KEMPTVILLE — The Ministry of Natural Resources has changed a baitfish provision in response to concerns from the bait industry in eastern Ontario

As of January 1, 2008, it became illegal to use baitfish larger than 13 cm (5.1 in.) in all of Fisheries Management Zone 18 (eastern Ontario). This change was made to limit the practice of gorge fishing, a technique that increases the mortality in released fish, but placed an unforeseen economic challenge on the local baitfish industry.

After hearing concerns from the industry and anglers, the ministry has lifted this restriction effective immediately. The ministry will continue to consult with the public and stakeholders on ways to reduce hooking mortality resulting from the use of gorge fishing and to ensure the sustainability of Ontario’s sport fishery.

“The bait industry and the sustainability of Ontario’s sport fishery support good jobs and ecological development across Ontario,” said Natural Resources Minister Donna Cansfield. “I’m pleased to work with the Bait Association of Ontario and local communities to create more opportunities for prosperous and sustainable fishing practices throughout our province.”

The 2008-2009 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary is now available from licence issuers, ServiceOntario/Government Information Centres and on the ministry’s website at


Before going fishing, anglers should carefully review the information outlined in the fishing regulations summary and check the ministry website for updates.

“The Bait Association of Ontario is very pleased that the ministry and the Minister quickly recognized the scope of the issue and have taken these steps to help the industries most affected,” said Guy Winterton, executive director of the Bait Association of Ontario. “Conservation of the fishery is critical to our livelihood, and we look forward to further talks with ministry staff to develop more direct and effective mechanisms that allow live release of large fish.”


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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