Fish and Game getting ready to brag

Frank Ricard, Barry Beaumont, Kent, Todd and Jack Reader, Neil Holonen, Robert, Ray, Christopher Souliere and David Ricard break ground in the spring of 1992. Twenty years later the Morinville fish and Game Association is still going strong. The first building was a trailer and the first meeting in the new club house was held May 14, 1992. – Submitted Photo

By Lucie Roy

Morinville – The Morinville Fish & Game Association (MFGA) 20th Anniversary Brag Night will be held Mar. 24 at the Morinville Community Cultural Centre. The annual brag night allows local outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to show off their antlers and enjoy a little wild game. The supper will include dishes made with deer, moose, elk, bison, deep fried turkey and smoked salmon. Another highlight of the annual Brag Night is the live and silent auction. This year’s live auction items include limited edition prints from artist Robert Bateman, Gail Adams, Fred Buchwitz and Karl Wood, a two-night stay at The Whistler Inn in Jasper, and outdoor patio rocking chairs.

In addition to operating the club house and deck and the Fish and Game Association pond, they also act as stewards of the pond. Each year the club receives 1,000 trout for the pond from Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and often ups that with a supply of their own. Additionally, the association installs a goose nest for migrating birds to use, and participates in a spring clean-up of the shoreline of the pond and trail system. The club also hosts a children’s fishing day in the summer and another in the winter, giving kids and their families an opportunity to try their hand at shore and ice fishing.

Long history in the community

The history of the MFGA can be traced to 1991 when Bob Bolk and Greg Moffat organized a general interest meeting in the Frontiersman Hotel on April 18 1991. The reason for a Morinville fish and game club was to bring people together with the same interests.

In 1992 the conservation group reclaimed 10 acres north of the Provincial Building for recreational use. The site, once barren except for patches of tall grass and a deep burrow pit used for building the overpass on Highway 2 was to be transformed into an educational wilderness park. The 54-foot deep pond was excavated for the Hwy overpass in 1988 and sat there for years until someone pulled a large perch out of it and an almost nine-pound rainbow trout. The group began by planting 100 saplings of blue spruce, mayday and Manitoba maple, donated by members of the Alberta Fish and Wildlife. They also transplanted bulrushes and cattails to provide cover for waterfowl.

Besides a club house on the south side corner, the facility includes a path around the lake and through the park. Recently the association, through a Centennial Grant, installed some interpretive telling visitors what they are likely to see. Thepark serves as both recreation facility and wildlife reserve, allowing visitors to come and watch nature while strolling or fishing.

Brag night a two-decade tradition

The first annual Brag Night was held Feb. 10, 1993. That year the association also introduced a junior-member category for boys and girls 15 years of age and younger. Twenty years later, the annual Brag Night and dinner is an annual tradition.
The event is open to the public. Cocktails and silent auction bidding start at 5:30 p.m.. Dinner is served at 6:30 p.m. with the live auction to follow. Tickets are $30 each and available at Hunters Print and Copy on 100 Avenue. For info contact Darcy at 780-939-6279.

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