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Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Wild Atlantic Salmon Conservation

2012 Recipient: Fred Wheaton

Fred hails from Sackville, NB, where he says he was born with a fishing rod in his hand.  His love of fishing came from his days as a young boy spent trout fishing in the local streams.  After moving to Moncton in 1960, he began to hear about the great salmon fishing nearby and so he started exploring the Little, Pollet and Petitcodiac rivers.  In April 1961, Fred caught his first wild Atlantic salmon – a healthy spring kelt.  That was it – he was hooked!  Since that time, Fred has travelled nearly all of New Brunswick’s rivers and has dedicated much of his personal time, energy and passion to the protection and conservation of not just wild Atlantic salmon, but all native fish species and wildlife.  His accomplishments are many:

-        Charter member of both the Save Our Salmon group (1978) and its evolved state as the first Salmon Council (New Brunswick) of the Atlantic Salmon Federation.  Served as Director and Vice President.

-        Long-time member and past executive member of the Moncton Fish and Game Association.

-        Chair of the Fisheries Committee of the NB Wildlife Federation since 1975.

-        Founding member of the NB Wildlife Council – 1996.

-        Member and then Chair of the NB Fish & Wildlife Advisory Board, and also served on the NB Sportsfish Advisory Council.  Worked on developing NB Wildlife Policy which later evolved into the Wildlife Trust Fund.

-        Original member of the Selection Committee for the Canada Recreational Fisheries Awards since its inception in 1989.

-        Recently finished a three- year term as a member of the Advisory Committee for the Atlantic Salmon Conservation Foundation.

-        Was active in the Canada- New Brunswick Cooperative Agreement on Recreational Angling, including preparation of an in depth analysis of the 1992-96 program.

-        Served 3-4 years on the Candadian Wildlife Federation Fisheries Committee, travelling nationwide to contribute to a book called “Rising to the Challenge” by Dr. Peter Pearse.

-        Received the Roderick Haig-Brown Award for his contribution to Canada’s recreational fisheries by the Canadian Wildlife Federation circa 1988.

-        Named to the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Roll of Honor in 1992. 

Fred’s proudest accomplishments are his selection for the Roderick Haig-Brown Award and for having played a role in ending commercial fisheries for wild Atlantic salmon and in promoting the immense conservation value of ending the recreational harvest of large Atlantic salmon in 1984.

What his peers say:

“Fred has always been known as the “go to”  person in NB for his insightful analysis and educated opinion for all things related to Atlantic salmon, not only by the media and government bodies such as DFO and DNR, but also, most importantly,  by a  vast majority of his peers.” – Bob Baker, President – NSA