April 29, 2021

Remembering Fred Culin


Fred Culin, former owner of Trout Lake Seaplane Base in North Bay, flew 238 young eagles over the course of 15 years. (Photo: John Hemingway)

Written by Carol Cooke, Flight 23, North Bay

We were saddened to hear of the passing of Fred Culin, long-time owner of Trout Lake Seaplane Base in North Bay, on April 1 at age of 92. Fred was an avid aviator for over 50 years, and a strong supporter of aviation in North Bay for many of those years.

When Flight 23 got involved in the Young Eagle Program in 1994, Fred was on board with the program, flying kids in his C206 off the lake on skis; in the spring from the airport on wheel skis; and in summer on floats. He waited to take the wheel skis off in the spring until we had done our first summer young eagle flights from the airport.

In total, Fred flew 238 young eagles over the course of 15 years, from 1996 to 2012. Fred always made the Seaplane Base office and docks available to Flight 23 for the float flying events on Trout Lake, and he made sure he was available to fly kids at all our events, whether in North Bay, Mattawa, or wherever we held an organized a rally. We could always count on Fred to help out.

Flight 23 had its summer BBQ at the seaplane base routinely for many years and gave Fred a “life membership” for all the help and support he provided to the local Flight club over many years.

In late 1960s Fred bought a C172 and earned his licence. It blew over in a wind storm on Trout Lake and, over the course of the next 15 years, he bought new C-180, C-185, and finally his trusty C-206 that he kept until he quit flying.

He always kept his planes on floats in the summer (docked at his home), and wheel skis in the winter. He built a hangar at North Bay Jack Garland Airport early 1970s with flying buddy and friend Don Odorizzi. In the early 1990s, Fred purchased the Trout Lake Seaplane base, and provided docks and fuel to local float planes, as well as those transiting the area. Fred could always be counted on to provide any assistance required to local pilots and he will be missed by North Bay aviation community.