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> Possible regulation changes...
FishBio
Posted: Apr 12, 2021 - 04:22 pm


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Species8472
Posted: Apr 12, 2021 - 05:44 pm


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Thanks for posting.

Direct link to proposed changes:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/fisheries-manag...CjQRCPLeU4JUp1E

Possible new slot for Walleye in 2022. None allowed over 45cm. None allowed less than 40 cm. Two fish limit between 40 and 45 cm for sport license.

That would certainly be a huge change. Should one chose it would mean a limit almost every time judging on the last 2 years. This would compare to 3 keepers for entire 2021 ice season for myself. Number of keepers in 2020 was similar for me as well.

Honestly don't know how to view it. Good? Bad? Neutral? Would certainly mean more keepers should one chose but not sure if that's the best thing for the lake.

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FishBio
Posted: Apr 12, 2021 - 08:08 pm


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It all depends on how much risk you are willing to put on the Walleye population?

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Species8472
Posted: Apr 12, 2021 - 09:57 pm


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QUOTE (FishBio @ Apr 12, 2021 - 08:08 pm)
It all depends on how much risk you are willing to put on the Walleye population?


Looking at the table and browsing the actual model results (all 11 of them) it would seem the indicators are similar for both the current and possible proposed new slot. These two options also appear to be among the lower risk options if i am interpreting the results correctly. Seems the only less risky option that was modeled was a 45 to 50 cm slot 2 fish limit.

Must say typically i think the MNRF drops the ball where management is concerned but their approach on Nip is giving me cause to re-think that. Looks like they have been doing a bang up job for the last 9 or 10 years.

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Grumpa
Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 09:46 am


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Thanks for posting FishBio and Species8472.
We've all been waiting for this since 2014.
I have to agree with Species8472...other long standing fishing issues aside...and after failed regulation changes up to 2013...the MNR seems to have finally got it right on Nip.
In 6 years, with much patience from anglers and operators, they managed to rebuild the walleye spawning base.
Now the next step is to rebuild the entire population top to bottom to resemble a normal, sustainable, properly aged structure of fish.
Don't be surprised, if implemented, the new proposed walleye changes aren't adjusted or tweaked again down the road.
One of the most studied fisheries in N. America will continued to be analyzed some more.

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Grumpa
Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 10:31 am


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We don't want to gloss over the other gems in these proposed regulation changes as well.

1. Proposed changes to the Musky regs-
A fishery close to my own heart.
The new proposed regulations are designed to evolve Nipissing into a truly 'trophy' fishery similar to other trophy managed lakes in Ontario. A size change from 48" to 54" is a great step IMO. I would have preferred a complete 'Catch and Release' fishery. But few if any fishermen keep a trophy fish of that size now, with replica mounts readily available. So increasing the size limit is a great first step.

2. Proposed changes to the Bass regs-
Clearly moving the start of bass season up one week, starting in 2014, didn't greatly impact the fishery, as some feared.
So moving the bass season up a month earlier to the 3rd week in May will certainly create more angling opportunities for fishermen.
With that said, the new proposed earlier season would allow anglers even more opportunity to come into direct contact with easily caught spawning fish. Some savvy anglers will most certainly target the shallower spawning sites of early June, with great success, as bass try to protect their nests from intrusion.
Whether the proposed earlier angling date has an impact on the current underutilized and growing smallmouth population...will need to be monitored very closely, if implemented.
Even option b 'catch and release' between the new proposed May start date and the old June date will have some effect in further disrupting fish spawning activity.
Often a bass caught off its nest, and then released, will still flee the nesting site entirely...leaving eggs exposed to predation.

3. Proposed changes to Northern Pike regs-
With the pike population apparently showing signs of decline?
I guess I'd be in favour of proposed regulation a) as opposed to be b.
Any thought of retaining the bigger fish over 90cms (basically 35 1/2") would seem counter productive to rebuilding a pike fishery...you would think.
I've always been of the opinion smaller pike caught through the ice, taste better then the larger fish anyways.
I'm not sure how the new changes will impact pike tournaments though.

My only real disappointment with the new proposed regulations....there appears to be no mention of the lakes yellow perch population?

If you're passionate about the lakes fishery, certainly take the time to provide your thoughts and comments to the MNR, by May 11th, as is permitted.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing comments from other fishermen regarding these possible changes.
The more 'constructive' input and discussion, the better.

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kenster
Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 12:43 pm


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Would prefer to keep it simple.One or two under 16in, No tail pinching or slide rulers needed for over this and under that by 1 mm. Twenty years now of shorter seasons and catch limits hasn't done a whole lot imo.Sorry Grumps,no rose colour glasses here or positive spin.

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Grumpa
Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 03:20 pm


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QUOTE (kenster @ Apr 13, 2021 - 12:43 pm)
Would prefer to keep it simple.One or two under 16in, No tail pinching or slide rulers needed for over this and under that by 1 mm. Twenty years now of shorter seasons and catch limits hasn't done a whole lot imo.Sorry Grumps,no rose colour glasses here or positive spin.

I think what they're doing now kenster is trying to safely nurture along the breeding population that the 2014 regulations help create...while at the same time finally giving anglers a chance to keep a few fish, every time out. For me, that's a win win.
They tried the 'can keep only under a particular size' before...given it was more fish you could keep back then...but that eventually brought the lake and the MNR to the needed regulations of 2014.
Simple to understand regulations are the easiest, absolutely...but unfortunately may not entirely target the specific fish in a given population they're trying to protect, at any given point in a lakes recovery.
All I know is...walleye fishing was going downhill by 2013, we were catching drastically fewer fish, of any size, leading up to the 2014 regs.
But the last 2-3 years, everyone I know, has been catching tons of fish (even though few were being kept). The lake wasn't generating as many of the bigger fish you would hope and expect from a completely healthy population.
The MNR's regulations succeeded in recovering the breeding population base that was in jeopardy.
So, I'm congratulating them for that. Good job.
A next step, with caution, is now necessary.

I fished the lake in the 70's and 80's...and we're no where near back to those days.
But I feel like we're on the right path...light at the end of the tunnel.

Definitely appreciate your insight and thoughts kenster...hopefully, we'll get a lot more input, from everyone, that has an opinion...before the finally decisions are made.
Discussion and respectful debate on the subject is necessary and really important.

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Neil
Posted: Apr 13, 2021 - 07:49 pm


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I have to agree that this is possibly a positive step for the sport fishing angler. And it is not decided yet so it is only possible at this time. I think that it would protect both the larger spawners and the smaller classes of fish which should help keep the future secure. I hope it is implemented because it should help those that make their living off all that Lake Nipissing provides. I know that the outfitters have had two bad seasons and they need a break.

I do agree that the narrow slot size is narrowed further by the way the fish is measured so instead of 5cm or 50mm it ends up being more like 45mm to be sure you are safe. Years ago I was approached by an MNRF boat and they checked my fish. Now I measure nose to tail and close the tail but they measured and it was over the 16" (before it was listed in cm). I always left a safety factor so I don't know how it was over. I was fortunate that they were able to revive the fish but still have no idea why it was over. Had I been charged I would have tried to fight it. Anyways long story short the 5cm slot will cause problems for a lot of sport and conservation fisher folks.

I wonder if the lake is in even better shape with Covid affecting pressure on it for the last year. I know there was a lot less huts out on the lake this winter.

As for the other potential changes mentioned by Grumpa I think there are some positives. I find the bass changes interesting though. I am not a fan of pulling bass off their nests. I see people down in South Bay that say they are not targeting bass but don't move once they catch one or two in the spring.

Last thing I want to say is that I am surprised the MNRF is even considering changes as they could play the Covid card so I think that is great.

Here is to a great fishing season no matter where you will be fishing!

Neil

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kenster
Posted: Apr 14, 2021 - 08:12 am


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Just got an acknowledged response to my suggestion of keeping the measurement simple and time to protect the larger fish.
After all was that not the point but to let the fish grow for the last 6-7 years and get big enough.Anyway they're asking for your opinions so why not give it. That way you can always grumble after that they didn't take it.

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Fish_Finder
Posted: Apr 17, 2021 - 11:32 pm


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Sure but haven't we selectively changed the gene pool now though? Some fish grow smaller than others simply by genetics. By harvesting all the bigger fish as has happened for quite some time now, we've removed the breeders that produce large offspring.

All we have left now are fish that grow smaller. We hardly see any large fish now.

We've sped up Darwinism by about 1000 years in just a decade.

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