Paul-Emile Perron’s dedication and passion for the outdoors and commitment to conservation has been recognized by the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters.
Perron has been named the 2019 recipient of the Gord Blake Memorial Conservation Award, which is given annually by the OFAH to the individual considered to have done the most for conservation on a volunteer basis. He was nominated for this award by members of the Nosbonsing Anglers and Hunters Club, an OFAH-affiliated club.
Pioneering the club as its first president in 1983, Perron has dedicated more than 35 years of his time to helping enhance and conserve fishing and hunting opportunities in the Astorville and the surrounding area.
“To say we appreciate Paul-Emile Perron does not begin to express how grateful we are as a club and community to have him as our president,” read a passage in the award nomination submitted to the OFAH.
“In addition to being a great leader, he is also an outstanding active member of the OFAH and deserves to be recognized for his ongoing contributions throughout the years.”
Over the years Perron has been directly involved in countless conservation initiatives, including the building and maintenance of local deer feeding stations, maintenance of summer food plots, fish stocking efforts, spawning bed enhancement projects, walleye surveys, moose management initiatives, the coordination of turkey hunting seminars and anti-poaching communications campaigns, just to name a few.
To this day Perron continues to be deeply involved in numerous initiatives, but none as extensive as his work with the Depot Creek project.
Depot Creek is a tributary of Lake Nosbonsing, flowing from an unnamed lake near Algonquin Park. It contains a number of fish species, including Speckled Trout, but has required extensive work over the years after being severely damaged in the mid-1950s.
Under Perron’s direction, efforts to restore the creek began in the late 1980s, and in the years that followed, with the help of fellow club members and family, Perron led efforts to restore and clean up the river. However, to undertake such an onerous task, funding became a necessary component and in 2016, Perron helped secure grant funding through the Greater Nipissing Stewardship Council that would help increase and expedite the restoration efforts.
By the end of 2018 efforts along Depot Creek resulted in 36 sites over a 4.5-kilometre stretch receiving much-needed restoration.
“If it were not for Paul’s unwavering support for the vision and values of our club and programs, we would not be the successful organization and community that we have proudly become,” read another passage in Perron’s nomination.
OFAH representatives presented Perron with his award at a club meeting on March 27.
With 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 740-member clubs, the OFAH is the leading non-profit fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario.