Blog Archives

Caribou present at Point Riche, Port au Choix

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A Parks Canada National Historic Site, Port au Choix is home to aboriginal cultures and heritage dating back almost 5,000 years. There is an expanse of trail networks around the interpretation centre, an active French bread oven, studios, shops, restaurants, cultural experiences, Point Riche Lighthouse and even home to grazing caribou.

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Port au Choix is a nature lover’s paradise. A destination, if you want to see wild caribou up close.

This year as part of Canada 150, entry to National Historic sites have free entry to those who request a Discovery Pass online.

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I highly recommend visiting the interpretation centre to learn more about our aboriginal cultures.

The importance of land and sea can not be overstated to the people of Port au Choix for 5000 years and all of those living past and present on the Great Northern Peninsula.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development for Newfoundland and Labrador

 

 

Clotheslines of Cod on the Great Northern Peninsula

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Typically cod would be drying on flakes or neatly spread on flat rocks near the beach, but more and more often the cod fish can be seen drying like clothes on the line. It’s a sign of the ever changing times in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Cod jigging is part of growing up in rural Newfoundland and Labrador. The implementation of the cod moratorium in 1992 caused 30,000 people in the province to lose their employment, basically overnight, ending 500 years of this fishing activity. Our communities were forever changed.

25 years later, there are signs of a Northern cod recovery. The impact it will have on our communities are yet to be seen.

Each summer though, residents and non-residents take to the water off the coasts of Newfoundland and Labrador to catch a few cod by participating in Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO)’s Recreation Cod Fishery, which we often call the food fishery. Cod is an important staple for residents and many catch their quota of 5 fish per day over the course of a 46 day fishery between July and September.

I never miss the opportunity to go jigging. There is something about being on the water close to your home, pulling in the fish and being able to deliver it to your table that gives you a sense of belonging to this place we call home. Knowing where your food comes from is important. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians always had a strong connection to the land and sea and I believe we always will.

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Our communities are still very traditional, our communities are resilient and we have opportunities to share our culture, traditions and way of life with the world. There are authentic unique experiences in our rural communities just waiting for you.

From sea or farm to plate is an ever growing concept, which has always been the way for our outports. A rabbit snared, partridge hunted, garden potatoes, carrots pulled or fresh fish would be served up at the dinner table. Taking these concepts to our local restaurants for tourists is an opportunity.

Also, to tell the story of who caught it, how it was caught, where, who prepared it, the recipes and the process are all part of adding real value. Sharing our unique culture with the world is what is requested. I believe we have exceptional opportunity to do just that.

Our communities, like others do not remain stagnant, we will always change and evolve over time. Our traditions and values remain core to who we are, whether we  spread fish on flakes or hang  them on the line, we have a strong sense of where we belong.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA for St. Barbe-L’Anse aux Meadows and Minister of Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development

 

What’s in a Name?….Nameless Cove, NL

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I think it was Shakespeare’s Juliet in a soliloquy, who asked “What’s in a Name?” We’ll let me tell you…

As you leave the paved highway in Nameless Cove and trek onto a gravel route at Nameless Cove point you will be able to have a closer view of Flower’s Island and its beautiful lighthouse. The first lightkeeper was Peter Flower, thus naming the island and became the name of the adjacent community, Flower’s Cove (now Nameless Cove). Here is the background story on how Nameless Cove, came to be: the Municipality of Flower’s Cove was formerly French Island Harbour. After the treaty and the French presence left, the larger community opted to use the name Flower’s Cove, thus, leaving the former Flower’s Cove – Nameless.

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Nameless Cove is where I operated Flower’s Island Museum from 2002-2005, which included a nine-hole Newfoundland themed miniature golf-course. There were development plans for the island at the time that would see maybe a tea room, accommodations and a boat tour. Sadly, this never transpired and made it more difficult to establish the critical volume of tourist needed to advance regional tourism in the Straits. In the past ten years since, much effort has been placed on walking trails and further developing Deep Cove. However, the Straits is just scratching the surface on how it could benefit from tourism, given the number that pass through these communities each season to see St. Anthony and the World UNESCO site at L’anse aux Meadows.

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Since Peter Flowers, generations and generations of Lavallee’s would operate that lighthouse until it became automated. The Lavallee’s are still present today and some continue to fish these adjacent waters. The late Clyde Roberts, was the radio operator on the island. He spent some of his earlier years on this island and continued to pursue community economic development in the region – pressing for co-ops, credit unions and a non-profit personal care home and affordable housing units. In my books he is a local icon, a visionary, that made big things happen!

The presence of the fishery is ever so important today as it was our reason for settling. People continue to earn a living from the sea. This is evident from the small fishing stages, wharves, lobster traps and gear hugging the shoreline.

From old family homesteads to today’s residents, Nameless Cove is a community that is hanging onto its past and looking toward the future. I believe there is opportunity and more can be done to advance both fishing and tourism synergies, Drop by and find out more about What’s in a Name?

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Peaceful times in Pond Cove

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Pond Cove is a small fishing community on the Great Northern Peninsula just 5 KM north of Plum Point and surrounding the beautiful and serene Genevieve Bay. The community is a quiet place, with just twenty homes.

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On a recent visit the water was peaceful. On the wharf, lobster traps were neatly stacked. In fact, they were stacked all around the community. The season may have been over, but their presence showed the importance of this fishery to the community, still today.


I’ve been told Pond Cove is a quiet place to pick berries, dig clams, or certainly take in a boat ride or a nature walk. One did not have to go far to see the wood piles, hear the birds chirping and I’m sure there are moose and caribou not to far away.

There is a photograph waiting almost around every turn you take.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

Anchor Cafe, Port au Choix serves savouring seafood dishes!

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I’ve been to Anchor Cafe a couple of times this season and have continued to enjoy favourites like their seafood chowder, mussels a la Byron and deep fried halibut and chips. They are continuously ranked as a place to eat in Canada by TripAdvisor, Fodor’s and many other travel companies.

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A cup of their seafood is garnished with shrimp, caught locally in adjacent waters. In fact, the OCI shrimp processing plant is literally across the street. A great appetizer before a main meal. The mussels a la Byron is an all time favourite of mine at this restaurant as it adds a nice spicy flavour. The remaining sauce is great for dipping with toasted or French-style bread.

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On my last visit, I dropped by for a quick lunch and was greatly impressed by the deep-fried halibut, as it was cooked to perfection. The newspaper adds a nice touch, but we warned if you eat all the french fries you likely will not have food for some home-style desserts.

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The restaurant has a great nautical-theme with lots of fishery and ocean things, including artwork of local folk artists, Ben Ploughman.

The reviews validate the quality of food, atmosphere and service. Next time you are in Port au Choix you may want to visit the Anchor Cafe. There are many other attractions, including the Philip’s Garden Walking Trail, Point Riche Lighthouse, The French Rooms & Oven, Port au Choix Natural Historic Site, fishing, nature and so much more.

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The sights and surroundings certainly are as savouring as the seafood! Enjoy your time in Port au Choix.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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