Staff and students from Fun Times Daycare watch as trout are released into the Alysha Toombs Memorial Park pond in Kensington. The fish came from GJL Aquaculture from Charlo, New Brunswick. Colin MacLean/Journal Pioneer
KENSINGTON – The annual Kensington fishing derby was a major success, raising over $3,500 to help fund the event.
Spearheading the effort is Kensington Police Chief Lewie Sutherland.
“The weather was terrible, but we registered 117 kids on Saturday and 115 people Sunday.”
He said 57 trout were caught on Saturday and only 10 on Sunday.
“They just weren’t biting (Sunday),” he added.
But given the derby’s popularity any hopes for expanding it by adding a second pond has been blocked by the province.
“It’s a really great thing that our chief does down there. It was just side-by-side people,” said Councillor Marvin Mill, chairman of the town’s parks and recreation committee. If there’s any way we can explore the options of putting in a second pond, there is a second spot there.”
During the town council meeting Monday, Kensington Mayor Gordon Coffin said the land does belong to the town but the province has not been co-operative in allowing the community to develop a second pond area.
“A bunch of us were down there looking at that a couple of years ago,” he said. “The conversation that I had with the chief recently about it he said, we’re not going to get permission to do anything with it. It was a terrible struggle to get fish in the pond.”
“We had more people up inspecting the pond making sure the fish didn’t get out to the river,” Coffin said. “I think we’re extremely overregulated on that front. The comment was we’ve explored a whole lot of options of putting in a second pond. It makes logical sense but the number of roadblocks that have been put up to it is discouraging.”
Kensington Chief Administrative Officer Geoff Baker said the word from the Department of Environment and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is they will not permit a second pond to be developed down there.
“The town owns the land and the stream flows out of that pond,” Coffin said. “It looks like a natural fit to make a pond. But those powers that be are turning around in this province and actually tearing out ponds and saying that’s not the way Mother Nature made it.”
Coffin said the government wants to increase water flow and by putting in ponds it will decrease the flow and allow for sedimentation.
“It has been explored, a little bit, but there was totally discouraging feedback,” he said.