Lake Erie Committee 2015 Walleye and Yellow Perch Harvest Level

Media Release – Ripple Outdoors Wheatley Ont.

Lake Erie Committee 2015 Fish Harvest

YPSILANTI, MI – Fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania—the five jurisdictions that manage the Lake Erie fishery—agreed to a total allowable catch (TAC) of 4.114 million walleye and 10.528 million pounds of yellow perch for 2015. (Walleye are allocated by number of fish; yellow perch are allocated in pounds.).  These TAC recommendations represent a 3% increase in allowable catch for walleye and a 5% decrease in yellow perch.

 The Lake Erie Committee’s TAC recommendations are consistent with the status of Lake Erie’s fish populations, taking into the account the goal of stable harvest.  The Lake Erie Committee believes that both walleye and yellow perch populations are relatively stable, with some indication of improved year classes, relative to the average, of both species in 2014.  The individual provincial and state governments adhere to and implement the TAC recommendations consistent with their respective regulations and management objectives.

 The Lake Erie Committee operates by consensus and meets periodically to analyze and discuss detailed, lakewide biological assessments that inform their TAC recommendations.  The Lake Erie Committee also supports the Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group, or LEPMAG, a structured process that engages commercial and recreational fishers.  LEPMAG, which has existed since 2010, reflects the committee’s interest in involving the fishing community in actions related to management of Lake Erie’s percid fisheries.

WALLEYE

 The Lake Erie Committee today recommended a 2015 walleye TAC of 4.114 million fish, compared to the similar TAC of 4.027 million fish in 2014. The TAC recommendation for 2015 reflects the goal of managing shared fish stocks sustainably while incorporating the needs of the people who harvest the fish.  The 2011, 2010, 2007, and the 2003 year classes are the primary contributors to the stability of the walleye fishery and allow for the similar TAC from last year.

 Scientists and field biologists from all Lake Erie jurisdictions, meeting as the Walleye Task Group, share data and reach consensus on biological conditions.  The task group’s walleye abundance estimates, which incorporate suggestions from LEPMAG, serve as the foundation for the Lake Erie Committee’s discussions and TAC recommendations.  A model, developed in conjunction with stakeholders and Michigan State University, also informs the TAC.  Each Lake Erie jurisdiction is responsible for implementing their portion of the TAC.

 The Province of Ontario and the states of Ohio and Michigan share the TAC based on a formula of walleye habitat within each jurisdiction in the western and central basins of the lake. Under a 2015 TAC of 4.114 million fish, Ohio will be allocated 2.103 million fish, Ontario 1.771 million fish, and Michigan 0.240 million fish.  Because the majority of harvest comes from the western portion of Lake Erie, jurisdictions in the eastern end of the lake are outside the TAC area.  Harvest limits in the eastern basin are established separately by Ontario, Pennsylvania, and New York and remain consistent with lakewide conditions and objectives.

YELLOW PERCH

 The Lake Erie Committee recommended a 2015 binational TAC of 10.528 million pounds of yellow perch, a decrease from last year’s allocation of 11.081 million pounds.  The generally stable yellow perch TACs are indicative of the ongoing, stable status of yellow perch in Lake Erie.  In east central basin of Lake Erie (“management unit 3”), it was noted that mixed signals between fisheries survey data and model performance occurred.  Recognizing this, and to help stabilize the TAC and reduce impacts on stakeholders, the Lake Erie Committee decided to go slightly above the maximum of the recommended allowable harvest range.  This was done to achieve no more than a 20% reduction in the TAC; 20% is a “stability” benchmark currently recommended to the LEC by LEPMAG for walleye.  The proposed TAC, after deliberations with stakeholders through the LEPMAG process, reflects the committee’s interest in maintaining stability in harvest while ensuring yellow perch sustainability.

 The five jurisdictions on the lake share Lake Erie’s yellow perch based on an area-based formula.  Under the 2015 TAC recommendation, Ontario will receive 5.052 million pounds, Ohio 4.505 million pounds, Michigan 0.145 million pounds, New York 0.162 million pounds, and Pennsylvania 0.664 million pounds.

  

THE LAKE ERIE PERCID MANAGEMENT ADVISORY GROUP (LEPMAG)

 The Lake Erie Percid Management Advisory Group was first convened in 2010 and serves as the primary method to incorporate stakeholder needs and objectives into the Lake Erie yellow perch and walleye decision-making process.  LEPMAG consists of senior representatives from all provincial and state jurisdictions on the lake, recreational fishers, commercial fishers, and other interested organizations.  Through LEPMAG, fishery managers and stakeholders work together to identify the harvest policies for Lake Erie percids that meet the needs of all stakeholders while maintaining stability in the percid fishery.  Michigan State University’s Quantitative Fisheries Center facilitates the LEPMAG process.   Walleye are now being managed under the Walleye Management Plan, which was developed through LEPMAG and is currently undergoing final consultation with stakeholders.  LEPMAG members are in the process of developing population objectives and harvest strategies for yellow perch in Lake Erie.   The objectives and harvest strategies are expected to be completed in the coming years.

THE LAKE ERIE COMMITTEE

 The Lake Erie Committee comprises fishery managers from Michigan, New York, Ohio, Ontario and Pennsylvania. The committee’s work is facilitated by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, a Canadian and U.S. agency on the Great Lakes.  Each year the committee recommends a total allowable catch for walleye and yellow perch.  Total allowable catch represents the number or weight of fish recommended to be caught by sport and commercial fishers without putting the fisheries at risk.  The individual agencies implement the recommended total allowable catch.

 The Lake Erie Committee today announced the creation of an ad hoc committee to design management strategies for data-poor fisheries, including lake whitefish and a number of other harvested species.  This committee will consist of stakeholders, agency biologists, and academics.  The strategies will be used to support eco-labeling initiatives in commercial fisheries and provide support for other fishery management needs.  For more information, visit the Lake Erie Committee online at www.glfc.org/lec.

QDMA Supports Conservative Bill C-655

How about YOU?

Do You Support Bill – C 655?

QDMA Supports -Bill C-655

 

OUTDOOR COMMUNITY URGED TO SUPPORT PRIVATE MEMBER’S BILL March 3, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Ottawa, Ontario:

The Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada is calling on all hunters, anglers, sport shooters and trappers to make an important difference for the future of these outdoor heritage activities by supporting passage of Bill C-655. Recently introduced by Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus Founder M.P. Garry Breitkreuz, Bill C-655 seeks to amend the Criminal Code to make it an offence to intentionally interfere with anyone lawfully hunting, fishing, sport shooting and trapping.

The Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada (OCAC) worked closely with Mr. Breitkreuz in developing this legislation. “We congratulate Garry for his foresight and cooperation with the OCAC in bringing forward this comprehensive protection for the millions of people who participate in these great outdoor traditions,” said Phil Morlock, OCAC Board Chair. “We urge everyone in Canada’s outdoor community to actively support this progressive legislation,” he added. The OCAC urges all Canadians who value hunting, fishing, sport shooting and trapping to make a phone call or send an e-mail to their federal Member of Parliament asking them to support passage of Bill C-655.

More adult Canadians fish than play golf and hockey combined. Hunting, fishing, trapping and sport shooting support over 100,000 jobs in every region of Canada and generate an annual economy of over $14.6 billion dollars. Some provincial and territorial anti-harassment legislation exists, but Bill C-655 will apply nationwide and clarify the protection of sportsmen and women under the Criminal Code of Canada. “As Co-Chair of the Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus, I recognize the need to protect those Canadians who lawfully hunt, fish, trap or shoot from those who would harass or interfere with these traditional heritage activities,” explained Breitkreuz. “I’ve seen too many bills introduced in Parliament over the years that would threaten traditional animal use – some that would go so far as to make it a federal criminal offence to shoot a deer or a duck, put a worm on a hook or kill any animal even if the animal died immediately – the accepted standard for legal killing,” he said. Bill C-655 seeks to amend the Criminal Code by adding the following:

Every one commits an offence who intentionally interferes with lawful hunting, trapping, fishing or sport shooting by,

 Tampering with or moving bait or a trap, net or firearm or any other thing or animal used for hunting, trapping, fishing or sport shooting;

 Placing themselves in a position that hinders or prevents hunting, trapping, fishing or sport shooting; or

 Engaging in an activity that disturbs or is likely to disturb wildlife, including fish.

A person who contravenes this section could face an indictable offence with fines of up to $25,000 and a prison term of up to one year. “Where fishing and hunting happen, conservation of fish and wildlife happens – people who fish and hunt donate more volunteer time, money and hands on effort for conservation than all other groups combined,” said Morlock. “But even with these substantial credentials, we can never be complacent about the threats to sportsmen and women which continue to evolve with new technology advancing the animal rights/anti–use agenda,” he cautioned. Garry Breitkreuz commented, “I want to bring fairer representation for Canadian anglers, hunters, trappers and sport shooters to Parliament.

Animal rights groups would rather have us end our passion for these traditional heritage activities. While I am convinced that those activities are just as important now as they ever were, we need to ensure that those who enjoy them get the protection they deserve. I believe this legislation does just that.” –

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About the Outdoor Caucus Association of Canada The OCAC serves as a liaison between the Canadian fishing, hunting, trapping and recreational shooting community/related industry and the non-partisan all party Parliamentary Outdoor Caucus in Ottawa. The Outdoor Caucus was formed in 2006 and includes Members of Parliament and Senators from all political parties to reflect the fact that outdoor heritage activities are enjoyed by Canadians of all political persuasions and as such they must remain non-partisan and apolitical in Parliament.

For more information, contact OCAC Chair of the Board of Directors,

Phil Morlock: 613- 637-5328, pmorlock@shimano.com.

Musky Costs Angler $1000 and 2 Year Fishing Ban

MNR News Release. Undersized Musky Costs Angler $1000 and 2 Year Fishing Ban 

Fishing Violation Caught on Video Leads to Fine, Ban and Court Order

A Windsor man has been fined $1,000 and is banned from fishing for two years for a fishing violation.

Edmond Parent pleaded guilty to failing to release an under-sized muskellunge (musky) he caught in a way that caused the least harm to the fish. In addition, he is banned from fishing for two years. He cannot possess or associate with anyone possessing any fishing equipment on any body of water or adjacent shoreline.

Court heard that on September 3, 2014, two anglers were fishing on the Detroit River at the mouth of Lake St. Clair near Windsor when they saw an angler in a boat next to them catch an under-sized musky. The individual struck the musky on the head killing it, and then threw the fish back into the water. The anglers captured the incident on video and posted it on YouTube. Conservation officers started investigating after they learned of the video and were able to confirm its authenticity. With the help of the public, officers identified Parent as the person responsible for killing the fish.

 

The Detroit River is located in Fisheries Management Zone 19, where anglers with a sport fishing licence can catch and keep one musky that is 112 centimetres (44 inches) or more, while anglers with a conservation fishing licence cannot keep any muskies caught.

Justice of the Peace Salma Jafar heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Windsor, on March 4, 2015.

Anglers are reminded that they must immediately release any fish they catch that are illegal to possess, such as fish caught of a prohibited size, during the closed season or in excess of the catch and possession limits. This rule does not apply to invasive species like gobies which should be destroyed.

For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary, available at ontario.ca/fishing.

 

To report a natural resources violation, call 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time or contact your local ministry’s office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Ice Fishing Tournament Supports Multiple Sclerosis

 450 Anglers set to hit the ice to Fish for Cure

 

Its not too late to participate!

WHEN: Saturday March 7, 2015

WHERE:   Sibbald Point Provincial Park, Sutton, ON.

TIME: check in and inspections begin at 6:30am and event ends around 5 pm.

 

It’s a cold morning and members of the Perchin for MS team are up and moving. It’s 4:30am and director and founder Doug Poirier and his brother are already heading out on the ice. They aren’t fishing…but instead setting up their fishing zone for the 5th Annual Perchin for MS Tournament. Teams start arriving within no time and soon the whole place is a buzz.

Celebrating its 5th year, Perchin for MS – Lake Simcoe’s Premier Ice Fishing Event was started by Doug Poirier, an MS sufferer himself. As a way of fighting back against his Multiple Sclerosis, Doug started this tournament to raise awareness and encourage others to keep fighting, and to keep being active in the outdoors even with a disability.

Selling out with over 225 teams each year since the start, and raising over $45 000 to date, this is one of Ontario’s top ice fishing events. Boasting over $20 000 worth of cash and prizes also seems to help make the event that much more fun. “Everyone is fishing to help the cause, but who wouldn’t want to win something amazing while doing so” said Poirier.
“I’m proud of what we have done to date and can only hope it continues to stay fun and helps make a bit of a difference” continues Poirier.

 

This year, organizers are inviting you to come out and catch the fun. Although the event is sold out, organizers are hoping people from all over Ontario will come cheer on their local teams and take part in the weigh in at 1pm.   During the weigh in, a charity bbq and silent and live auction takes place for some amazing items. Items such as smokers, charter fishing trips, fly-in fishing trip, rods, golf, etc…

Both cash and prize donations are still being accepted.

We look forward to seeing everyone out at the event and wish all competitors good luck!

 

For further information about the event:

 Please contact Founder and Director Doug Poirier at 289-231-2132

Anglers Fishing Licence Suspended

MNR Media Release – Ice Angler Fined

A Barry’s Bay man has received a $100 fine and a fishing licence suspension for a fishing offence.

Richard Yakabuskie pleaded guilty and was fined $100 for angling with more than the permitted number of lines. His fishing licence was also suspended for one year.

Court heard that on January 22, 2015, a conservation officer checked Yakabuskie while he was angling on Kamaniskeg Lake in Sherwood Township. Yakabuskie was fishing with two lines, although only one line may be used for ice fishing on this lake. A records check revealed that Yakabuskie had been charged two years earlier for angling with extra lines on the same lake. He also had other prior fishing violations.

Justice of the Peace Barry Moran heard the case in the Ontario Court of Justice, Pembroke, on February 23, 2015.

For further information on fishing regulations, please consult the Ontario Fishing Regulations Summary available at ontario.ca/fishing.

 

To report a natural resources violation, call the MNRF TIPS line at 1-877-847-7667 toll-free any time or contact your local ministry office during regular business hours. You can also call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).