According to Gary Carder, there are three ways to get things done: the right way, a different way, or Gary’s way. His way resulted in a long and very satisfying career with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as a Biological Sciences Technician. A three-month position ended up lasting 25 years.

Working out of the Freshwater Institute on the campus of the University of Manitoba, he spent his summers collecting ‘otoliths’ and in some cases fish scales for age determination in the NWT and Nunavut – in places such as Yellowknife, Kakisa River, Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Holman, to name just a few. Along the way, he gained a reputation as a trouble-shooting diplomat between the Inuit and his supervisors. The winter months were, thankfully, spent indoors at the institute, determining the age of the fish and publishing data. His reports can be read on DFO’s website.

Gary retired in 1996 and came to live with his mother in the home they had built together in 1981, when Hattie Carder retired from teaching. He continued to work as a fish aging consultant from his home office until 2012, when he retired from the field.

He was born in Stettler, AB to William B. And Hattie M. Carder (née Burnstad) and raised in Gordondale and Spirit River (in the Peace River Country). While in Spirit River, he was diagnosed with a mild case of Cerebral Palsy. From Spirit River he moved with his mother and father to Vanderhoof, BC.

After trying life as a bookkeeper and hotel worker, Gary moved to Red Deer, AB, where he went back to school before landing in Edmonton, where he took a two-year course in Biological Sciences at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology. A member of the Salmon Arm Rotary Club since 1998, Gary is also a member of the Shuswap Naturalist Club, and a life member of SABNES. He’s travelled extensively; New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Western Samoa, Ghana, Kenya, and the coast of Norway, always returning to the Shuswap with a greater appreciation of ‘home.’ He has established the Gary W. Carder Endowment Fund, a legacy fund which will receive a further bequest at the time of his death. Grants from the fund will be given to applications which reflect the following endeavours:

  • Programs which provide support for adults with physical disabilities;
  • Programs which benefit the environment, including support for the Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Society and Shuswap Hut and Trail Alliance Society, or their successors, or other like-minded organizations; and
  • Programs for the homeless and other disadvantaged people, including support for The Salvation Army, or its successor, or any other like-minded organization.

In the event there are no suitable applications under any of the categories noted above, income from the Fund will be paid at the discretion of the board of directors of the foundation.

Donations to the fund from others who share Gary’s interests are welcome at any time.