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SON Environment Office

Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) fishermen and biologists are noticing what appears to be profound changes in the nature of the fishery around their traditional territories. For example, yellow perch seem to be increasing in number and in all age classes. Whitefish, the staple of their commercial fishery, have adapted to changes in food availability by feeding on invasive zebra and quagga mussels.

In a November 23 media release, Kathleen Ryan is the Energy Manager for the SON Environment Office. She is the lead on SON dealings with Hydro One, Bruce Nuclear and Ontario Power Generation, and is also a fisheries biologist.

“SON will be starting a Shoreline Monitoring Project in the next few months, to investigate some of these changes and to lay down a baseline of information regarding the state of the fishery in our territorial waters. Our fishermen have been telling us what they’re seeing and it concerns us,” said Ryan.

On Monday, November 26, SON will be asking listeners to the CFOS Open Line what they’ve been noticing. Open Line airs from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on 560AM or online at bayshore.leanplayer.com/CFOSAM[http://bayshore.leanplayer.com/CFOSAM].

On air will be Kathleen Ryan, Neyaashiinigmiing, Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation Chief Greg Nadjiwon; and Ryan Lauzon, Nawash Fisheries Biologist.

They will be available to answer questions from media following the show in the lobby of Bayshore Broadcasting, 270 9th Street East in Owen Sound.

“We share the waters of Lake Huron and Georgian Bay with many other users,” said Chief Nadjiwon. “Our priority is naturally the health of our court-recognized commercial fishery. But we are concerned with the overall health of the fishery. And that means having a conversation with other users. We feel the best way to start that is by coming on the Open Line and sharing what we know with listeners.”

The SON Environmental Office has the responsibility for coordinating consultations with the Saugeen Ojibway Nation which consists of the Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation and the Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation. Its principle concern is that the projects of companies and governments do not harm the environment and therefore the rights and claims of the First Nations.

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