Cormorant and Moose Lake- Provincial Rod & Reel Program

 Moose Lake-some keen students
It was the start of a week-long adventure to northern Manitoba. Thankfully the sun was shining as I headed up Highway # 6 to The Pas. Since it was a Sunday I was hoping good friend Rick Hubbs would be able to take me out for some late afternoon fishing for lakers. Arriving around five p.m I was greeted by both Rick and his wife Fran with his new boat sitting in the driveway. Sure enough half an hour later we are skimming across the calm surface of Clearwater Lake.
Three hours later we had caught and released about 10 lake trout, the largest maybe six pounds, a great way to start the trip.
Rick with a laker!
On Monday we headed up to Cormorant Lake to visit the school as the first stop of my Provincial Rod & Reel visit for 2014. Sponsored by Manitoba Hydro, employee Ryan Gault, had picked me up on the way. In the back of his truck were 108 rods and reels for the students. After an enthusiastic greeting and presentation, the students got to enjoy a hot lunch, then received a new fishing outfit. Located on Cormorant Lake, the students would be heading down to the bridge in town to catch walleye and pike later that day!
Knot tying!
Tuesday we headed to Moose Lake and the brand new Frontier Mosakahiken School. Phys Ed teacher Robert Rideout and a number of his students were there to help Ryan and I unload and set up for the presentation to about 110 students.
Rideout also teaches an Expanded Options Program (EOP). The EOP program offers students the opportunity to take comprehensive two-week courses on a variety of topics including: flight and aviation, cosmetology, athletics, cooking and digital photography, just to mention a few. The courses are designed to be interesting and fun and something different from the norm, while at the same time giving them extra credits towards graduation. We often find that students with high absenteeism throughout the year start attending again when EOP courses begin.
The Hunting and Fishing course is designed to get the students out onto the lakes and into the wilderness. Rideout says the goal when setting up the course was to make it as much hands-on as they could. They look into the community for elders, fishermen and hunters who have the skills and knowledge needed to survive and prosper in the out-of-doors. The students have deep respect for these individuals because they are from their own community and their skills are well known.

There are many objectives for the course. The course teaches hunting and fishing techniques, different types of gear, survival skills, fire making, and orienteering - including map and compass and using GPS. We also teach the students how to tie knots, snare rabbits, trap small animals, as well as species identification and species management. Rideout knows how important safety is so they offer a day of first aid and hunter safety training which provides the students with certification in these areas.

 Hunter training course

After Ryan and I completed the presentation and handed out 200 rods and reel for students we headed back to Clearwater, knowing that these were in good hands. Sure enough, later that day the town dock was lined with students using their new equipment

Coming:  Thompson is the next stop!


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