Paul Gasbarino was a big man. A giant.
When you first met Paul you could easily be deceived by his diminutive stature, but you quickly began to wonder how so much passion could be bundled into a small package.
Without question, Paul was a giant. 37 years ago he helped to found Muskies Canada, an organization that has done so much to sustain and enhance the muskellunge fishery in Canada. Paul’s passion and dedication never wavered. Twice he served as President of Muskies Canada, from 1981-85 and again from 1989-91.
Paul's contribution to the organization was made in many ways. In addition to being the longest-serving President in Muskies Canada's distinguished history, Paul also served as Chapter Chairman and also was for many years a valuable a member of the Board of Directors.
To honour Paul's contribution, Paul was one of the first inductees into the Muskies Canada Hall of Fame. We have an award named to honour Paul's commitment, passion and service to the organization. Ian Young is the most recent winner of the Paul Gasbarino Distinguished Service Award.
For almost four decades Paul has been a strong advocate for Catch and Release, a mentor to many of us that were new to Muskies or Muskies Canada, and a tireless conservationist battling to preserve and sustain the incomparable Kawartha muskies.
Thanks in many ways to his lifetime contribution, Muskies Canada is now a healthy, vibrant, well-respected angling, research and conservation organization. For those of us that have had the privilege of serving with Paul Gasbarino, we will always carry something of him with us because he has influenced and helped all of us to be better.
His service and dedication set the bar high for all of us that now volunteer to help carry on the important work of Muskies Canada. Somehow, that work is less challenging thanks to the contribution of this big man.
As Isaac Newton wrote in 1676:
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
President, Muskies Canada