Originally published by Pye Acres, September 15, 2017 by Robert J. Pye The White Otter Inn was in my rear view mirror and the rising sun was on my windshield. I was up unreasonably early to drive home from a late-November OFAH membership meeting in northwestern Ontario. Slowly, the break of dawn unveiled the full view of an empty Trans-Canada Highway… empty except for the OFAH company Jeep I was driving and a half-ton truck up ahead. That truck was also flying my organization’s emblem. When some people didn’t care about cold water streams and its value to fish and wildlife, it was trout fisherman who volunteered to plant trees, prevent erosion, built spawning beds and fish ladders. Back bumper or top windshield corner, I can spot an OFAH membership decal a mile away. Our bright blue membership sticker is the highly recognizable “I’m proud to fish and hunt” statement affixed to boats, ATV’s, trucks and cars all throughout Ontario, especially in the north. With a full travel mug of coffee and an extra hour on my side, I had no inclination to pass my fellow OFAH members. After all, a weekend full of fish hatchery tours, club meetings and conservation topics couldn’t replace this anonymous OFAH membership success story being told, from the shoulders up, with backs against a truck cab window. With every mile I paid closer attention to the OFAH members sitting side-by-side in the cab of that truck. Their blaze orange hats and jackets made it easy to tell how they were spending the morning. A father and his son, I predicted. Going deer hunting, I assumed. I recognized their body language from my own childhood hunting trips, sitting beside my Dad on the bench [...]
Fishing is a heritage activity in Canada, and there are many reasons we think it's an important -- and fun! -- pastime. But have you ever wondered about the economic benefits of fishing? We produced this video a few years ago when we were launching Keep Canada Fishing, but the information is still valuable today. Take a look and learn more about why it's so important to "Keep Canada Fishing!"
Originally published by Ontario Out of Doors, August 4, 2017 by Alyssa Lloyd With the popularity of kayak fishing in Ontario, it hasn’t taken anglers long to start using standup paddleboards (SUPs) too. Their advantages are crystal clear: they are simple, portable, low cost, low maintenance, customizable, stealthy on the water, and just plain fun. They come in a variety of materials so anglers can choose from expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam core, wood, or a portable and an easily stored inflatable. SUPs are the perfect craft for a quick fish or a full day excursion. Here are some SUP tips to help you get paddling. Getting comfortable Pablo Bonilla of SUPnorth in Haliburton uses SUPs as simple fishing vessels targeting both fresh and saltwater species. As an instructor, Bonilla recommends first and foremost you become accustomed to paddling a SUP before you attempt fishing from one. “Gaining confidence is the first step, the more comfortable you are on your board, the more enjoyable fishing will be.” says Bonilla. TO FIND MORE TIPS ON SUP FISHING, VISIT OODMAG.COM
Wildfires have been ravaging large parts of British Columbia for several weeks now. An evolving list of fires in the region can be found on the B.C. Government website. A quick glance shows just how widespread and disastrous the situation is. It will take years for communities and wildlife to recover. While the immediate destruction mostly effects ecosystems on land, we thought it would be a good idea to look into if (and how) this destruction could have short and long-term impacts on aquatic wildlife and the ecosystems they're a part of. Do wildfires negatively impact fish? And if so, how? Sediment and Temperature Changes Wildfires are not new phenomena. While many are the result of human error, approximately 60% of B.C.'s fires are the result of lighting. Like lightning, there are many other "pulse disturbances" which impact wildlife. These can be things like droughts, floods, and erosion. The issue with wildfires is that their intensity can instigate and inflate these pulse disturbances. As trees burn and fall, increased sediment erodes into nearby bodies of water. This new waste material fills in spaces where fish would lay eggs and can, in some cases, damage their gills. Migration routes can also be blocked or altered. The immediate response is a reduction in fish populations. Another significant issue is temperature change. Fish which have fairly precise habitat requirements, like trout, are most at risk. When plants which shade cold-water streams are destroyed, the overall water temperature rises. Even just a few degrees can have an impact on metabolic and reproductive rates of the fish living there. Toxicity and Pollution An issue we found less information on is the effect of pollutants and toxins directly related to wildfires. One [...]
To celebrate National Fishing Week we are giving away 20 rods and reels! To enter, send us a photo of one of your Canadian catches. You can send them to us on Facebook, Twitter, or email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's see those great Canadian catches!
Article courtesy of the Canadian Safe Boating Council July 1st-9th, 2017 marks National Fishing Week in Canada. On designated days within this period, thousands of Canadians will take advantage of their ability to legally fish without a license. While this opportunity has been a catalyst for many of us to catch the fishing bug, angling has been part of our Canadian heritage for countless generations. So popular has this activity become that well over 50% of the boats sold in Canada are used at least in part for fishing. By far, the most popular boats for this activity are small open powerboats under 6 meters in length. Coincidentally, between 2009 & 2013, boats of this type were involved in 26% of the boating-related fatalities according to the Lifesaving Society’s 2016 Drowning Report. Contrary to popular opinion, simply having a lifejacket aboard the boat alone isn’t necessarily going to be enough to prevent a catastrophic outcome. In approximately 80% of boating-related fatalities, victims weren’t wearing their lifejackets. Often times, a wave or wake from another boat can not only knock a boater into the water but also carry their boat away leaving them in the middle of a lake without any floatation and they drown. In this day and age, there really isn’t any excuse not to wear a lifejacket. Manufacturers have designed purpose-built units that not only provide comfort and allow ease of casting but also have pockets and clips to keep tackle, tools and other necessities at arm’s reach. They’re even available in a camouflage pattern! Inflatable lifejackets, too, provide a great option for anglers. They are cool, comfortable, allow for full arm motion and are completely adjustable. They can be deployed either manually [...]
By Sarah McMichael For over 150 years, Canadians have been drawn to the water. Every year, from coast to coast to coast, we cast our lines. Fishing is Canada’s pastime, and National Fishing Week is the time to celebrate it. From July 1st to 9th, 2017, Canadians across the country will grab their rods and reels, and go fishing. Events will be occurring nationwide to give Canadians the chance to hook the big one. Canadians could also win one of hundreds of rods and reels given out in radio and TV contests and giveaways across the country. As we celebrate the Canada’s 150th birthday, we also celebrate the many years we have spent fishing recreationally. Fishing has been passed down from generation to generation. It’s a Canadian heritage activity, and something we’re undeniably passionate about. More adult Canadians fish than play golf and hockey combined, and why wouldn’t we? Canada is truly a fishing paradise. With over one million lakes, rivers, and streams, opportunities to hook the catch of a lifetime are just around the corner. But fishing is about so much more than catching a fish. It’s about connecting with your loved ones, and spending time enjoying the outdoors. It can take you on a heart-pounding adventure, or help you find a little serenity. It’s good for you, and it’s good for Canada. This summer, grab a rod and reel and go fishing! About National Fishing Week: National Fishing Week is supported by Catch Fishing, a national program dedicated to encouraging Canadians to get outdoors and enjoy our angling heritage throughout the year. It is supported by federal, provincial and territorial governments, as well as hundreds of organizations and businesses that work hard to [...]
Originally Published by Ontario Out of Doors, May 30, 2017 By Emily Walsh The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is currently developing a new hunting and fishing licensing system for the province. Numerous changes are being considered by the MNRF, which its proposal states will “modernize licensing products and approaches, improve client services, and ultimately support sustainable fish and wildlife management.” This proposal could mean sweeping changes to many areas of the current system. Modernization of the outdoors card, game seals, hunter harvest reporting, the hunter apprenticeship program, and overall licensing are being proposed. In addition, streamlining of hunter accreditation and enhancements to hunting and fishing licensing are on the table. Highlights of this proposal could mean major changes for hunters across the province. Specifically the elimination of different versions of the Outdoors Card to create a single Outdoors Card. A single licence document for hunting and fishing would be created and available to print at home, or emailed to the user to maintain in a digital format. Further to this, game seals will be replaced with “tags” which users will be able to purchase online and print at home, or obtain from a licence issuer. Hunters would still be required to carry their tag and notch or complete at the time of harvest, but would only be required to attach it to the harvested animal if they were no longer accompanying it. Apprentice hunters would be given the option to purchase hunting licences or tags (but will not be eligible to participate in a draw), allowing them to hunt under their own licence or continue to hunt under their mentor’s licence. However, apprentice hunters will be required to obtain an Outdoors Card, replacing the current Hunter Apprenticeship Card. [...]
All the fish in this Banff lake are to be removed and killed to protect other lakes from whirling disease
Parks Canada trying to protect westslope cutthroat trout in nearby Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka Originally Published by CBC News, May 17, 2017 Officials have started pulling all the fish from Johnson Lake in Banff National Park where the deadly fish parasite that causes whirling disease was first detected in Canada, in a bid to stop its spread. The disease predominantly affects trout and whitefish and can cause them to swim in a whirling pattern and die prematurely. Officials with Parks Canada will use netting and electro-fishing to remove the fish from the 15-hectare lake. Parks Canada says it's confident removing the fish will be effective, because of the lake's location and the fact it is relatively small in size and shallow in depth. Whirling disease was first detected in Canada when it was found in Johnson Lake in August 2016, but has since been detected in the entire Bow River and watershed and the Oldman River basin in Alberta. The ambitious measure at Johnson Lake is the best strategy to try to stop the disease from spreading into nearby Two Jack Lake and Lake Minnewanka, says Banff National Park resource conservation manager Bill Hunt. "There's only 10 core populations in all of Banff National Park for westslope cutthroat [trout]," he said. "These are some of the last pure strains of westslope anywhere in the world, and so protecting those and making sure that we do as much as we can reasonably from being severely impacted by whirling disease is a pretty high priority." Hunt says because of the whirling disease, the fish will be euthanized and disposed of safely. To read more visit CBC News.
Originally Published by CBC News, May 3, 2017 An estimated 6,000 lake sturgeon are now swimming in the Detroit River, according to research by Canadian conservation groups and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The number of fish now make up about one per cent of what the abundance once was, according to a press release from Detroit River Canadian Cleanup, but the group celebrated the river's return as one of the healthiest populations in the Great Lakes. "This research, as well as data collected from egg and larvae surveys conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, shows the Fighting Island artificial reef expansion ... near the Town of LaSalle, has been successful and is aiding in the recovery of Lake Sturgeon and other fish species in the Detroit River," explained action Plan coordinator Claire Sanders. To read more visit CBC News.