Volunteers gathered at Oak Lake Monday to help restock the lake with hundreds of thousands of pickerel fish fry.

Every year lakes across southern Manitoba are restocked.

Scott Phillips a councilor with the RM of Sifton was at Monday’s restocking to lend a hand. “I got a call from our local watershed district that conservation was doing some annual restocking and conservation officials asked if we want to be part of the process and see how things are done.”

“So I went and was joined by our Reeve Cyril Druwe and Claude Martin with grasslands we jumped at the opportunity to tag along with them and watched them put 600,000 pickerel fry into Oak Lake. The survival rate isn’t 100 per cent but the restocking is just great for the region.”

2021 was a challenging year for lake levels and some of the fish populations.

“Oak Lake is full and it’s going over the dam and filing up the Plum Lakes. The fish are making their way all the way down the creek and guys are fishing miles away from the lake. It’s great to see winter kill wasn’t as bad a some people had expected.”

Scott Phillips says the lake remains a huge draw for tourism which is great for kids at the beach, boating and fishing. “It’s not only good for recreation but it’s good for the lake and it’s aquifer which is I’d guess twenty times the size of the lake. The amount of people that rely on the aquifer for their day to day use is amazing so it’s huge that Oak Lake is recharged.”