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> Continued Collaboration between NFN & the MNRF
Grumpa
Posted: Mar 17, 2018 - 08:03 pm


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The NFN and the MNRF continue their ongoing work together regarding Nipissing's Walleye fishery.

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/mnrf-and...-walleye-865040

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Harryone
Posted: Mar 18, 2018 - 05:03 am


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They work together but as far as I see it's the commercial outfitters doing the damage this past season

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remi
Posted: Mar 18, 2018 - 06:11 am


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Your right harryone, but look how far it's come in the last 3 years. Definitely looking better than it was .

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Sterling
Posted: Mar 18, 2018 - 01:28 pm


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QUOTE (Harryone @ Mar 18, 2018 - 05:03 am)
They work together but as far as I see it's the commercial outfitters doing the damage this past season

How so?

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Cranman
Posted: Mar 18, 2018 - 05:28 pm


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QUOTE (Grumpa @ Mar 17, 2018 - 08:03 pm)
The NFN and the MNRF continue their ongoing work together regarding Nipissing's Walleye fishery.

https://www.baytoday.ca/local-news/mnrf-and...-walleye-865040

Thanks for sharing Grumpa

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smalleye99
Posted: Mar 19, 2018 - 06:52 am


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While it is a good thing that they share information between themselves I have to assume it is more than just "the lake is still stressed". Too bad all users can't see that info.

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Grumpa
Posted: Mar 19, 2018 - 10:06 am


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We may have posted this article previously...but it further details how the two principles monitoring the pickerel populations combine information and work together....something completely unheard of 20 years ago.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/sudbury/lake...shing-1.4269719

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FatRap
Posted: Mar 19, 2018 - 01:18 pm


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Think what you want but there is no doubt the fishing was better this year for a lot of people than the past couple of previous years and the future of the lake looks better now than it did in the past couple of years.

Thanks for posting Grumpa

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Longshank
Posted: Mar 19, 2018 - 03:40 pm


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ty Grumpa.

Albeit it a slow painstaking process with flaws, it is far better than nothing and constant recriminations that get us nowhere.

I am beginning to believe

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Northhunter
Posted: Mar 20, 2018 - 04:07 am


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Fishing was incredibly good this winter, but it's not like those fish weren't there last year. I'm thinking it goes back to normal next winter. That doesn't mean there will be any fewer fish.. just the way this lake seems to work. A couple years ago there were lots of hogs being caught.. it was just one of those years.

I've been optimistic throughout this whole circus. But the old "4 under 40" system did allow the huts to remove a helluva lot of fish in the winter. Now they get thrown back, and spawn for the first time a year or two later. That is huge.

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ldub
Posted: Mar 20, 2018 - 03:41 pm


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It would be nice to keep one under 40, just to get a taste.

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smalleye99
Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 08:28 am


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Having read the link document from Grumpa (thanks) the minor piece within the link regarding the fishery says:

1)Netting and Spawning work says the lake is still "stressed" and "under pressure". Not terribly specific after years of sampling the lake.
2) Slightly more young males and females
3)Reduction in fishing related mortality

I recently read the publicly available Quantitative Fisheries Center Report (2016)third party review of Lake Nipissing walleye that was done at the request of MNR. It used the most current public information on Lake Nipissing walleye (2015) and was very specific.

It said:
1) In 11 of 18 years safe harvest mortality was exceeded, in some cases in the extreme. There were also 3 years where the harvest mortality was on the line making 14 of 18 years a problem. While 2010 to 2013 were below the line, 2015 was above it again.

2) Trends in the fishery. Walleye biomass up 1998-2008, a good sign. The numbers of walleye and their biomass was down in 2009 and 2010, not a good sign. Increase in young fish numbers since then, minor increase in biomass (2011-2015), good sign but still few big spawners.

3) Total mortality for walleye (2015), the last year reported on, was 0.52, well above the 0.42 max level.

4)“ Large changes in growth 2005-2015 for young fish are unreported by MNR “ –page 12 Walleye are growing slower hence we can expect less fish over 46cm than might be expected.

5)Angler harvest was at an all time low in 2015.

6) Recommended harvest mortality be lowered from present 0.28 to 0.18 or lower, a large reduction in harvest.

7) When asked by MNR to comment on the 20 year recovery horizon the group responded "we consider the risk of collapse to be very high over a 10 to 20 year period”-pg 11.



What is apparent from the above mentioned report is that timely and meaningful information about the progress of lake recovery is not happening despite annual testing.

I am certain many people concerned for the health of the fishery would like to see the progress in the fishery recovery with meaningful information rather than "still stressed".

We knew it would be 10 years of "still stressed" as the official lake plan said the recovery would take that long.

I know if I was being treated for an illness and the doctors were undertaking tests to see how I was doing I would want to see the results in a timely fashion.

If it matters what I think I think the MOU is a great step in the right direction. We seem to have large numbers of young fish which is always a good thing. We need significantly more fish to survive to spawning age/size as we will have failures of young fish sooner or later and even one hurts this lake right now.

MNR's has a responsibility to provide this information to the public and could easily do this annually. Providing meaningful details of the health of the fishery on an annual basis would keep the public engaged. Why they don't is beyond me.








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Grumpa
Posted: Apr 25, 2018 - 11:59 am


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Very interesting and well presented observations smalleye99.
Personally, I think the sampling results are starting to show that the combined efforts of all involved up to this point...the NFN, OMNRF and sports fishermen (via good adherence to the 2014 sports fishing regulatory changes) etc. are leading to the desired results hoped for in the OMNRF's 2014 Lake Nipissing fishery management plan.

We may have to start looking at the progress that's been made up to this point as a 'glass half full' analogy now...despite the occasional continued dire predictions.

It's true that the average fisherman has to scourge around looking for information relating to the updated condition of the walleye fishery.
But under the direction of the OMNRF, as outlined in the Fisheries Management plan, the OMNRF reassembled an advisory council of up to 15 volunteer members that are apprised, consulted and updated regularly every year about the ongoing state of the fishery.
The council consists of the NFN, Dokis FN, FMZ 11 council, Tourist and IceHut operators, anglers at large, Fish and game clubs, Lake Nipissing partners in council, Greater Lake Nipissing stewardship council and local municipalities. The council is acting on behalf of all pertinent stakeholder groups....and basically the eyes and ears of the public.

Several key things are happening now that weren't happening before-

1. The NFN and the OMNRF are working closely together year round by virtue of the MOU- that wasn't happening to any consistent manner before.
2. The juvenile population of fish has skyrocketed in the last four years- the 2012/2013 fall walleye index netting survey's (FWIN's) were indicating the fishery was on life support nearing virtual collapse and devoid of fish in all age and size classifications....despite numerous sports fishing regulatory changes up to 2014.
3. Starting in 2014 the NFN has 'voluntarily' curtailed commercial fishing each year when the previously agreed upon commercial quotas were exceeded during the commercial fishing season- that wasn't happening before, ever.
4. Money and manpower is being granted or allocated to independent 3rd party advisory groups (such as the 2016 external panel of experts, you identified) to undertake further studies, and more importantly, 'now' review information collected by the OMNRF in order to give that unbiased, second look and opinion of the ongoing fishery management plan and results to date- that wasn't happening before, the OMNRF was pretty much collecting data and implementing fisheries decisions on their own.

As we've all discussed many, many times on this board the walleye population really won't be considered stable and completely self sustaining again until there's a proper normal distribution of walleye in all sex, size and age classifications.
Right at the moment the fishery appears to be top heavy with smaller juvenile fish (acknowledging that male and female fish grow and mature at slightly different rates....hence the possibility of some skewed sex results showing up till now in the spring spawning assessments).
So, there's still much work to be done. Any number of poor spawns and years of low recruitment could stall, delay or lengthen the complete 10 year anticipated recovery (I could talk about a larger scale viable stocking 'backup' at this point, but have vowed to myself to never again mention the subject...large scale supplemental stocking isn't permitted on Nipissing, so dead issue).
It's always good to remember there's a 5th year interim review built into the 10 year fishery management plan...and it's coming up soon...which should allow for some effective changes or tweaking, however minor, to the original 10 year plan....if it's determined necessary.

But I have to say, given 'all' the obstacles in place for the recovery of the Nipissing walleye fishery, it certainly looks like the plan implemented in 2014 is slowly achieving the desired results and outcome.

There surely could be minor setbacks ahead, but staying the course and revelling in the successes and progress made to this point...is something, hopefully, we can all participate and take pride in.
Definitely enjoyed reading your post and your perspective smalleye99.
Passionate engagement in this fisheries recovery is beneficial to all.

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buddy
Posted: Apr 26, 2018 - 08:50 pm


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The MNR sent out an email a couple of weeks ago highlighting some upcoming changes. One of those pertains to fishing and it will be announced this coming November. The timing of that announcement suggests to me that there will be changes for next year's ice fishing season.
Call me a cynic but I'm guessing that there might be a change to the walleye/pickerel harvest.

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smalleye99
Posted: Apr 27, 2018 - 07:00 am


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Grumpa, I have copied a paragraph from your response.

"Personally, I think the sampling results are starting to show that the combined efforts of all involved up to this point...the NFN, OMNRF and sports fishermen (via good adherence to the 2014 sports fishing regulatory changes) etc. are leading to the desired results hoped for in the OMNRF's 2014 Lake Nipissing fishery management plan."

I'd love to see those sampling results as they seem to be somewhere behind a curtain. I'm not sure where a member of the public would access the results and analysis of annual work on the lake. I'm from Missouri as they say. Where do you see the sampling results?

The lack of transparency around the recovery of the walleye population relative to that 2014 plan is problematic.

The QFC review said that not achieving the harvest reductions right at the start of the 10 year recovery plan would make achievement of the objective unlikely. If we are "just starting to show...leading to the desired results" (4 years into the 10 yrs) then QFC has hit the nail on the head.

Pardon me for being impatient but "desired results hoped for" is far from achieving the objective.

Those who have given up much in the process for the health of the fishery want to be assured the resource is indeed recovering as planned.

The 2016 QFC independent review is not reassuring based on the quotes in my last post. The independent review is the most current science based document publicly available.

As for the Lake Nipissing Advisory Group they were last called together by MNR in 2015 at the start of the plan. They have not been invited to discuss the lake since then.

Kind of a suprise they weren't reconvened when the 2016 independent review came out as it raised some serious concerns about the fishery. As far as I know the group does not get updated on the annual lake results given they haven't met in 3 years.


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