After a 2018 season that saw no angling, Hyde Pond was filled with fishing lines once again during the long weekend.
Hyde Creek and the connected pond have been closed since a fish kill in late 2017 but were re-opened for the Victoria Day weekend, which included a family fishing derby held Saturday.
To prepare, 900 trout were released into the pond Wednesday by the Abegweit Biodiversity Hatchery and the Abegweit Conservation Society.
Karalee McAskill, of the Cornwall and Area Watershed Group which organized the event, said the hope is that fish that were not caught on the weekend will thrive in the water.
“I hope they will survive and that this environment will be suitable for them,” she said.
If those fish survive, McAskill said she hopes it could lead to a lifting of the fishing ban at Hyde Pond and Hyde Creek in 2020.
“We are hoping to open next season in 2020,” she said.
The areas will now be closed for the remainder of the 2019 season.
Sheldon Murray and his family were one of many families casting their rods during Saturday’s derby in hopes of a catch.
The family was helping their daughter Anna learn to fish and liked being able to come somewhere so close to their home in Cornwall.
“It’s very convenient,” said Murray.
If the pond and creek were to open for the 2020 season, Jessie Murray said they would frequent the area more often.
“We would make it probably a regular thing,” she said.
The derby also had some feathered visitors when three falcons from Island Falconry Services came for a visit. There was also a drum circle with Julie Pellissier-Lush and guided tours of the Hyde Park area.
The person with the biggest fish after weigh-in also won a children’s fishing rod, a can of worms, and a gift certificate to Gone Fishing. The winner was Anna McCarthy with a 100-gram fish that was 25-cm long.
McAskill said the goals of opening the area for the weekend was to engage families to fish as well as show gratitude to the Island’s ecosystem.
“We’re giving back to our ecosystem,” she said. “We wanted to recognize that and acknowledge all of the people that give back and the ecosystem that gives back to us.”