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Fishing ban lifted temporarily in Cornwall with hopes of re-opening next year

Quinn Kirby, 5, of Cornwall spent time with her family while fishing at Hyde Pond on Saturday. The pond, which was closed following a 2017 fish kill, was re-opened for the long weekend and stocked with trout in hopes that it can stay permanently open for the 2020 fishing season.
Quinn Kirby, 5, of Cornwall spent time with her family while fishing at Hyde Pond on Saturday. The pond, which was closed following a 2017 fish kill, was re-opened for the long weekend and stocked with trout in hopes that it can stay permanently open for the 2020 fishing season. - Katherine Hunt
CORNWALL, P.E.I. —

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.

Eight-year-old Zach Kirby, left, and his brother Ben Kirby, 10, of Cornwall try to catch some dinner during the family fishing derby at Hyde Pond Saturday.

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.

Anna Murray, 8, of Cornwall spent her first fishing day of the season at Hyde Pond on Saturday.

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.”

katherine.hunt@theguardian.pe.ca

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