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08-May-2017

Let's go fishing but be mindful of your fishing practices


Fishing in local waters

BY SOUTHGREY.CA STAFF —

Warm weather has arrived, and the welcoming temperatures are once again beckoning people to our beautiful lakes, rivers and ponds. Fishing is a popular warm weather pastime in South Grey, and it's important to take an environmentally responsible approach.

Local commercial fisheries may do the brunt of the damage, but amateurs also can contribute to the contamination of our waterways and decimation of fish species. People of different cultures have fished sustainably for decades, and most anyone can follow their guidelines - and some others - to help keep our water life healthy.

  • Disturb wildlife as little as possible. When traveling into delicate ecosystems, such as those that primarily surround the water's edge, do so with care. Operating a boat in shallow regions can chop up underwater vegetation or harm fish that live in the shallows. Don't remove crustaceans or take plants or other wildlife out of the area.
  • Keep track of gear. Discarded or lost fishing gear can prove harmful to wildlife. It's easy for fish to get tangled in fishing line and hooks that were left behind by fishers. Sinkers and other weights may be mistaken for food and injure unsuspecting animals. Even animals like ducks and other birds can swallow fishing tackle, which can lead to illness or starvation. Don't just abandon gear. Try to leave the area in the same condition as when you arrived.
  • Fish specific species at different times. Fishing specific species helps maintain different stocks of fish at various times of the year. Plus, you'll help guarantee that one species will not be over-fished, potentially leading to underpopulation or extinction.

Here’s a complete list of 2017 Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF) recreational fishing open seasons for zone 16 (Southwestern Ontario):

  • Walleye & Sauger    Jan. 1 to Mar. 15 & May 13 to Dec. 31
  • Large & Smallmouth Bass    June 24 to Nov. 30
  • Northern Pike    Jan. 1 to Mar. 31 & May 13 to Dec. 31
  • Muskellunge    June 3 to Dec. 15
  • Yellow Perch    Open all year
  • Crappie    Open all year
  • Sunfish    Open all year
  • Brook Trout    Apr. 22 to Sept. 30
  • Brown Trout    Apr. 22 to Sept. 30
  • Rainbow Trout    Apr. 22 to Sept. 30
  • Lake Trout    Jan. 1 to Sept. 30
  • Splake    Open all year
  • Pacific Salmon    Apr. 22 to Sept. 30
  • Atlantic Salmon    Apr. 22 to Sept 30
  • Lake Whitefish    Open all year
  • Lake Sturgeon    Closed all year
  • Channel Catfish    Open all year

Check the OMNRF website for fishing limits and other information.

Responsible fishing can help maintain water ecosystems and protect the surrounding environment.

 


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