Bluewater Anglers holding open house this weekend ahead of next month’s Salmon Derby

Saturday and Sunday will give public an opportunity to see the workings of one of the area's best kept secrets

Paul Heckley is a volunteer with Bluewater Anglers, which is hosting an open house of its hatchery operation in Point Edward this weekend.

Bluewater Anglers, a volunteer organization devoted to spreading the ideals of sustainable recreational fishing in the area, is opening the doors to its hatchery this weekend (March 17-18) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.

The event, one of the popular ones being organized by club members, is an open tour of the facility, which was first built by the organization in 1986.

“They’ll get to see everything from the incubation trays to the size of fish that are getting ready to be released in the spring,” said Paul Heckley, a long-serving volunteer with the Bluewater Anglers.

The hatchery has been in operation since it was put together in 1986, six years after the organization was founded.

At this weekend’s open house, attendees will be able to get information about the upcoming 42nd annual Salmon Derby, which runs from Friday, April 27 to Sunday, May 6.

More information is also available by going online to

The Derby is the biggest fundraiser for the Bluewater Anglers, helping provide about half the $30,000 needed to maintain the operation, which puts some 150,000 fish into Lake Huron every year, including about 45,000 rainbow trout.

That has resulted in some of the best rainbow trout fishing in Ontario, says Heckley.

Funds are also raised, one 25 cent piece at a time, from a feeder pond that is located adjacent to the hatchery. It’s open year long and will be “restocked” with smaller fish after a “Kid’s Day” takes place at the end of May.

At that time, some 150 students will catch a fish, which will then be released into the St. Clair River.

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