Volunteer profile – Denis Guitard

June 7, 2016

Meet Denis Guitard, a member of our New Brunswick Advisory Committee.

Guitard is from Petit-Rocher, a small village on the Bay of Chaleur near Bathurst. His lovely wife Nathalie is an x-ray technician and they have two children in college – Pierre-Luc (22) and Stéphanie (20).

Guitard said he has always loved the outdoors and his main hobbies are hunting, trapping, canoeing, and fishing.

“When I graduated from high school I already knew what I wanted to do – work in forestry and with wildlife,” he said. “So, I took a two year course at the Bathurst Community College in environment technology and specialized in fish and wildlife.”

“After my first year in college, I got a summer job as a student with the Nepisiguit Salmon Association (NSA). The job was to remove a beaver dam on the Gordon Meadow Brook – a tributary of the Nepisiguit – in order to help salmon reach their spawning ground. I enjoyed it so much that after I graduated I returned to the NSA, but this time as a crew leader in charge of a group of students to do electro-fishing, fish counts, and some enhancement work along the Nepisiguit River and its tributaries. I worked there for the next three years until I saw an opening for a game warden with the Department of Natural Resources in Bathurst.”

Guitard got the job and started in July of 1988.

“I mainly did enforcement work on rivers to protect the salmon and also in the woods for illegal hunting, fighting forest fires, as well as some wildlife management work which I’ve always liked the most. In 1994 I decided to return to college to take the Forest Ranger course at the Maritime Forest Ranger School. Now I’m in my 27th year working with the provincial department of Natural Resources. I’m presently the Fish and Wildlife Technician for Region 1; I’m doing the job I’ve always wanted to do and still enjoying it very much!”

Guitard is also the president of the Bathurst Fur Harvesters Association and the regional coordinator for the Trapper’s Education Program. He operates an outfitting business and is a guide for black bear hunting and salmon fishing.

Guitard has been involved with the ASCF for roughly two years. He said he became involved initially because of his passion for salmon fishing.

“I caught my first salmon when I was only 12 years old and instantly became addicted. I realize we have some big challenges in front of us to maintain our wild salmon populations in order to be able to keep doing what we like the most. Part of my job is to work with the different watershed groups, fishing associations, and First Nations within our region; I know the importance of those groups and feel that being involved with the ASCF could contribute to help them more.”

Guitard said he stays involved with the ASCF as he believes the foundation can really make a difference in helping grassroots organizations with the financial assistance they need to carry on their salmon enhancement projects and help salmon populations get back to where they used to be.

“I’ve only been directly involved with the ASCF for the last two years but I realized right away this organization is professionally managed. The quality and expertise of the members is very impressive. It takes a lot of time to read and evaluate the many projects submitted, but it is encouraging and rewarding to see all the good work that is actually done in the field. It’s nice to have a chance to see and learn about what is going on with groups in other parts of the province and being able to help them,” he said.

“I truly believe the ASCF is necessary to help all those small groups who work hard on salmon enhancement projects with the goal of the recovery of our wild Atlantic salmon stocks for the benefit of our children.”

Volunteers are crucial to the work ASCF does, and each month we will introduce you to one of our stellar volunteers to say thank you for all the work they do in Atlantic salmon conservation.