Week of February 20, 2006

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IL - Indoor Fishing Flea Market March 11

The Chicagoland Muskie Hunters & Rolling Meadows High School Choral Boosters are hosting an Indoor Fishing Flea Market Saturday, March 11, 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. at the Rolling Meadows High School, 2901 West Central Road, Rolling Meadows, IL


They are offering Antique, Collectible and Used Fishing Tackle, Closeouts and Overstocks and Boat and Marine

Merchandise.  There will also be a Raffle Drawing and Casting Contest.  As an added bonus Chicagoland Muskie Hunters, featuring speaker Don Dubin, will be holding a Free Seminar: "Everything about Muskies" at 10:30.


Admission:  $5.00. Seniors and Students: $4.00. Children under 10 admitted free.  Free Parking.  Food and Refreshments will be available. For more information call 847-870-7685.

WI - 28th Annual Auction March 11

Hosted by the Milwaukee Great Lakes Sport Fishermen

This year's auction will be held Saturday, March 4, at the American Serb Hall, 51st and California in Milwaukee.


The doors open at 9:00 a.m. and the auction begins at 10:00

a.m. Auction includes: the Montana 7-day Elk Hunt for one person, electric downriggers, rods, reels, tackle boxes, lure packs, fish locaters, gift certificates, wildlife art, nets and much more. For more information call Al at 414-476-6970, [email protected] , or Steve at 414-342-2019, [email protected] .



Bird Flu Confirmed in Wild Swans across Europe

Hungary, Austria and Nigerian Bird Flu outbreak means no country is immune

BRUSSELS, Belgium, February 13 (ENS) - Bird flu of the deadly H5N1 strain has been confirmed in wild swans in Italy, in Greece, and in Bulgaria, the reference laboratory that tested samples from those countries told the European Commission last week.. In Slovenia, a wild swan tested positive for the disease at the Slovenian Laboratory for Avian influenza, and samples have been sent to the EU Reference Laboratory for Avian Influenza in Weybridge, UK for further tests.


Bird flu has also been found in the bodies of dead wild swans in two new European countries - Hungary and Austria - the 

European Commission said February 17. Samples have beensent to the European Community Reference Laboratory in Weybridge, UK for further tests to determine whether this is the deadly H5N1 strain that has caused the deaths of hundreds of millions of birds and more than 60 humans in the past two years.


Also, thousands of chickens have died in northern Nigeria this month, and now the bird flu may have appeared in the city of Lagos. Chicken sellers say that about 200 birds have died from unknown causes in Lagos state markets within the week. Bird flu is spreading in Nigeria, officials with the Nigerian Veterinary Research Institute confirmed February 11.

Animal rights groups’ funds continue to grow

How do angling groups rank in fund raising

Donations to animal rights groups increased 40 % from 2003 to 2004 (the most current snapshot available.) “Animal People,” a publication that bills itself as ''News for people who care about animals,'' reported the results based on Internal Revenue Service Form 990, which the groups are required to file.


Animal People's list includes mainstream animal protection groups like the African Wildlife Foundation and Conservation International, which are not considered in the Animal Agriculture Alliance's calculations, to more radical animal rights groups like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Humane Society of the United States, Farm Sanctuary and the extremely radical Compassion Over Killing.


Note that the most radical groups like Animal Liberation Front, Earth Liberation Front, Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty, Hugs for Puppies and Animal Defense League did not file tax documents, yet were responsible for many visible attacks on law-abiding businesses, their owners and employees.


Here’s a quick look:

• The Humane Society of the United States revenues

equaled $74 million, up 3% .

• The Mass. Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (the next largest group), revenues to $48.2 million, an 11% jump.

•  People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reported a 20 % gain or $28.1 million in revenue.

•  PETA-affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the PCRM Foundation combined for $16 million, up from $12 million in 2003. 


The combined budgets of animal rights organizations, which focus at least part of their activities against animal agriculture, were $207 million in 2003 and were well more than $290 million in 2004.


The 2004 federal forms on which Animal People's report was based were not available for the Doris Day Animal League or Viva! UK. The same federal forms have not been available for 2003 or 2004 for the PETA Foundation, Animal Rights International, Viva! USA or Global Resource Action Committee for the Environment, creator of The Meatrix.


Animal Agriculture Alliance points out that the groups’ combined efforts against animal agriculture spent more than $290 million in 2004.


Key Challenges Identified by USGS to Support Western Water Management

Ensuring stable water supplies has grown more complex as the challenges facing water managers continue to mount, especially in the West.  Informed decisions of water users and public officials will be necessary to ensure sufficient freshwater resources in the future to support a growing population and economy.  The USGS has released a report that examines Western water availability, the modern role for science, and the value of monitoring and research to ensure an adequate water supply for the Nation’s future.


According to USGS scientist and co-author of the report, Mark T. Anderson, “Effective water management in the West is challenged by increasing and often competing needs among various water users: agricultural use and consumption by cities, maintaining water reservoirs and ensuring in-stream flows for aquatic ecosystems, industrial and energy production, and recreation.  Scientific information becomes a crucial factor for resource managers to support their decision-making.”


Such factors as a demographic shift, climate variability (including the potential for severe sustained droughts), climate change, water-rights issues, depletion of ground water in storage, introduction of new storage and water use technologies, and protection of endangered species, add to a growing complexity for water management.  Several of the key scientific challenges are examined in this report, including the determination of sustainable ground-water use and the physical habitat needs of ecosystems and individual endangered species.


According to USGS Associate Director for Water, Robert  

Hirsch, “A constant and assured supply of fresh water is critical to sustain our economy, our communities, our ecosystems and our Nation.  This USGS report shows how the role and priorities for science to support effective water management are changing to meet current and future issues. 


Scientific information plays an important role in describing the hydrologic and environmental consequences, quantifying and monitoring changes in the hydrologic system, defining the physical-habitat requirements of stream and riparian ecosystems, and characterizing the life-sustaining needs of threatened or endangered species. The conduct of science to support water resource management is bringing about a new and more integrated role for the science of the U.S. Geological Survey.  


This report brings together findings from a wide variety of USGS studies and data in a manner that will help citizens and public officials better understand changing water situations in the West and the ways that new scientific understanding can support wise management of the resources.


The USGS report cites examples and scientific challenges from four basins in the West that have significant water availability and sustainability concerns: Middle Rio Grande Basin, NM., the Greater Los Angeles area, San Pedro Riparian National Conservation Area, AZ, and the Upper Klamath Lake, OR.


The report, Water Availability for the Western United States-- Key Scientific Challenges (Circular 1261), can be obtained by calling 1-888-ASK-USGS or viewed online at http://pubs.water.usgs.gov/circ1261/


Tories want gun registry killed fast

OTTAWA -- The Conservative government has created a committee of two cabinet ministers and a backbencher to figure out how best to kill the long-gun registry as soon as possible. Registry critic Garry Breitkreuz, who is working with Justice Minister Vic Toews and Public Security Minister Stockwell Day, said he has been given wide leeway to deal swiftly with the registry.


"We couldn't have had two better appointments because they're giving me the opportunities to put in place whatever is needed to stop the flow of money right now"  the

Saskatchewan MP said. Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised voters during the election campaign that the long-gun registry would be scrapped and money redirected to public safety.


The Conservatives have called the registry a waste of taxpayers money that targets duck hunters rather than criminals.  The gun program consumes about $90 million a year in direct costs while a single campaign promise to hire an additional 1,000 Mounties would add $50 million to the federal payroll.


Summer Camps at the IGFA

Registration is underway for nine weekly day camps being held during the summer at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum for children in ages 8 - 13. 


The week-long camp sessions will take place from May 30 to July 28, 2006.  Campers will explore the aquatic environment and participate in many fishing adventures and exciting activities. Camp hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Before and after-care is available from 8-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. 

Pre-registration is required. If you register and pay by May 12th, you will receive a $25 discount.  For more information, check out the IGFA website at www.igfa.org/summercamp.asp . There is a maximum of 45 children per week, so reserve your spot today! You can register online at www.igfa.org/campform.asp , call (954) 924-4309 or email [email protected] .



IGFA Junior Spring Break Camp April 10-14

The IGFA is offering up to 40 youngsters from ages eight to 13, an exciting camp during spring break week at the IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum in Dania Beach, Fla., USA. The day camp will take place April 10-14, 2006 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Before and after-care is available from 8-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m. 


Many different and fun aquatic activities are planned such as daily fishing tournaments, fishing techniques, wetlands

exploration, shark ecology, boat rides, dissections and more. Daily and weekly rates are available.


Pre-registration is required. A $25 discount will be given for full week registrations if registration and payment is made by March 24th. More information is on the IGFA web site at www.igfa.org/springcamp.asp . Registration is available online at www.igfa.org/campform.asp , or by calling (954) 924-4309 or email [email protected]  .


Lake Ontario

Lake Ontario "State of the Lake" meeting Feb. 21

The NYSDEC  is holding its ninth annual Lake Ontario update meeting February 21, at the Niagara County Cooperative Extension Center, 4487 Lake Ave. (Rte. 78), Lockport, NY 14094. The meeting will be held 7:30-9:30 PM. 


Speakers from NYSDEC and the US Geological Survey will provide an annual update on:

 ► Forage fish status

 ► Fishing boat creel census survey results

 ► Tributary creel survey update

 ► Chinook salmon & steelhead status

 ► Pen project assessment results

 ► Proposed angling regulation changes

► Hatchery staffing

► Stocking issues

► Cormorant management 


The public is invited to attend and admission is free. The meeting will offer an open dialog of questions and answers following the presentations. 

For more info contact:


Paul McKeown at NYSDEC- Allegany at (716) 372-0645;

Michael Wilkinson [email protected]    or

Patti Nelson [email protected]  at NYSDEC-Buffalo (716) 851-7010.


Mayor Daley's Chicago Media Challenge June 5

Sponsored by the Daley Fishing Advisory Committee's

Before you show up at the office on June 5, stop by the Chicago River at Columbus Drive / Wacker Drive

Monday, June 5, between 6:00 - 8:00 AM for Mayor Daley's Advisory Fishing Committee's Chicago Media Challenge.


Winners will be determined with the following criteria: - Largest Fish and Most Fish Caught in designated time.


Bring your Fishing License and Equipment if you want to participate. Bait will be provided for all contestants by Henry's Bait and Tackle shop. Gift Bags will be passed out to all

competitors, donated by Plano Molding,  Tackle Box, NMMA – coozie.


Chicago is a great place for fishing-on land or from the water.  - Free fishing Days in Illinois are Friday, June 9 to Monday, June 12 - No license required!  There are over 700,000 fishing licenses sold in Illinois annually.


Illinois' recreational fishermen spend nearly $600 million yearly, and 90% of Americans live within an hour of a body of water.  Boating and fishing can be a way to increase a child's physical fitness, spirit of team play, optimism and self-confidence (Impulse Research Corporation 2003).


Fish and wildlife rules public meeting Feb 27

The Department of Natural Resources will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to Indiana's fish and wildlife administrative rules on Monday, February 27, 2006 in the Indiana Government Center South, Conference Center Room C, at 10 am. 


The Indiana Government Center is at 402 W. Washington Street in downtown Indianapolis.


The proposed administrative rules clarify that white-tailed deer  

possessed under the authority of a game breeder license cannot be hunted and prohibits the taking of exotic mammals. 


Written comments can be sent to:

Hearing Officer

Natural Resources Commission

402 W. Washington Street, W272

Indianapolis, IN 46204


Or send comments to: [email protected]   Written comments must be received by February 28, 2006.


Proposal would outlaw most lead tackle

Viable, affordable alternatives needed, fishing experts say

LANSING -- Concern about lead poisoning among water birds led New Hampshire to ban the sale and use of certain types of lead fishing tackle. New York and Maine have banned the sale of lead sinkers weighing a half ounce or less.


Now the issue has surfaced in Michigan with the introduction of a bill that proposes a multi-step plan to phase out most lead tackle, including sinkers weighing one ounce or less, jigs, and other tackle items containing lead. Rep. Chris Kolb, D-Ann Arbor, the bill's sponsor, said the measure would protect water birds from ingestion of jigs and sinkers, adding that several economical and effective alternatives to lead tackle are available.


Ray Rustem, the Department of Natural Resources natural heritage unit supervisor, said the ban's impact on the wildlife population would be insignificant considering the economic costs. "For the benefit to be derived from this ... it's not worth the economic impact on the angler," said Rustem.

He also claims that far more loons are killed by commercial fish nets than by lead sinkers. Alternatives to lead tackle include steel, bismuth, ceramic, tungsten, tin and recycled glass, according to the Michigan DNR. 


Some alleged experts insist lead poisoning is a serious concern that must be addressed and measures need to be taken now to educate anglers about the harm posed to water birds. "You have to take steps where you can and work towards it," said Joanne Williams of Shepherd, state coordinator of the Michigan Loon Preservation Association/Michigan Loon Watch, a division of the Michigan Audubon Society. "Education is the biggest thing we have to address.  "In the long run it will be beneficial to wildlife and to Michigan," Williams said.


Sam Washington, executive director of Michigan United Conservation Clubs, said the bill is an "OK idea" but he believes that lead tackle has minimal impact on the environment.  Attempts to ban leaded tackle don't safeguard the species that they're trying to protect, Washington said.


New Walleye Regs for Several NE Minnesota Lakes

Several lakes in Northeast Minnesota will have new special walleye regulations starting this spring that are designed to maintain or improve walleye populations on the effected lakes.  The new regulations go into effect on opening day of the walleye season, May 13, 2006. 


Lake Vermilion, near Tower and Cook, will have a 17-26 inch protected slot limit with one fish allowed over 26".  All walleye 17-26" long, inclusive, must be immediately returned to the lake.  There will also be a 4-fish daily and possession bag limit for walleye on Lake Vermilion.  The new regulation was adopted in response to increased fishing pressure and walleye harvest in recent years. 


Creel surveys in 2002 and 2003 documented the highest walleye harvest ever observed on Lake Vermilion, well above the long-term safe harvest level for the lake.  The goal of the new regulation is to keep harvest at a sustainable level and maintain the quality of the walleye fishery.


A special walleye regulation will also go into effect this spring on a chain of lakes near Ely.   Farm, Garden, South Farm, and

White Iron Lakes and the North Branch of the Kawishiwi River from Farm Lake 4.8 miles east to the long portage will have a 17-26" protected slot with one fish allowed over 26".  All walleye 17-26" long must be immediately returned to the water.  The daily and possession bag limit for walleye will remain at 6 fish. 


Every other year walleye fingerling stocking was increased on Farm, Garden, and South Farm Lakes starting in 2005.  The goal of the new walleye regulation is to increase walleye numbers on Garden Lake Reservoir (Farm, Garden, and South Farm Lakes), maintain current walleye numbers on White Iron Lake, and to increase the numbers of medium and larger size walleyes in all of the lakes in this chain.


Signs describing the new regulations will be posted at public accesses and resorts on these lakes prior to the May 13, 2006 fishing opener.  Any questions about the regulation changes can be directed to the Area Fisheries office at Tower MN.  Special and experimental regulations are summarized on pages 24-42 of the 2006 Minnesota Fishing Regulations book.


New Regs for commercial fishing pending

SANDUSKY, OHIO'S Three changes to the way Ohio's commercial fishermen operate on Lake Erie are being considered by the Ohio Wildlife Council, according the Ohio DNR Division of Wildlife.


The Division of Wildlife is proposing three new commercial fishing regulations in an effort to tighten the rules for Ohio's commercial fishing industry. The new rules are needed in light of an ongoing investigation of some of Ohio's commercial fishing fleet.  The current case is considered the biggest criminal case in the history of the Division of Wildlife, and involves the illegal netting and selling of 40 tons of yellow perch (equal to 6,133 daily sport fishing bag limits).


►The first change in regulations will prohibit commercial fishermen from having yellow perch on their boat from the Central and Western basins of Lake Erie at the same time.


►The second change will require all commercial fishing vessels to notify the Division of Wildlife at least 30 minutes prior to docking with the fish they have netted.  A voice mail system will be set up to collect information, such as the location of the dock where their fish will be unloaded, the name and number of the trap net boat, their license number, the weight of each harvested species, and the estimated time

of arrival of the boat at the dock.


►Under current regulations, commercial fishermen must display flags on their nets.  The third new regulation will require different colors to be displayed according to whether the commercial fishermen are operating in the Western or Central basin.


The agency is proposing the new rules go into effect May 1.


The Cuyahoga County Prosecutor indicted 14 individuals and five businesses over the past year on charges of engaging in money laundering, theft, and receiving stolen property related to commercial fishing.  Several individuals and commercial fishing companies have plead guilty in Cuyahoga County Court and received fines totaling $187,000. An investigation of yellow perch involving additional commercial fishermen and companies is still open in Lorain and Erie counties.


Commercial fishermen are required to keep accurate and legible catch reports and to stay within their licensed yellow perch quota in a given year. Safe harvest levels of yellow perch are determined by fisheries biologists to maintain healthy fish populations and provide quality fishing opportunities on Lake Erie.

Ohio Apprentice Hunter Program Becomes Reality

(Columbus) – Legislation designed to improve hunter recruitment rates in Ohio has been signed into law.  The effort is part of the Families Afield campaign established by a partnership of sportsmen’s organizations to aid in the recruitment of new hunters, nationwide.


On Feb. 14, Gov. Bob Taft signed HB 296, introduced by Rep. Steven Beuhrer, R-Delta, to allow licensed, mentor hunters to take apprentice hunters into the field prior to the completion of hunter education certification.  Before becoming fully licensed, the apprentice must complete hunter education.


The concept for the Families Afield bill was established by the U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance (USSA), National Wild Turkey

Federation (NWTF) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) after results of a study called the Youth Hunting Report revealed declining youth involvement in outdoor sports and pointed to reasons for the sliding numbers.


“The success of this bill proves that legislators and the governor recognize the need to focus on hunter recruitment in Ohio,” said USSA President Bud Pidgeon.  “Barriers that once existed and prevented newcomers from trying the sport will be eliminated, which will mean good things for the future of hunting.”


Currently, Ohio recruits 76 hunters for every 100 that retire from the sport. The new law will help boost that ratio.

CMP Presents $190,000 Check to Ohio National Guard

The Civilian Marksmanship Program presented a $190,000 check to the Ohio National Guard Adjutant General’s Department on February  3. The check was the CMP’s contribution towards the completion of a new recreational vehicle park that the Ohio Guard is constructing at Camp Perry. The 40-space RV park is scheduled to be completed in time for 2006 National Matches competitors to utilize for their RVs or trailers while they are at Camp Perry. The park is part of a Camp Perry long range plan that calls for replacing and

upgrading competitor housing.


Construction of the RV park is scheduled to begin within the next month and to be completed in June before the National Matches begin. The park will provide parking spaces, power and water hook-ups and a dumping station. The Camp Perry Club House that manages all Camp Perry housing will coordinate rentals. Announcements will be released as soon as rates and rental terms are available.


Commission supports efforts to remove SS # requirements

Federal and State proposals would end need for license buyers

HARRISBURG - Pennsylvania Game Commission Executive Director Carl G. Roe offered his praise and support for two recent efforts to remove the current federal and state requirement that the agency collect Social Security Numbers from hunting and furtaker license buyers.


"We have heard from hundreds, if not thousands, of hunters and trappers who told us that they refused to purchase a license during the 2005-06 license year based solely on the fact that they were required to provide their Social Security Number when purchasing a license," Roe said.  "While no one argues with the objectives of this effort, we all certainly believe that there are better ways to accomplish this goal."


On Feb. 8, the state House of Representatives unanimously approved House Resolution 461, sponsored by House Game and Fisheries Committee Chairman Bruce Smith (R-York) and supported by the Game Commission.  HR 461 urges the President and Congress of the United States to revise the requirement that applicants for hunting and fishing licenses provide their Social Security numbers; and asks the Unites States Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families to grant an exception to the state Department of Public Welfare for the current requirement that license buyers provide their Social Security numbers.


"We are pleased that state legislators are supporting federal efforts to relieve the Game Commission from being placed in the undesirable position of having our issuing agents ask license buyers for such personal information," Roe said.  "The Game Commission never wanted to be placed in this position just as much as our license buyers don't want to provide this sensitive information."

On Feb. 10, U.S. Senator Rick Santorum appeared at the Eastern Outdoors and Sports Show to outline his introduction of Senate Bill 2249, the Sportsmen's Privacy Protection Act, that would repeal the federal mandate that requires the Game Commission to collect Social Security numbers from license buyers.


On Oct. 4, the Board of Game Commissioners unanimously approved a resolution, offered by Game Commissioner Gregory Isabella, that directs the Game Commission staff to continue working to remove the federal and state requirements that the agency demand Social Security Numbers from license buyers.


There are three components to Isabella's resolution.  First, agency staff is asked to continue to seek a waiver from the Department of Public Welfare excusing the agency from the need to collect Social Security Numbers from license buyers until the agency implements an electronic license sale system, commonly referred to as "point-of-sale."


Second, the Game Commission's staff is asked to continue to pursue any initiative to have the U.S. Congress and state General Assembly enact legislation to remove the Game Commission from being legislatively-mandated to collect Social Security Numbers.


And, third, the Game Commission staff is directed to give license buyers' Social Security Numbers the highest degree of security and confidentiality, and purge the information from license records as soon as legally possible.


On July 29, former Game Commission Executive Director Vern Ross sent a letter to Pennsylvania's U.S. Congressional delegation, including Sen. Santorum, urging reconsideration of the federal requirement that state's collect Social Security numbers from our license buyers.


Wilderness medicine clinic March 11

BABCOCK, Wis. -- Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy getting off the beaten path and want to be prepared for unexpected medical emergencies can learn about wilderness medicine at a March clinic at the Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center


The Wilderness First-Aid clinic is led by Rod Erickson, M.D. and addresses topics on outdoor hygiene, how to deal with cuts, sprains, strains, broken bones and evacuation strategies. This clinic is recommended for persons guiding their families and friends in such out-of-the-way and remote places as the Boundary Waters. The clinic will be held Saturday, March 11 from 9 a.m. to noon.


Registration is limited to 25 people on a first-come, first-served basis and is confirmed by mailing in a registration fee of $15 per person by March 1. People interested in staying

overnight in the center’s dorm either prior to or following the event may do so for a donation of $15 per person per night.


Checks should be made out to DNR-Skills Center. Include the name of each participant, and the address and daytime phone number of one person in each party. Send your registration fee to: Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center, PO Box 156, Babcock, WI 54413. Inquiries on the status of registrations may be sent via e-mail to: [email protected]


The Sandhill Outdoor Skills Center is located 20 miles west of Wisconsin Rapids on County Highway X, 1 mile north of Highway 80 near Babcock, Wisconsin on the 9,000 acre Department of Natural Resources Sandhill Wildlife Area.


For more info: Sandhill Skills Center at: (715) 884-6333 or (715) 884-2437


New fishing regs proposed for '07

MNR requests public comment

TORONTO — The Ontario government is seeking public comment on proposed new ecologically based fishing regulations that would further protect the province’s biodiversity, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay announced.


“We are streamlining the regulations and simplifying the large list of exceptions which were difficult for anglers to know and follow,” said Ramsay. “We are also creating more fishing opportunities by extending seasons or removing unnecessary season closures where there aren’t sustainability issues for native fish populations.”


The proposed regulation changes are part of the ministry’s new ecological framework for recreational fisheries management in Ontario announced last year. This includes managing fisheries on a zone basis rather than on an individual lake basis and reducing the number of fishing

divisions to 20 zones from 37. The new  Fisheries Management Zones are based on ecological and social factors and easy-to-find boundaries. These zones would go into effect in 2007.


The ministry has set out recommended seasons and creel and size limits for all regulated sport fish species for 2007 for the new zones. Most anglers will not notice much difference but in some areas the alteration in boundaries will mean changes in fishing seasons and fishing limits. Also proposed are protective regulations for some native populations such as brook trout, lake trout and lake sturgeon, to enhance biodiversity.


The ministry is posting the proposed fishing regulations for the new fisheries zones on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry today for 60 days for public comment. To view the notice, visit www.ene.gov.on.ca/samples/search/  and enter Registry Number XB06E6001.

Lake Erie & Lake St. Clair Sportfishing Regulations Review

MNR to also host three open houses March 8, 9 and 13

The Minister of Natural Resources will hold a 60 day public review of proposed new fishing regulations. In 2007, MNR will be adopting a more science-based landscape approach to managing sport fisheries throughout the province. There are changes proposed for the Lake Erie/Lake St. Clair area that you should know about.


One of the biggest changes will be the combining of the current fishing Divisions 1 and 2 into Fisheries Management Zone 19, with sport fishing regulations being the same throughout the Zone (with some exceptions). We need to hear your comments about these changes before April 8, 2006.


For more info:

For all of Ontario - www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/fishing/fmz/index.html  


For Great Lakes - www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/fishing/fmz/newzones_gl.html  


For Lake Erie/Lake St. Clair - www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/fishing/fmz/gl_zone_19.html


Come in person:

The MNR will be hosting three open houses in March for you to find out more about the proposed new regulations, plus the status of Lake Erie fish stocks for 2006. These open houses replace the Angler Outreach meetings that would have been held in these locations in April this year.


March 8          St. Patrick Roman Catholic Church Hall     2 pm-5 pm; 6 pm-9 pm

                        123 King St, Port Cologne


March 9          Windsor Sportsmans’ Club                          2 pm-5 pm; 6 pm-9 pm

                        2401 Doug all, Windsor


March 13        Wheel’s Inn – International Room                2 pm-5 pm; 6 pm-9 pm

                        615 Richmond St,  Chatham


For more info, contact:

Elizabeth Wright, Lead Management Biologist, Lake Erie Management Unit. 519-873-4611  [email protected]  


John Cooper, Information Officer, Lake Erie Management Unit, 519-873-4613  [email protected]  


Proposed Seasons and Limits for FMZ 19*


Open Season


S – Sport Fishing Licence

C- Conservation Fishing Licence


Walleye & sauger

Open all year

S(6) C(2)

Extends season in Lake Erie & increases limit from 4 to 6 in Eastern Basin of Lake Erie

Largemouth & smallmouth bass

4th Sat. in June to Nov. 30

S(6) C(2)

New provincial season

Northern pike

Open all year

S(6) C(2)

No change


1st Sat. in June to Dec. 15

S(1) C(0) - minimum length of 112 cm.

Extends season in Lake Erie

Yellow perch

Open all year

S(50) C(25)

New provincial limit


Open all year

S(30) C(10)

New provincial limit


Open all year

S(100) C(50)

New provincial limit

Brown trout

Open all year

S(5) C(2)

No change

Rainbow trout

Open all year

S(5) C(2)

No change

Lake trout

Jan. 1 to Sept. 30 & Dec. 1 to Dec. 31

S(3) C(1)

No change

Pacific salmon

Open all year

S(5) C(2)

No change

Lake whitefish

Open all year

S(12) C(6)

New provincial limit. No dipnetting.

Lake sturgeon

Jan. 1 to Apr. 30 & July 1 to Dec. 31

S(1) C(0)

New provincial season

Channel catfish

Open all year

S(12) C(6)

New provincial limit


There are some proposed exceptions to province-wide regulations, such as allowing 2 lines when fishing from a boat on Lake St. Clair and most of Lake Erie.


The following species are not known to occur in FEZ 19, and therefore will be closed to fishing all year: brook trout, splake, Atlantic salmon.


This table has been prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for use during the public consultation period for the Environmental Registry notice number XB06E6001, entitled “2007 Recreational Fishing Regulations for the new Fisheries Management Zones for Ontario”.

Walleye anglers on the hook for major regulation changes

The Ministry of Natural Resources is preparing to make significant changes to walleye regulations, and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters wants to ensure that anglers have been given adequate opportunity to provide their input.


Last year, MNR Minister David Ramsay announced his plans for a provincial walleye review in an effort to streamline and simplify current fishing regulations. That review will be conducted across the province, but is now focused on the southern region which, broadly speaking, could affect walleye fishing in all parts south of the French River.


The MNR wants anglers to choose one option from their list of four proposed regulation changes; however, the O.F.A.H. says anglers should feel free to tell the MNR if there is something they want that is not on this list


1.) 40 cm (15.7") maximum size limit for walleye; or

2.) 50 cm (19.7") minimum size limit for walleye; or

3.) 35 cm to 55 cm protected slot; or

4.) 40 cm to 65 cm protected slot. 

In addition to these size restrictions, anglers will have reduced walleye catch limits, and shortened winter fishing seasons.


"Walleye populations can certainly improve in southern Ontario, but regulating the harvest is not the only solution," said O.F.A.H Fisheries Biologist, Dave Brown. "Anglers are generally supportive of reasonable regulations that are within the best interest of conservation, provided that the government is doing its part to address all the other issues affecting walleye population."


Those issues, Brown said, include prevention of invading species and habitat loss, poaching, low water levels and poor water quality, as well as the need to boost support for O.F.A.H. member clubs and their fish stocking and hatchery programs. In response to Mar’s review of southern region walleye regulations, the O.F.A.H. is providing as much information as possible on the Federation's website, embarking on its own consultation and delivering feedback from stakeholders, and preparing additional options for the government's consideration.


Download complete information as well as Mar’s public response procedures by visiting www.ofah.org

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