Anglers welcome winter fishing opportunities in F.M.Z. 17

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New Fisheries Management Plan includes regulations for the Kawartha Lakes area

Anglers in Ontario spend more than a million days fishing every year, and that number may soon rise. The Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) has announced a new Fisheries Management Plan for Zone 17 that includes a year-round fishing season for panfish. Already a popular destination for anglers, the Kawartha Lakes and surrounding waters within Fisheries Management Zone (F.M.Z.) 17 will no doubt benefit from the new recreational fishing opportunities.

The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) is delighted with the new regulations, which include a year round panfish season. Bluegill and black crappie are plentiful species that have invaded, become naturalized and now support a popular resident and tourism fishery. The Fisheries Management Zone 17 Advisory Council, comprised of representatives from the O.F.A.H., as well as tourism, the recreational fishery and naturalists, supports the move as part of the implementation of the larger F.M.Z. 17 Fisheries Management Plan.

“Not only is a winter season in F.M.Z. 17 great news for recreational anglers, it also provides economic opportunities for the communities surrounding these lakes,” said Mike Reader, O.F.A.H. Executive Director. “Ice fishing is a great way to introduce new anglers and children to the joys of fishing, and to the outdoors. A winter season in the Kawartha Lakes is something that the O.F.A.H. has been working toward for several years now. We’re pleased that the M.N.R. took the advice of the F.M.Z. Advisory Council to move forward with these changes.”

Under the new regulations, dozens of area lakes, including such popular angling destinations as Sturgeon, Balsam, Buckhorn, Chemong, and Rice Lake, will see winter fishing seasons for bluegill, yellow perch and black crappie. Walleye seasons will remain closed during the winter in F.M.Z. 17 with the exception of where they previously existed on Lake Scugog, Crowe Lake and the lower Trent River.

Fast Facts:

* As of January 1, year round fishing is in place for yellow perch, crappie bluegill and northern pike.
* New sunfish catch limits are included in the regulations.
* Bass and muskellunge fall fishing seasons are extended to December 15.
* New limits for walleye have been introduced.
* Panfish are important for introducing new anglers to fishing.
* Licence-free Ontario Family Fishing Weekend events, held in February, will expand to F.M.Z. 17
* The regulations take effect January 1 and are included in the 2010 Fishing Regulations Summary (available in print and online on January 1, 2010,

With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 660 member clubs, the O.F.A.H. is the largest nonprofit, charitable, fishing, hunting and conservation-based organization in Ontario, and the voice of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit

About Peter Wood 1194 Articles
As an avid lifelong angler and hunter, Peter’s outdoor knowledge and experiences keep expanding through his hundreds of hours of hunting and fishing podcast interviews with like minded experts. He has received numerous national writing awards. With thousands of outdoor pictures on Ripple Outdoors and many full-length articles with outdoor magazine and video clips you might say that he not only enjoys his outdoor lifestyle, but he’s quite the fanatic! In 2015 he earned fifth overall on the King of the Wood Contest hosted by Canada In The Rough team, pretty good for a baby boomer deer hunter. His buck was also one of the top bucks taken that season. Through Peter’s deer hunting seminars or by attending outdoor trade shows, like the Toronto Sportsmen Show and The SWOC Big Buck Show, he has connected with thousands of like minded people that love hunting and fishing. As a volunteer or member of local and national outdoor groups like QDMA, SWOC, Outdoor Writers of Canada, Archery Trade Show Association he continues to learn and hone his craft. Read his many articles, listen to his podcasts and rifle through thousands of photos on Ripple Outdoors. Discover Peter’s latest posts about outdoor gear, destinations, how to articles and interviews and you’ll be a better angler and hunter for the experience.

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