Chapter President: Albert Carwana
Area of Interest
The Credit River is a special and essential asset to southern Ontario. The river is over 90 km long and begins as springs from above the Niagara Escarpment near Orangeville and grows to its outlet at Port Credit where it flows into Lake Ontario. When you combine all the tributaries of the Credit they exceed 1,500 km in length!
The Greg Clark Chapter’s area of interest is the upper Credit River and its tributaries. The upper Credit River extends upstream of Georgetown, ON, and encompasses the main Credit River, West Credit River, Black and Silver creeks. The Credit River flows into Lake Ontario in Mississauga, Ontario, and begins in Orangeville, Ontario. Native brook trout are the focus of the Chapter with their recent initiative, “Bringing back Brookies”. Brook trout and Atlantic salmon were the native coldwater fish species of the upper Credit River though naturalized populations of brown trout occur further down the system from Cataract downstream to Georgetown. Rainbow trout, Coho, and Chinook salmon are stocked in the lower river.
The Chapter adopted the Credit River as its focus in 1978 with their first projects beginning in 1980. The Chapter’s mission is, “to conserve, protect and restore the Credit River watershed freshwater ecosystems for current and future generations”. The chapter membership comes from all walks of life but shares a common interest in the health of the upper Credit and the protection and restoration of Brook Trout populations in the upper watershed. The Chapter has a close working relationship with the local Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry District Office in Aurora, Ontario as well as a close working relationship with the Credit Valley Conservation and the Izaak Walton Fly Fishing Club.
Through these partnerships, the Chapter has accomplished enormous gains in improving native and naturalized coldwater fish and fisheries on the upper Credit River. The Chapter has developed strategic projects over the years such as the Upper Credit River Rehabilitation Initiative (UCCRI) in the early 2000’s; the West Credit River Assessment and Rehabilitation program (WeCARE) and the 3C project with the Town of Orangeville. Most recently, with increased threats to native Brook Trout, the Chapter is working with its partners on the “Bringing back Brookies” program.
In many respects, the history of the Greg Clark Chapter is a history of Trout Unlimited Canada in eastern Canada. The Toronto Chapter was formed in 1974 by a group of concerned anglers and conservationists in the greater Toronto area. In 1979 the Credit River was selected as the site for the new chapter’s conservation efforts. All of their stream rehabilitation projects are done with the participation and approval of the Ministry and Credit Valley Conservation biologists.
The Toronto Chapter changed its name to the Southern Ontario Chapter in 1981 and subsequently to the Greg Clark Chapter in 1988 to honour the former Toronto Star reporter and author, Gregory Clark. It is the oldest continually active chapter in Canada and also one of the largest in the country.
A detailed history can be found on the Chapter’s website.