The Intermountain Conservation District (IMCD) has chosen the Intermountain Sport Fishing Enhancement Group (ISFEG) as the districts recipient of the 2007 Conservation Award. The volunteer group, originally established in 1990, was formed to promote sport fishing and tourism in the Parkland region through educational programs, fish and fish habitat enhancement projects, and sponsorship of local sport fishing activities. The group has a board of directors of about 10 people to spearhead the activities and Projects. Funding for various activities is largely gained through an annual banquet where all attendees are considered members. The banquet raises about $30,000.00 by memberships and banquet events. Another source of funding is through corporate sponsors, whether by cash or donated services. All revenue goes back into local projects or sponsorship.

The group has been involved in a number of projects that have increased sport fishing opportunities and fish habitat. Involvement with Dauphin Lake Advisory Board in the early 90’s led to the installation of many pool and riffle structures on the Wilson and Vermillion Rivers and the Edwards Creek to provide for spawning habitat for walleye. A public boat launch and access road were built near the mouth of the Valley River to provide increased access to Lake Dauphin. A public access road to the Vermillion Reservoir was built to provide more fishing opportunities. The ISFEG takes on the responsibility of rearing approximately 200,000 walleye in rearing ponds at Methley Beach for distribution to area lakes. The transfer of about 250 adult walleye from Beautiful Lake in the Duck Mountains to Childs and Singuish Lakes is a yearly event taken on by the group. The education and promotion activities spearheaded by the group include the development of an old burrow pit into a stocked trout pond for youth fishing opportunities and educational events (Uncle Bob’s Trout Pond). Approximately 350 youth are hosted at various events from school field trips to area fishing sites, youth fishing teams for provincial competitions, and annual youth fishing events at the trout pond. Together with this, the development of a fishing and conservation curriculum in the schools is a new initiative being carried out. In consultation with Manitoba Conservation, ISFEG is part of the steering committee for the Fisheries Enhancement Fund (FEF) which contributes grants to activities and projects geared at fish enhancement. The group also works with Manitoba Conservation in the setting of slot limits and catch limits in area lakes. Recent meetings with the First Nations and Manitoba Conservation were attended to develop an awareness of the importance of First Nations fishing activity and how all parties can work together for common goals.  Intermountain Sport Fishing Enhancement Group has been an integral leader in the Parkland area regarding the sport fishing industry and tourism. Together with this the group promotes conservation and sustainability of our watersheds and its resources for future generations. With all their effort and leadership towards in this area, Intermountain Conservation District is honoured to recognize Intermountain Sport Fishing Enhancement Group as our 2007 Conservation Award recipient.