Whiteshell Fish Hatchery

The Whiteshell Fish Hatchery was built in 1942, and is an important part of Whiteshell history and fishery conservation.

The hatchery raises fish from eggs to be stocked in sport fishing lakes across Manitoba, ranging from the United States border and extending up to The Pas. The hatchery is located just off Highway 312 between West Hawk Lake and Ingolf, Ontario. The highway was non-existent when the hatchery was built, so a crude road was built from Highway 44 to bring in materials. Heavy equipment was brought in the winter by horse and sleigh.

Inside the interpretive centre at the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery.

Inside the interpretive centre at the Whiteshell Fish Hatchery.

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Sandhill Crane Sighting

Sometimes you hear their calls and look up to see a big flock of sandhill cranes flying so high up in the sky that they are barely visible. It’s rare to see them up close, and I was lucky enough to see them last spring in a pond near Caddy Lake in the Whiteshell.

I received a phone call from a friend of mine who is an avid bird watcher.  He had seen them fly over low and land in the pond just a few yards off the Caddy Lake Block 5 road and told me it may be a good photo opportunity. So I grabbed by camera and drove down to where he was. We tried to be very stealthy as we walked a few yards through the bushes. Once they were in-sight, we crouched low in the tall-grass to ensure we didn’t spook them. I zoomed in with my lens to line up a shot and couldn’t believe how big they were! They are definitely a unique-looking bird. There were three of them hanging out on one side of the pond when another two flew in overhead and landed on the other side. I tried to get a picture of them flying overhead but it happened so quickly that I ended up focusing on some branches and not on the crane – Oh, the woes of wildlife photography. The two groups of cranes continued to call back and forth as they moved across the pond towards each other. Another thing I found astonishing was how loud their calls were. Usually they sound faint when you hear them flying way up in the sky, but when you are up-close, the volume is cranked!

We watched them and took photos for about twenty minutes before heading out; the cranes were still there when we left. Here’s some of the photos I took; not the best but I’m glad I got the opportunity to see them up-close.

– Writeup & photos by Marney Blunt, Experience the Whiteshell editor/manager.

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If you have any bird-watching photos from the Whiteshell, we’d love to see them! Send photos to whiteshell.lakes@gmail.com or Tweet us @TheWhiteshell.

Whiteshell Summer Bucket List

The ice is melting, the trees are budding, and the birds are singing; spring is here and summer is just around the corner. So are all the awesome summer activities in the Whiteshell. Summer is the most-happening season in the Whiteshell. Whether you want to explore the back-country of the Whiteshell or just relax and take in the scenery, the Whiteshell is the place to be in the summer. Here are the best ways you can Experience the Whiteshell this summer:

South Cross Lake - Photo by Marney Blunt.

South Cross Lake – Photo by Marney Blunt.

1 – Hike the Whiteshell – There are many different hiking trails to explore in the Whiteshell. Whether you want to climb the cliffs of the Hunt Lake Trail, take a casual stroll, or ride your bike through the South Whiteshell Trail, there are a variety of gorgeous hiking trails that will take you deep into the beauty and nature of the Canadian Shield. Some great hiking trails to check out include the Hunt Lake Trail alongside the east shore of West Hawk Lake, the McGillivray Falls Trail, the South Whiteshell Trail (part of the Trans-Canada Trail), the Mantario Trail, the trails at Falcon Ridge, and many more! Check out falconwesthawk.com for more information on these trails, and keep checking Experience the Whiteshell for articles and photos this summer!

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