Named to ASF’s Roll of Honour
The Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF) placed Keith Piercey of Corner Brook on its Roll of Honour on Saturday, May 3, 2003 at the annual dinner of the Salmon Preservation Association for the Waters of Newfoundland and Labrador (SPAWN). “ASF presents the Roll of Honour to individuals who exhibit outstanding commitment to salmon conservation at the grass-roots level to acknowledge the hard work that is performed on the wild Atlantic Salmon’s behalf by dedicated volunteers within the federation’s affiliate network.” Keith Piercey certainly meets the criterion for receiving this honour. He can always be counted on to get the job done and he is truly committed to conserving Newfoundland’s wild Atlantic Salmon and Trout populations.

Mr. Piercey has been an active member of SPAWN, serving as a Board member, Secretary, and Vice President and working on several committees. Assistant editor of SPAWNER Magazine, Keith also produces SPAWN’s Newsletter, coordinates office activities, is an advisor on the SPAWN board, and served as a project manager when SPAWN ran the Fisheries Guardian Program.

Keith was President of the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador (SCNL) for four years and is now serving as Past President. He represented council on both working and advisory groups of the island and Labrador Salmon and Trout advisory committees in cooperation with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and currently chairs the SCNL Aquaculture Committee.

SAEN Director Wins Silver Medal
Frequent contributor to SPAWNER, Don Hutchens entered the amateur section of the well known and widely respected FQSA International Flytying competition and was awarded the Silver Medal for placing second in the contest.

The winning fly was the Blue Doctor Hairwing.

SPAWNER extends congratulations to Don on his notable accomplishment.



SPAWN Hall of Fame Award
Mr. Don Ivany is the Regional Representative for Newfoundland and Labrador for the Atlantic Salmon Federation (ASF). During his career with ASF Mr. Ivany has shown himself to be an exceptionally capable representative and a courageous and tireless battler for Atlantic Salmon conservation. His letters to the editor in the local newspapers are particularly well written as he sets straight those detractors who would oppose the Federations laudable efforts to gain a wider acceptance of Catch and Release angling which they support as a conservation tool of the highest order.

The battle he wages is not an easy one as many anglers feel that they should be allowed to keep any salmon they hook and cite the reason as being that a large percentage of salmon released die anyway – which flies in the face of scientific studies proving that the opposite is true.

Mr. Ivany’s tireless efforts include speaking to children about conservation and the value of the species when he visits the schools in the province. Here he monitors and sets up the many and very educational “Fish Friends” salmon egg incubators sponsored by ASF, SPAWN, businesses and other conservation groups.

He attends many of the meetings of other conservation groups, across the province, including SPAWN where he adds considerably to the discussions on conservation problems and advises of the projects and various studies being undertaken by ASF, not only in Canada and the United States but also throughout the Atlantic Salmon world. These disclosures by Mr. Ivany are very helpful to SPAWN and other groups and his time spent with us cuts into his personal hours and is much appreciated.

Accordingly, SPAWN is very proud to accord Mr. Don Ivany its greatest honour, the annual Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.

Most Sportsmanlike Angler :: Terry Cramm
Mr. Cramm was nominated by SPAWN Director Herb Canning who states “Terry is an avid fisherman, who started salmon fishing when he was 16 years old.

He is well known in the upper Humber area – Mercer’s Pool etc., among other areas such as Main River and you can always count on him camping out at South West Brook on opening day every year.

He is very hospitable and is giving in many ways. He even offered the use of his cabin to my relatives and me when we were stranded after having a fishing trip booked that was cancelled due to high water levels. Only knowing Terry through a friend, we were quite pleased and impressed by his generosity and we gratefully accepted and fished at the flats.

I would consider him a fishing host on the river. Terry is very familiar with the upper Humber are and will take the time to show and tell anyone when and where to fish in the pools. If he is on the river he will watch you fish rather than crowd the pool. You can always count on an honest opinion on the river and fishing conditions. Terry is also known occasionally if your not rising fish in a good pool, to recommend flies and actually give you flies in most cases that will definately give you luck.

I have heard and witnessed may good things about Terry. He is highly spoken of on the rivers and I feel that he certainly deserves and award.”

The SPAWN board congratulates Mr. Cramm, who is a most deserving recipient of the award offered in the name of the late Billard George – a sportsmanlike angler himself.



SPAWN Hall of Fame Award
Mr. Rex Porter is the head, Salmonid Section, Science Branch, Fisheries and Oceans Canada in St. John’s NL. Mr. Porter has been a fixture at SPAWN annual and general meetings almost since the inception of the organization some 23 years ago. While sometimes he has received a hostile reception from membership because of the cutback in salmon angling limits proposed and implemented over the years, nevertheless his concern and decisions are always on the side of conservation. He realized early that the stocks were declining seriously and as a conservation group we can’t fault him for his great vision and foresight. Looking back over our dealings with Mr. Porter we believe one of the most controversial recommendations that he put forward was the implementation of grilse only fishing, which required anglers to release any salmon above 63 cm in length. SPAWN, supported this recommendation and it cost us a lot of members at the time. But, the key part of the proposal was the significant change in the commercial fishery, where fisherman would set their nets later in the year, thus allowing many of the early run big fish to escape to the rivers. This proposal by Mr. Porter has seen the numbers of multi sea-winter salmon increase substantially in many rivers. Because of the large number of hardy offspring from these fish, the decision to allow the big spawners to remain in the rivers, is probably the single factor that has kept our runs in this province much more viable than in other eastern provinces.

As Mr. Porter reaches towards retirement age, our board thought it would be appropriate to honour him for his dedication to Salmonid preservation while he is still on the job, and still fighting for the Atlantic Salmon.

Accordingly, SPAWN is very proud to accord Mr. Rex Porter its greatest honour, the annual Hall of Fame award for his outstanding achievements and contributions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.



SPAWN Hall of Fame Award
Dr. Don Downer, a professor at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, was born at Indian Islands on Newfoundland’ east coast. His work experiences range from inshore cod trap fishing to marine and freshwater biology. His profesional career spans the roles of biologist, teacher, principal, program coordinator and supervisor of teacher interns in Canada and the United Kingdom. He holds Masters degrees in marine biology and in education and a doctorate in education.

He has published several papers and short stories ranging from outport life and marine crustaceans to Newfoundland’s denominational education system. Selina, a children’s book about the life history of a special Atlantic Salmon who has many narrow escapes, was published last year and selected recently by DFO for distribution to school children in eastern Canada. He is donating the sales revenue towards the operation of ACRE, The Aquatic Center for Research and Education, at Hughes Brook, near Corner Brook.

There would be no Aquatic Center were it not for the fact Dr. Downer gathered a core of educational and non profit groups like SPAWN to utilize the Hughes hatchery and area. He convinced people of the importance of the facility by “srounging” enough funding to purchase two Canada Games buildings, installed them on the site, to become wet labs for research. His contacts with local businesses like HRDC, CBP&P, and Newfoundland Power made this possible. It now has a remote sensing weather station that sends daily data on the environment and water patterns to the university. It also houses a data collecting magnetometer in cooperation with the University of California…. and on it goes! Don has run workshops and spoken nationally and internationally on topics including marine and freshwater biology.

ACRE currently has 15,000 guests, in the form of salmon fry, as part of the SPAWN, ORVIS, ASF Fish Friends Program. It was Don, once again, who was able to arrange a cooperative venture with The Federation of Newfoundland Indians so a graduate of a Fish and Wildlife program could be hired to oversee the day to day care of the guests.

Dr. Downer’s vision expands beyond the science of salmon because he sees the important relationship between all of the river’s inhabitants and their surrounding environment. His goal is to see ACRE established as a research facility that can be shared by local and international students. We are fortunate indeed to have this admitted non-angler as a strong supporter in our midst. He is due to retire in August and vows to continue supporting the research and association with ACRE. We wish him all the best!

SPAWN is very proud to accord Dr. Downer its greatest honour, the Annual Hall of Fame award for his outstanding contributions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.

ASF staffer receives Salmonid Conservation Award
The Salmonid Association of Eastern Newfoundland presented its prestigious Guenter Behr Salmonid Conservation Award for 2000 to Don Ivany of Corner Brook. Mr. Ivany is the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Coordinator for the Atlantic Salmon Federation. He is being honoured for his continuing efforts to conserve trout and salmon stocks in the province.

The Guenter Behr Salmonid Conservation Award was established by SAEN in 1980 in memory of Mr. Guenter Behr, an avid outdoorsman and conservationist who passed away in 1979. Mr. Behr was a member of the original Board of Directors of SAEN and his presence and input were very prominent during the preliminary stages of its organization. Mr. Behr fully realized that our fish and wildlife populations were not limitless. He was a true conservationist before it became fashionable. The award is presented annually by SAEN to honor those individuals, corporations or agencies which have demonstrated outstanding conservation activities related to our trout and salmon populations.

As the only employee of the Atlantic Salmon Federation in Newfoundland and Labrador, Mr. Ivany is being honoured because his concern for the salmonids goes well beyond normal business hours. His dedication and commitment to conservation are considerably above the line of duty. Don is probably best known for his supervision of ASF’s Fish Friends program where he now co-ordinates over 70 classroom salmon incubators throughout the province.

Don is also responsible for providing the national and international link to the Atlantic Salmon Federation for the Provincial Salmonid Council – the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

So the next time you hear him speaking out against the latest proposal to dam our rivers, or clear-cut our streams or use nets to kill our salmon, remember that Don Ivany always puts conservation first.

SPAWN joins SAEN in congratulating Don on his achievement.



SPAWN Hall of Fame Award
The SPAWN Hall of Fame Award for 2000 will be awarded to Keith Piercey. Mr. Piercey has been on the SPAWN Board of Directors for many years and also served as Vice President. He currently is an advisor to the board and holds the position of President of the Salmonid Council of Newfoundland and Labrador where he is proving to be a very effective administrator.

Mr. Piercey, while serving on the SPAWN board was one of our most hard working directors. He was/is always available for extra duty, serving as an assistant guardian during night patrols, administrator of the SPAWN guardian contract wher we were the successful bidder and administered our many student and other work programs. He is very active in the Fish Friends program where SPAWN is responsible for the incubators at various schools throughout Western and Southern Newfoundland. He also assists with the SPAWN education program and is Assistant Editor of SPAWN. He was an active participant in the Bear Brook restoration and has always participated in the various spawning bed assessments with DFO.

In addition to all of the above Mr. Piercey is a committed conservationist and lends valuable assistance to the board as we formulate various policies and aproaches to the many threats to the Atlantic Salmon.

SPAWN is very proud to accord Mr. Piercey its greatest honour, the Annual Hall of Fame Award for his outstanding contibutions to the conservation and preservation of the Atlantic Salmon.

SPAWN Past President Inducted Into ASF’s Roll of Honour
Don Clarke has achieved one of the highest honours that can be bestowed on an Atlantic Salmon conservationist in this country. He was informed in January of this year that his conservation work has been recognized by the New Brunswick based, internationally supported Atlantic Salmon Federation. Don has been extremely active for many years in conservation programs for children in schools, a remarkable fund raiser for SPAWN, and has strong input into policy recommendations put forward by our group. We congratulate him heartily on his award, it is well deserved.