Province proposes new bait management tactic

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Anglers will not be capable to move reside bait outdoors the zone of their major residence as component of a new bait management tactic proposed earlier this week by the Ministry of All-natural Sources and Forestry (MNRF).

They will be capable to harvest and transport reside bait in their personal zone without having extra documentation, but when fishing elsewhere, would have to acquire bait in the zone they are fishing in as component of Ontario’s draft Sustainable Bait Management Approach released Monday, Sept. 30.

When outdoors their household zone, anglers should preserve a receipt on hand to show proof of acquire place. It will stay valid for two weeks, the ministry stated.

Public comment sought

The proposal, which aims to minimize the threat of invasive species and fish illnesses, is readily available on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) for public feedback till Nov. 14.

Bait use can spread fish-primarily based illnesses such as viral hemorrhagic septicemia (VHS) and invasive species like round goby.

Bait movement would be restricted to 4 bait management zones — two in the north and two in the south — as component of the tactic. It will also minimize the list of eligible baitfish species to only these 34 species that anglers and industrial operators normally use and sell, the ministry stated.

The proposal would also prohibit use and storage of reside bait in native brook trout lakes, but will not modify how reside bait is utilised in provincial parks.

Alterations will also be created to industrial bait licences, such as to deliver longer licence terms and perform with the sector to create a compliance framework, the ministry stated.

Overview method led to draft

A evaluation method led to a draft proposal, the “Strategic Policy for Bait Management in Ontario,” posted on the ERO for comment in 2017 prior to additional consultation this year and final. The feedback and issues voiced are addressed in the new proposal, the ministry stated.

“We heard straight from bait
operators and anglers at listening sessions held across the province,”
MNRF Parliamentary Assistant Mike Harris stated. “The draft tactic
addresses the movement of bait, which is a important element in minimizing ecological
threat, although delivering flexibility to sector and anglers.”

“Our government is committed to guarding Ontario’s vibrant fisheries and the industries that rely on them by lowering the threat of spreading aquatic invasive species and fish illnesses,” MNRF Minister John Yakabuski stated in a release.

“We are aiming for a policy that protects our lakes and rivers although minimizing the influence on anglers and rising organization certainty for the industrial sector that relies on bait.”

“Mixed signals” sent: OFAH

Anglers “are receiving mixed signals when
it comes to the priorities behind these policies,” stated Ontario Federation of
Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) Fisheries Biologist Adam Weir, pointing out that the
similar government reduce funding for the OFAH-MNRF Invasive Species Awareness
System by 43%.

“The OFAH shares the province’s
need to safeguard our lakes and rivers from invasive species. But it is
hard for us to accept additional restrictions on angler use of bait when several
of the proposed approaches have tiny likelihood, and even much less certainty in
their prospective to minimize the spread of invasive species and illness,” he
stated.

Ontario’s bait sector is estimated to be worth $23 million per year. Its fisheries contribute extra than $two.two billion dollars to the economy and develop jobs equal to 41,000-particular person years annually.

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