The Rainy Lake Fisheries Charity Trust was established as a charitable, non-profit trust fund on September 26, 2005. Managed independently by a Board of Trustees and a partnership of stakeholders, the trust fund addresses a commitment to promote sound, scientific research that enhances the long-term health and management of the Rainy Lake fishery.
The Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship (FFCBC), Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club (FFSC) and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), Fort Frances District, initiated discussions in 1999 that lead to the creation of the Rainy Lake Fisheries Charity Trust. An initial monetary contribution was provided by the FFSC, the Rainy Lake Conservancy (RLC) and the Northwestern Ontario Tourism Association (NWOTA), to formally establish the Trust in the fall of 2004. In February 2005, the FFCBC confirmed their support and intent to fulfill their previous financial commitment.
The concept was first envisioned in April 1994 through the combined efforts of Weigh Masters Tournament Systems (Lionel Robert), the Rendezvous Trail and others, which resulted in the first FFCBC tournament being held in 1995. An objective outlined in the original tournament proposal was to “return part of the monies generated to establish a fund for research on tournament related fisheries issues”. To date, some funds had been donated by tournament anglers, sponsors and other businesses for local conservation projects through the Fort Frances Sportsmen’s Club.
The Trust would provide a unique opportunity to consolidate donations and other potential funding sources needed to encourage research that would aid the management of fisheries resources in Rainy Lake and elsewhere. It would also promote the formation of strong, innovative partnerships among governments, educational institutions, competitive fishing events, angler clubs, environmentalists, communities and resource industries (Appendix I).
Funds acquired through annual donations or commitments from other partners would be used to promote and encourage fisheries research projects on Rainy Lake and Rainy River that meet specific eligibility criteria. Guidelines have been developed to assist project proponents with their funding applications (Appendix II). The information will include the priority areas for funding, eligibility, project and reporting criteria, and the application process.