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> Lake Nipissing Chamber of Commerce Study
smalleye99
Posted: Apr 19, 2017 - 07:26 am


Alevin
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Just wondering if anyone has seen the North Bay Chamber of Commerce study on Lake Nipissing announced in the April 8 2016 North Bay Nugget as a 10 month study? It might be interesting coming after the Independant Review conducted by Michigan State University and poorly interpreted by the Nugget last fall. The following is verbatim from that report

Based on the datasets available to the panel and our understanding of the current levels of harvest (e.g., between 70,000 to 90,000 kg in recent years with majority of harvest attributable to commercial activity, Table S3 and S4 in Supplementary Data), it is our understanding that harvest has far exceeded levels that the RAMJAM risk assessment tool has identified as safe. Given the presumed high levels of fishing mortality currently (e.g., with yield between 70,000 to 90,000kg and a stock around 150,000kg, F is ~ 0.5), we consider the risk of collapse to be very high over a 10- to 20-year period.

This post has been edited by smalleye99 on Apr 19, 2017 - 07:39 am

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Fisherman
Posted: Apr 19, 2017 - 08:22 am


World Record Trout
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Nice info, thanks.

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FatRap
Posted: Apr 19, 2017 - 10:10 am


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One has to wonder how much money was spent on this study to state the obvious

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smalleye99
Posted: May 29, 2017 - 10:57 am


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The report is now available electronically.

Type the following into a search engine or copy and paste

Achieving a Sustainable Lake Nipissing Walleye Fishery

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smalleye99
Posted: May 29, 2017 - 10:58 am


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Actually the announcement said $75,000 last April.

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buddy
Posted: May 29, 2017 - 01:22 pm


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Here's the link for that new study.
http://ufrca.com/data/attachment.php?id=1252

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Grumpa
Posted: May 29, 2017 - 03:10 pm


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And here's NFN chief Scott Mcleod's response to the study.

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/latest-w...fn-chief-628020

Interesting comments.....to say the least.
I do take some exception to his comments on the call for transparency in the report. But I'll leave that for further discussion at a later time.
Several interesting things however did come out of the study (if you ignore the most obvious stress related factor of human over-harvest on the lake's walleye stocks)-
1. The apparent decline of the yellow perch population (a species that had previously been increasing based on the last OMNRF fisheries study).
A redirected angling effort towards yellow perch and item 3 noted below...clearly may have something to do with those findings.
2. The need to study and ultimately mitigate the fishery byproduct caught in commercial gill nets.
and
3. The emphasis on the impact of the large cormorant breeding population currently occupying the lake.
The fact that the current cormorant population has gone from fewer than 100 nests in 1993 to a peak of 3000 in 2012 and now sits at around 2500 is....very concerning....given that the lake now has the largest inland breeding population in northeastern Ontario.

It was also interesting to note the straight line increase in the walleye biomass in the lake at each juncture of early cessation of commercial gill netting in October 2014 and then again in August 2015 and 2016....A fact that, as I had suggested previously, might have as much to do with the current recovery of the junvenile walleye population as the size limits currently in effect (i.e. nothing harvested under 46 cms in length).

All in all...there's some useful findings in the study (despite Chief Mcleod's reservations)....some of which were identified previously in the OMNRF's official lake management review...and some not.
The fact still remains that Nipissing continues to be the most studied fresh water ecosystem in all of Canada.....and with that said....we're really no closer to knowing if the current fishery management plan will eventually restore the lake to its glory days of the 1970's an 80's.....even though....recent results and findings are initially encouraging.

It's disturbing to think we've spent hundreds of thousands of dollar studying this lake and we still aren't 'completely' sure if the current management strategy is the very best course of action going forward.

All of this means only one thing for certain.....there will be more monitoring and more studies.

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buddy
Posted: May 29, 2017 - 10:52 pm


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Chief McLeod maintains that the study was a complete waste of time and money in that it didn't present anything new that had not already been published, but he himself is sitting on a wealth of gill netting data that he won't disclose to anybody. The study would have given a more complete picture if he had offered his cooperation, so instead of criticizing the author for not presenting anything new, he should point his accusing finger towards himself for not making things better.
Personally, I thing the study was well done and worth every penny, and the reason the NFN is being non compliant is that they have a large group of gill netters who will not abide by any rulings be they from the government or the NFN council. They want their autonomy to be respected but are unable to police their own rulings.

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Grumpa
Posted: May 30, 2017 - 08:08 am


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This is the statement from the LNSA today....regarding the study.

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/walleye-...pointing-628588

If this is true....and the MNRF put pressure on the studies author to alter the findings in the 'supposedly' independent report.....that in itself....is concerning as well.

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Neil
Posted: May 30, 2017 - 12:04 pm


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It would be very interesting to see a copy of the initial report if it is in fact available.
Again thanks for the info Grumpa.

I always wonder why you cannot increase the re-stocking efforts if there population is dwindling. I believe "they" say there isn't the spawning grounds. Well why isn't there if the population is dwindling and not sustainable.

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Grumpa
Posted: May 30, 2017 - 02:50 pm


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Actually Neil....those are very good questions and I think everyone that's involved or had any interest in the state of the walleye fishery on the lake....would like to know the true "honest" answers to those questions and a few more surrounding the stocking issue.....not the OMNRF's regular gibberish on the matter.
Expanded walleye stocking on this lake has been one of my personal go to issue since I joined this board....and not surprisingly also the target issue for the LNSA (the Lake Nipissing Stakeholders Association that conducts a very minor seed plannng of close to 1.5 million+ fry each spring). The LNSA would love to plant a lot more fish....as the size and capacity of the lake actually dictates that's completely possible.
The short answer is....in Ontario the MNRF (normally) flat out refuses to stock on top of an existing, successfully 'reproducing' population of fish....despite the fact the fishery might be under stress from any number of issues ranging from habitat degradation, human over harvest, water quality or even a dwindling supply of sufficiently abundant preferred prey species etc. etc.
The MNRF contends it would rather encourage more successful recruitment from the existing fish populations present in the lake...with a variety of regulatory and legislative changes, inexpensive habitat rejuvenation, water quality enhancements etc.
Which has always been somewhat baffling to me because Nipissing's current population of yellow pickerel was, in fact, established through a long and intensive stocking program itself (which was again reiterated in the Trillum study just released).
The MNRF's response usually circles back to the biogenetics of the debate.
The eggs are harvested from only a few ripe females and fertilized by only a select few potent males. Should there be a genetic abnormality in any of their selected breeding fish, or introduced at any point in the rearing process, it could potentially harm the strong genetic pool in the natural population...once the hatchery raised fry/fingerlings are released back into the wild.
To me, and this is just my uninformed opinion, that argument is quite possibly a smoke screen for one of several 'real' reasons that expanded stocking isn't permitted on the lake.
The partial truth of the matter is...the provincial government is financially bankrupt and has no additional funds, manpower or resources to commit towards province wide fisheries initiatives...let alone enforcement. Natural Resources isn't a priority portfolio and the Nipissing region doesn't carry sufficient political clout to garner any special attention from the provincial government. They're not interested in what sportsmen or Nipissing residents have to say or desire...and that carries over to industrial investment in the area as well.
What money and resources the Ontario government spends on stocking initiatives is better spent near the larger metropolitan voting centres around Lake Erie and Lake Ontario....a bigger bang for your voting rich buck. Hence, the better established stocking programs for various fish species in both those lakes. True...the dollar return on stocking investment and fisheries initiatives in the Great Lakes is much higher...but unfortunately other smaller less politically relevant regions, like Nipissing, get completely neglected in the shuffle for the few remaining scraps of government funds and resources...."the squeaky wheel gets the grease" so to speak.
But honestly (and maybe I'm being myopic here)...if that's the governments (and by extension the OMNRF's) mind-set...it doesn't have to be...because the LNSA and all it's volunteers are willing to carry the ball and shoulder virtually the entire load on Nipissing's stocking program....including all the dollar costs, manpower, equipment, time and necessary resources required to expand the stocking operation. The LNSA has stated this 'repeatedly' over the years.
I have to apologize for turning this into a political rant and criticism of government involvement and spending... but IMHO...this is part of the issue.

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Cranman
Posted: May 30, 2017 - 08:56 pm


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Grumpa - now that you have retired to Lady Nip....I think you should run for office!!!
You would have my vote! And you would bring more knowledge than most to this conversation...

Fishchaser and I will be your backers!

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westarm
Posted: May 30, 2017 - 11:10 pm


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QUOTE (Cranman @ May 30, 2017 - 09:56 pm)
Grumpa - now that you have retired to Lady Nip....I think you should run for office!!!
You would have my vote! And you would bring more knowledge than most to this conversation...

Fishchaser and I will be your backers!

x 2

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Neil
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 04:21 am


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QUOTE (Cranman @ May 30, 2017 - 08:56 pm)
Grumpa - now that you have retired to Lady Nip....I think you should run for office!!!
You would have my vote! And you would bring more knowledge than most to this conversation...

Fishchaser and I will be your backers!

I support this as well!

Thanks for the insightful feedback Grumpa. I hope you are wrong with respect to the real reasons being political in nature but find I am also leaning that way.

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kenster
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 07:04 am


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I believe your comments make perfect sense.All levels of Gov't and Gov't run identity's have a disconnect in the layers of management from top to bottom.That's why so much money is spent without accomplishing any real objectives.

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