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> Lake Nipissing Chamber of Commerce Study
Fishchaser67
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 08:17 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!

You would have my vote as well 100%

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canadadude
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 09:24 am


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There are in fact many Stocking programs going on in the North, Brook Trout, Splake and Lake Trout programs are huge. The MNRF promote's many year round trout fishing opportunities for anglers all around the Northern regions, stocking lists are available for those wishing to fish. These programs protect natural populations while still giving anglers year round opportunities to fish. The Southern Ontario Lake Ontario stocking is also managed through many private clubs and volunteers, it's not all done by MNRF staff. I don't believe fish management is as political as some may think

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Grumpa
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 09:58 am


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QUOTE (canadadude @ May 31, 2017 - 09:24 am)
There are in fact many Stocking programs going on in the North, Brook Trout, Splake and Lake Trout programs are huge. The MNRF promote's many year round trout fishing opportunities for anglers all around the Northern regions, stocking lists are available for those wishing to fish. These programs protect natural populations while still giving anglers year round opportunities to fish. The Southern Ontario Lake Ontario stocking is also managed through many private clubs and volunteers, it's not all done by MNRF staff. I don't believe fish management is as political as some may think

Unfortunately, on Nipissing, the issue does come back to government intervention and political interference.
The OMNRF completely dictates if the private volunteer stocking initiative (through the LNSA) can even be permitted or undertaken each year. The LNSA's stocking program was already disallowed one year by the OMNRF....with little or no reason or advanced warning given....only to be permitted again the following season.
In addition, the OMNRF strictly limits the number of fertilized eggs that can be collected to a maximum of 2 million each season....irrespective of the LNSA's willingness and desire to harvest many more.
Given the capacity of the lake....2 million....is a tiny fraction of what could be planted.

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fishbay
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 10:17 am


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I think you have it right, the LNSA want to increase restocking efforts and don't believe there is a good scientific reason to not let us at least test it out.

It is politics for sure and Northern Ontario is not a priority on this particular issue. The LNSA, however, is willing to seek our own funding to undertake larger scale restocking.

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Grumpa
Posted: May 31, 2017 - 11:09 am


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fishbay, the mast majority......familiar with the particulars of the situation on Nipissing....are completely supportive of the LNSA and it's ongoing struggles to voice their opinion on the lake's fisheries management.
Again, I'd encourage anyone not currently engaged or at least a member of the LNSA....to look at their website and hopefully, after completely understanding the work they're doing and the research they've undertaken.....at least initiate a membership.
The outcome to those that depend on the lake (and those of us that are privileged and able to use and enjoy it's resources) will always be interwoven with the lake's ongoing fisheries management.
Hopefully, at some point in the future more of the decision making could be left to those closest and most knowledgable regarding the resource.

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Woodenstiks
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 - 09:23 am


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While I don't disagree with everything said - both scientifically and politically - about re-stocking efforts on Nipissing the issue with restocking IMHO is that essentially restocking is subsidizing to some degree the commercial fisheries. What if, for example , effort and money was invested into a successful restocking program and commercial limits were increased? How would you feel?

The big political advantage with efforts like restocking is that it can be moved forward with limited stakeholder agreement avoiding for the time being what could be be a very contentious solution that the politicians do not currently want to touch.

It points to a solution involving all stakeholders recognizing the fish in Nip is a limited resource for all to share in a modern world . Restocking is a band aid at best but it may be all we got....

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smalleye99
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 - 12:14 pm


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So far, and I emphasize so far, there has been no evidence scientific or otherwise that would suggest we have too few young fish. This lake has been a walleye factory even during the extreme depletion of adult walleye in the 2009 era. It is remarkable how well they replace themselves.

The problem is not lack of habitat or anything else but overharvest of fish from 35-60cm, the near adults and adults. No amount of "additional" walleye fry will fix this as the lake has to date responded to this threat by maximizing the fry to 2 yr old production.

Someone once said "when all you have is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail". Stocking is that hammer but it is not the solution. Read the 2016 Dr. MIke Jones Michigan paper on Lake Nipissing to clarify the issue.

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buddy
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 - 02:52 pm


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Smalleye, I have to agree with your assessment. The lake is polluted with small pickerel yet the MNR states that the population is at about half of where it should be...Which viewpoint is correct here?...Both lines of reasoning are correct. The MNR calculates fish numbers based on the estimated biomass in kilograms. When the lake is healthy it should hold about 400,000 kilograms of pickerel but recently it is at 200,000 kilograms. The problem here is that a small fish doesn't have a lot of weight and even though there are still lots of juvenile fish they don't contribute much to the biomass numbers.
So if the vast majority of spawning fish have been removed, how did the lake come to have such a large juvenile population? My personal opinion is that when the lake is healthy, the larger fish are consuming the young of the year fish at an accelerated rate. Removing those large fish from the food chain means that more young of year fish will escape predation. So even though there are less fish that are spawning out now, the eggs that do hatch out have a much improved rate for survival. This would also account for the increased perch population, the big pike and pickerel are not there to keep them under control.

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Grumpa
Posted: Jun 01, 2017 - 03:20 pm


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Smalleye99, no one has ever suggested any one particular approach as 'the ultimate solution' to the Nipissing walleye question ....what the LNSA, in conjunction with NFN, municipalities around the lake and obviously the OMNRF are all recommending is a combined multi faceted solution that not only involves sports fishing regulatory changes (currently designed to protect the age 1-6 year old juvenile fish.....remember the walleye growth model presented in the OMNRF's lake management study from 2012 indicated that Nipissing's fish were growing faster then normal, but not maturing any early)....but also habitat rehabilitation, water quality enhancement, commercial gill net monitoring and harvest limits.
What the LNSA is contending, based on research they've untaken, is that stocking should and can be a 'larger' part of the solution.
Unfortunately, for every lake study (and there's now been dozens over the years) that's been commissioned and repudiates the desirability of or need for an expanded stocking scenario on Nipissing, there's another study that concludes it's not only feasible but recommended. Case in point, the preliminary findings from the recent, supposedly independent, Trillium study that (according to the LNSA) has been altered via external influence from the OMNRF (see the previous news release in this forum post). It wouldn't be benifical to focus or rely or any one study over another. They all have to be viewed collectively in establishing a working framework for managing the lake's fisheries resources.

Stocking isn't the hammer (as described in your analogy) but one of many tools in the tool belt....and currently that particular tool, isn't being employed, possibly, to it's full most effective capacity.

And to address Woodenstiks point on stocking just eventually subsidizing the commercial fishery....you're absolute right, that outcome is a real possibility....but that factor has to be removed from the equation and thought process entirely.
The ultimate goal for all involved parties is to establish acceptable commercial harvest limits that recognizes the native communities engrained cultural and treaty rights to use the resource they're entitled to.
It's a balancing act that has to produce an acceptable outcome to all stakeholders involved.....which ultimately is the continued sustainability of the fishery.

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smalleye99
Posted: Jun 04, 2017 - 07:27 am


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You may have missed my point regarding stocking. It has potential to contribute when natural reproduction is poor to exceptionally poor which is far from the case on Nipissing.

As for splake, lake trout and brook trout stocking by MNRF they are called put and take for a reason, they as a rule do not reproduce nor is there an intent to give them time to do so. They are intended as purely artificial fisheries.

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Grumpa
Posted: Jun 05, 2017 - 09:37 pm


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QUOTE (smalleye99 @ Jun 04, 2017 - 07:27 am)
You may have missed my point regarding stocking. It has potential to contribute when natural reproduction is poor to exceptionally poor which is far from the case on Nipissing.

This is a case of......if you repeat something enough times.....people start to believe it as indisputable fact.
And that's exactly what the OMNRF has repeatedly fed Nipissing's stakeholders.....the regurgitated premise that there's no point in expanding the stocking program because the seeded population of yellow pickerel has successfully naturalized over the last 70 plus years and consequently doesn't need any further help by putting even more hatchery raised juvenile fish into the system.

Stocking doesn't have to be a solution in 'only' those scenario's where a fishery is struggling to replenish itself.
Stocking can be an effective supplement to successful natural production if employed properly.

The lake's stakeholders, those most effected by fisheries management decisions.....individuals with actual skin in the game....want the chance to at least see what would happen if the current private stocking initiative was allowed to expand.

And frankly, they've earned the right to see how that would now play out....based on over 30 years of study, dedication and hard work on their part. The private stocking cooperative has had to sit by for a decade now and watch while the MNRF recommended and implemented one failed series of regulations after another. And who knows yet if the current most recent set of regulations implemented in 2014 will eventually be effective....it's going to require even more time to tell..for sure.

Increased stocking doesn't levee any additional expenditures on Ontario taxpayers as the private stocking group is prepared to raise the necessary resources and shoulder the load of the program.
Why wouldn't you at least try? It's a no brainer.

If putting even more junenile fish in the lake doesn't prove effective....so be it. The outcome can't be any worse than what the OMNRF has accomplished up to this point.

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Longshank
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 - 10:11 am


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Grumpa. You are on top of the game here

i have been trying not to say this, but cannot do it anymoe.

The biggest mistake made for this lake was to establish A Commercial fishery!

The end....shoot me if you wish, but its the truth

Been catching 14-17.8 inchers for well past 6 years now and fish over 18 are far and few between. I do not need studies to tell me the cause of that.

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dan66
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 - 10:38 am


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QUOTE (Longshank @ Jun 06, 2017 - 10:11 am)
Grumpa. You are on top of the game here

i have been trying not to say this, but cannot do it anymoe.

The biggest mistake made for this lake was to establish A Commercial fishery!

The end....shoot me if you wish, but its the truth

Been catching 14-17.8 inchers for well past 6 years now and fish over 18 are far and few between. I do not need studies to tell me the cause of that.

100% agree

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westarm
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 - 12:21 pm


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QUOTE (dan66 @ Jun 06, 2017 - 11:38 am)
QUOTE (Longshank @ Jun 06, 2017 - 10:11 am)
Grumpa. You are on top of the game here 

i have been trying not to say this, but cannot do it anymoe.

The biggest mistake made for this lake was to establish A Commercial fishery!

The end....shoot me if you wish, but its the truth

Been catching 14-17.8 inchers for well past 6 years now and fish over 18 are far and few between. I do not need studies to tell me the cause of that.

100% agree

100 % agree X 2

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westarm
Posted: Jun 06, 2017 - 12:33 pm


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QUOTE (westarm @ Jun 06, 2017 - 01:21 pm)
QUOTE (dan66 @ Jun 06, 2017 - 11:38 am)
QUOTE (Longshank @ Jun 06, 2017 - 10:11 am)
Grumpa. You are on top of the game here

i have been trying not to say this, but cannot do it anymoe.

The biggest mistake made for this lake was to establish A Commercial fishery!

The end....shoot me if you wish, but its the truth

Been catching 14-17.8 inchers for well past 6 years now and fish over 18 are far and few between. I do not need studies to tell me the cause of that.

100% agree

100 % agree X 2

actually I have a little more to add.

perhaps the true and only fix there will be is when everyone responsible continues to look the other way and the fishery falls flat on its face leaving NO commercial fishery or sport fishery. maybe then it will be recognized. as they say.. you don't know what you've got til its gone!

when there is no money to be made and costs to fish outweigh the production and the pressure disappears maybe just maybe the fishery will bounce back until such a day comes where it is destroyed once again.

and BTW I am not trying to bash anyone in general just a simple fact that if you don't look at today then FORGET tomorrow.

EVERYONE needs to respect what is there or there will be no fishing and there will be no livelihood on the lake. so if you want to kill it then you better have a back up plan either way.

maybe someone will get it eventually someday, apparently just not now

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