Today was a very special day for the Mitchell family! So many made their way down through the pathways at Heritage Ranch to the pond for the dedication ceremony naming this water, Mitchell Pond! Barry until his passing was a champion of keeping our cold waters pristine. Barry and his dad, George, before him published the Alberta Fishing Guide. Barry was passionate about ensuring our trout waters and the trout that were within these waters were protected for future generations to enjoy!
We all met at Heritage Ranch. Some walked, some road their bikes and many enjoyed a hay ride down to the dedication ceremony. The naming of the pond at Heritage Ranch after Barry Mitchell was a joint project of Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited with lots of help from the City of Red Deer as well as the Mitchell family.
The dedication ceremony included Mayor Tara Veer, sharing her thoughts on behalf of the City of Red Deer; Doug Pullen, secretary of the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited, thanking the Mitchell family; Jennifer Stange, Barry's daughter speaking about her passionate dad and finally we had a ceremonial cast from Barry's son, Matthew to bring the ceremony to an end.
The plaque above is a very fitting reminder to us all about who Barry Mitchell is and what he believed in!
A big thank you to all who were able to attend this special ceremony!
...Doug Pullen's speech on behalf of the Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited
Our Central Alberta Chapter of Trout Unlimited felt that this dedication would honour and recognize Barry Mitchell’s contributions to our fisheries, fish habitat and his promotion of environmental initiatives. Barry was a man who portrayed genuine emotion in everything he did. He addressed any issue head-on and with passion. The plaque that stands guard here at Mitchell Pond not only is a permanent legacy honouring Barry Mitchell but it also allows people to recognize the person who did so much for Alberta’s fisheries and nature’s spaces.
Passionate conservationist, fly fishermen and author with a deep respect for the environment. Longtime Red Deer resident. Active member of Trout Unlimited Canada.
These words that are etched on this plaque illustrate only a small part of Barry’s life. This story doesn’t just start with Barry, but symbolizes the core of the Mitchell family. His dad; George Mitchell, who cared deeply for our fisheries, together with his son Barry developed the Alberta Fishing Guide magazine. The magazine promoted not only fishing but also inspired good stewardship of our water resources. The Alberta Fishing Guide was eventually taken over by Barry and his wife Ann.
Barry was directly involved for over 40 years in conserving, restoring and protecting our freshwater ecosystems. Barry contributed to the fishing community extensively and was heavily involved with Trout Unlimited Canada; both with our Central Alberta Chapter as well as nationally. He spearheaded the Stream Watch Program as well as fundraised to make the program fly. He has been involved with developing policy with regards to Alberta’s fishing regulations and addressed concerns regarding our fisheries with Alberta government agencies such as the Alberta Conservation Association and Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resources. He played a major role in leading the initiative to have the Bull Trout declared as Alberta’s provincial fish. He paved the road to bring attention to water and forest management policies that directly affected our fisheries.
Barry also authored his book The Trout Highway which has severed as a guide all the way up and down the forestry trunk road located in Alberta’s West Country.
Barry was directly involved in the successful stocking of brown trout and the ill-fated rainbow stocking in the Red Deer River. Barry was awarded the Order of the Big Horn in 1998. The Government of Alberta established the Order of the Bighorn Awards in 1982 to recognize outstanding contributions made to fish and wildlife conservation by private individuals, organizations and corporations. Members of the Order of the Bighorn have enriched the lives of all Albertans by helping conserve Alberta's world-renowned fish and wildlife resources.
Even though Barry Mitchell has left us, his legacy will remain strong and provide inspiration to all who believe our fisheries and the environment are worth caring for.
Ken Lehman was our Master of Ceremonies for the Dedication
Mayor Tara Veer
Jennifer Stange (Barry's daughter)
Matthew Mitchell making the ceremonial cast into Mitchell Pond!
Jennifer, Matthew and Barry's wife, Ann