Now that winter is amongst us, things in the "Wild World" are settling down to a dull roar, so I decided to go and find something of a different nature to report on, and boy did I.
First - "The Big Cats Of Zimbabwe" have come to Caledonia!! Some time ago I reported on a local hunter that took a liking to the call of the animal world in Zimbabwe, a country on the African continent. His first quest to become a taker of the "Big Five" started in 1994 and finished in 2006. He has successfully taken the "Big Five"
Neil Burnside has many other trophies from his trips abroad and many North American trophies also. These are all on display in his game room at his home. They are open to the public to enjoy by appointment only.
Neil says that after 12 years of traveling to Zimbabwe and due to his health and being able to be successful in getting "The Big Five", he is calling it over. He can now sit in his game room and enjoy the results of all the work and expense that the 12 years has brought him. Please enjoy the attached pictures, to see them in real life is even more impressive.
The Second report comes to us from the Caledonia Fish Hatchery in Mumford. I was lucky enough to get an interview with long time hatchery employee Mark Krause and received a lot of scoop on the goings-ons at the hatchery. Mark tells us that there will be no Salmon raised at the hatchery because of the chance of disease brought in with the waters of Lake Ontario. He says it is better to be safe than sorry and keep his trout healthy.
Mark also gave us some numbers as to the inventory that is on hand this winter. They have103,000 2 year old brown trout & 331,000 brown yearlings. At the Cedar Springs facility on North Road, they have 70,000 Rainbow yearlings and 6,000 2 year old Browns. No egg hatching is done at the Caledonia Hatchery any more. Approximately 370,000 fingerlings are trucked from the Randolph Hatchery every year.
An extensive $140,000 up-grade was done in September 2007 to the lower 5 ponds. New bottoms, plumbing, valves and drains were installed to replace the out of date and broken equipment. A new 50kw generator was installed at the Cedar Springs facility just in case of loss of power.
The 8 full time employees keep busy, through the winter months by maintaining the buildings and equipment. Taking care of the stock is a 24 hour-7 day a week job also.
So the next time you catch that nice brown or rainbow trout, think of the boys that made it possible for you.
See you next time - God Bless