Ponoka Fish and Game member Chris Abt accepts hie award for best catch of a golden eye trout Saturday

Ponoka Fish and Game member Chris Abt accepts hie award for best catch of a golden eye trout Saturday

Ponoka Fish and Game celebrates 2015 winners

It was standing room only at the Ponoka Fish and Game Association awards and fundraiser banquet held Saturday, Feb. 6.

It was standing room only at the Ponoka Fish and Game Association awards and fundraiser banquet held Saturday, Feb. 6 at the Stagecoach Saloon.

Not only were hunters recognized for their trophy catches but it was a time to get together and tell old hunting stories and enjoy some wild meat as part of the banquet. President Evelyne Huseby said being able to recognize members, volunteers and the conservation efforts of the association makes the night special, …and giving back to what we have around us,” she added.

The variety of awards presented is a source of pride for Huseby, who said it’s not often that members see items such as a Merriams Turkey award. “They’re very few and far between to get a turkey one.”

“It’s just a tough draw to get. There’s so few that actually get drawn for it,” she explained.

Normally, the awards will see recognition of big game and fish catches, but this year Huseby was pleased with the many kinds of awards. “More awards than we’ve had in a long time,” she said.

The association held its annual general meeting Thursday, Feb. 4 and Huseby said looking back at the year. what stood out the most was the record number of memberships they received at just over 850. Certain policy changes have been made to ensure the association’s gun range at the Lake Pofianga site remains a viable amenity for the group. She said other fish and game groups in the province have lost their ranges. To keep the range, the association works closely with its neighbours and Ponoka County.

“Where we’re located, we’re very lucky,” said Huseby.

Several individuals and groups will use the range to ensure they are up to date on practices and training and Huseby feels it is a vital part of their membership. She says the strong relationship with neighbours helps ensure they can continue to offer it as a service.

Ponoka Fish and Game also plays host to the popular Rifleman’s Rodeo at its range, which is expected to have its 50th anniversary in a few years.

Huseby looks forward to continuing with their active programming at Lake Pofianga this year and she suggests 2016 is going to be another good year for the association.