GBA 2022 - Summer Update

8 GBA UPDATE Summer 2022 FISHERIES By Bill Steiss, Chair, Fisheries Committee Recreational anglers across Ontario contribute to a sustainable fishery worth over $1.75 billion a year. To maintain and manage this fishery, the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry (MNR) publishes an annual summary of the recreational fishing regulations. See: Georgian Bay and the North Channel, including the rivers and countless streams running into these waters, are identified in the guide as Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 14: https://bit. ly/3uZLrCh. Zone 14 offers recreational anglers excellent fishing for popular fish species such as walleye, small and largemouth bass, northern pike, muskellunge, lake trout, yellow perch, chinook salmon, and rainbow trout. Protecting this valuable fishery is achieved when the guide’s regulations, such as catch and possession limits, protection of fish sanctuaries, open/closed seasons, and bait restrictions, are respected. Anglers can do their part by following the guide’s regulations and avoiding activities potentially harmful to fish, thereby ensuring that Georgian Bay’s and the North Channel’s fisheries remain healthy and sustainable. The Commercial Fishery Commercial fishing also plays an important part of Zone 14’s heritage, providing healthy food and local employment. Offshore anglers are reminded in the guide that tampering with commercial fishing gear, nets, and traps is prohibited under the provincial Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and can be unsafe. To learn more about commercial fishing in Ontario, please visit Getting an Outdoors Card Anglers between 18 and 65 years of age require an Outdoors Card, which offers two choices: a sport fishing licence, or a conservation fishing licence. The difference between the two licences is related to the number of fish you are allowed to possess at one time – including any fish you might have at home in your fridge or freezer. Anglers purchasing a licence are supporting an annual stocking program of over eight million fish into Ontario lakes. For more information about the Outdoors Card, visit: https:// Opportunities to Fish for Beginners For those without a fishing licence but keen to fish, the province provides an opportunity to fish for free without a licence on the following weekends: ≥ Family Day Weekend (also known as Family Fishing Weekend!) ≥ Mother’s Day Weekend ≥ Father’s Day Weekend ≥ Ontario Family Fishing Week (the week after Canada Day) ≥ For more information see To help get fishing beginners started, Ontario also provides the online Learn to Fish guide covering all the basics: choosing the right fishing rod and tackle, tying knots, casting techniques, identifying fish species, and using catch and release techniques. Access the guide here: https://bit. ly/3xPAq8F. Ontario’s New 2022 Fishing Regulations