Volunteer profile: François Caron

November 4, 2013

Meet François Caron; he’s a member of the Central Advisory Committee and is based in Quebec.

Caron has been interested in nature, wildlife, and fish since he was a child. Growing up on a farm in Eastern Township, Quebec, he remembers going out into the forest with his father.

“At the age of five, my father took me into the forest to cut wood to heat our home.

He showed me how to set a snare to catch snowshoe hares. I will remember that day forever. I just sat by the snare and watch for hours. No, I didn’t see anything that day but the day after a hare was caught; I was so happy!”

It was also around this age that Caron began fishing.

“Nearby our place there was a small creek where I would fish for trout everyday with my mother. We would catch trout and crayfish. It seemed that I was always asking questions about wildlife. That same year my uncle, who was a hunter, told me ‘Frankie, you should study to be a biologist. Biologists know everything about fish and wildlife.’ I still have this passion for wildlife, science, and knowledge — plus some others for sure!”

As a biology student, Caron worked in Forillon National Park.

“This was a great summer job. This is where I first understood the link between geology, climate, habitat and the fauna.”

“I spent most of my career as a biologist doing research for the Quebec Fish and Wildlife Department. For 25 years I did research on migratory fish — mainly salmon, sturgeon and eel. During those years I worked closely with scientists with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, many of them are still my good friends. I was also a member of the Canadian delegation on the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea(ICES) North Atlantic Salmon Working Group where I had the opportunity to visit different salmon habitats during the annual meeting of this group — Iceland, Scotland, Ireland and France are among the countries where I learned a lot about the diversity of salmon habitat.”

“I had the great opportunity in Quebec to conduct two major projects on population dynamic on the St. Jean River (Gaspé area) and the TrinitéRiver (on the Quebec North Shore), where for more than 20 years we watched the smolt and the juvenile habitat. These studies are still ongoing and the quantity of information coming out of this project is priceless.”

Caron has been retired for three years.

“I keep up my interest on salmon being involved in CIRSA, (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche sur le saumon atlantique) which is a multidisciplinary group from six universities. I am also involved in local and regional conservation groups. I was very pleased to join the ASCF two years ago. I strongly believe that science is very important to understand the world in which we live, and education and communication are the best ways to make sure that the next generation will understand the need to protect nature.”

“I am so pleased to be involved in the Central Advisory Committees with a very dedicated group of people from different parts of Eastern Canada.”