This past spring was more like the winter that would never end – Cold, Wet & Windy. Some of the volunteers and I had just finished the last of the smolt transfers and we stopped at a restaurant to have ourselves a well- deserved cold one. Today, the Fish Gods must have smiled down on us, as this was the only day that we didn’t do this work where we were soaked through and through from all the rain, sleet, wind and snow. Not unlike what all the other volunteers endured throughout this season, the weather really wasn’t our friend. At times it feels like back breaking, bone jarring work, but somebody’s gotta do it –right? Don’t get me wrong, we aren’t complaining, it’s just this year it seemed to hurt more than previous years.     As we were having the first sips of our ice cold beer and sit down, we can’t help but notice how nice the Ontario Steelheaders “Steelhead Express” fish tankers looked in the parking lot of the restaurant. They really are quite impressive and they were true work horses this season. The guys that worked on them sure did a great job.     Shortly after we sat our weary bones down to ponder the work just completed a young gentleman approached us. He introduced himself; Darryl Cartwright, and shook our hands while repeatedly thanking us for the work of the Ontario Steelheaders. He was acknowledging all the efforts put forth by the volunteers, noting that he and his sons have been fishing on the Saugeen for years and have really noticed the difference over this past couple of years. Darryl explained that he was part of the Walkerton Struttin’ Toms club and from one conservationist to another he wanted to express his heart-felt thanks to us volunteers. I gotta tell you, listening to this young man go on and on about how appreciative he was of our efforts, I could feel my aching bones bouncing back.     Darryl excused himself momentarily and he went to speak with someone on the phone. He returned to us after a few minutes and produced a cheque for $500.00 made out to the Ontario Steelheaders – WOW I thought, this is incredible! Darryl explained that the organization he is part of is dissolving, and they were looking at how they were going to disburse their funds. It turns out that when he excused himself from our table, he had left to phone the President of their club and he obtained the approval to donate $500.00 to the Ontario Steelheaders. Since it was turkey season, Darryl didn’t have a lot of time to spend with us, as he had things to do, people to see and turkeys to hunt so off he went but not after shaking our hands and again thanking us for our efforts.     I spend much of my time at Denny’s Park, with my children, and now their children. We all really enjoy fishing the Saugeen River. Since I retired, I am able to spend more time volunteering and never thought about receiving any recognition or thanks for the work that I or any of the volunteers do. We just get up early each morning regardless of the weather, and do the work that has to be done. Like I said, some years it is more difficult than others but we all support one another and there is a great sense of community amongst us volunteers. We can spend many days, sometimes week stretches away from the comforts of home and our families. I am able to see the positive effects on the fisheries, that us volunteers are doing, but having a complete stranger come up to us and thank us repeatedly and then to provide a donation to help further our efforts, really made me smile.     I wanted to write this article to share this story with ALL OF YOU, not to tell you about the work that I do, but to share with all the volunteers a BIG THANK YOU. People in the community really do appreciate it and you all deserve the same warm feeling I got when this young man shook my hand.