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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody,

I am excited to announce a package of proposed changes to angling regulations in Manitoba.


Manitoba’s Recreational Angling Strategy

As you navigate the materials, you should find a short video giving a high level overview of the changes, an in-depth document entitled "Manitoba's Recreational Angling Strategy" which provides some background and more info. There are several ways to comment on the package which can be found on the Engage MB website. I encourage all of you to comment on the proposed changes - good or bad or make suggestions.
We really are consulting with the public and we will be listening, so if you have a suggestion to improve this suite of changes, please respond.

I will not be at liberty to discuss the rationale behind all of our decisions on this forum, but I really want to hear from you. If you want more information, please contact me directly at [email protected]

This package contains the most significant changes to recreational angling regulations in our generation...maybe longer, so please make your voice heard!

Derek Kroeker - Provincial Fisheries Manager (and dedicated angler)
 

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The only thing I didn't like personally was the fact that they are phasing out the use of leeches. They are my new favorite bait since they're easy to keep alive and don't make your hands dirty. Though it's not the biggest deal.

Otherwise I really think these proposals will get us out of the stone age, making us more like Ontario. I like the idea of being able to do more than just stocked trout in the off season.

Sent from my VOG-L04 using Tapatalk
 

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I also dislike the banning of leeches which usually are trapped or collected in small water bodies void of any fish and unlikely to have any zebra muscles but it is what it is the good that that is happening outweighs the negatives
Zebs aren't the only invasive species the province is concerned with, there are many others, some of those thrive in smaller bodies of water, like the Spiny Water Flea for example. Many folks get stuck on Zebs not realizing there are many more Aquatic Invasive Species other than Zebra Mussels..
 

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I am curious to understand the "closed to all Angling areas" with fixed dates when the new season and limits by species appears to duplicate the closure.
Can anyone explain what the proposal is attempting to achieve???
 

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I am curious to understand the "closed to all Angling areas" with fixed dates when the new season and limits by species appears to duplicate the closure.
Can anyone explain what the proposal is attempting to achieve???

Seems clear to me that they propose to do away with the blanket season closure and replace with species specific closures. Just as in other jurisdictions where certain species are closed to angling to protect the spawn whereas angling is permitted for other species during that time. In other words there will be no closed season, however during certain time periods anglers will not be allowed to target certain species.
 

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Seems clear to me that they propose to do away with the blanket season closure and replace with species specific closures. Just as in other jurisdictions where certain species are closed to angling to protect the spawn whereas angling is permitted for other species during that time. In other words there will be no closed season, however during certain time periods anglers will not be allowed to target certain species.
I understand that premise of protecting species during spawning, and totally agree with it however strategically closing certain areas seems an unnecessary duplication that could be adequately covered in the species/ season limits.
Just curious as I do not fish these areas
 

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I understand that premise of protecting species during spawning, and totally agree with it however strategically closing certain areas seems an unnecessary duplication that could be adequately covered in the species/ season limits.
Just curious as I do not fish these areas
Not really.......thinking incidental catches of closed species is unavoidable, for example if your pike fishing while walleye are closed and you catch a Walleye while casting a 5 of diamonds, so be it, catch and release. However if you are spring fishing, say Falcon Creek (which is a Walleye closure area in the current regs) that's different and requires a area specific closure. That's the way I understand it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Good question and good discussion. There are a few Walleye spawning areas where even if you are trying to catch other species, it is hard to avoid catching spawning Walleye. The Red River between Lockport and Newley Creek is a significant Walleye spawning area. Due to the characteristics of the river and the methods of fishing that are common on the Red River, the proposal is to close that area to angling for a similar duration as the current general closure.

This package of regulation changes is about finding a balance between offering increased angling opportunities and protecting valuable fish stocks.

If anyone would like more information, please email me at [email protected]
Once we connect by email, we can have a phone conversation if you prefer.

Derek
 

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I think protecting Walleye populations in the LW/ Red River system gets a lot of attention and due to sheer growth and popularity of angling pressure in the last decade, rightfully so. I know that angling is relatively light pressure compared to the commercial harvest but enough of them, as is the case now, and it starts to have an impact on the fishery. I applaud the proposed specific closures and changes and the need to protect the fishery for future generations.

In the case of the commercial fishery, I recognize the income and employment opportunities created and the benefits to the provincial economy but IMO regulation is pretty lapse. I applaud the province for buying back some of the commercial quotas and the move to 3 1/2" mesh size restriction, which is a real good start. IMO, the biggest problem has not yet been addressed! It has been estimated that half of the annual commercial Walleye harvest caught on LW are not submitted under our current quota system, and are sold illegally on the black market. Until this issue is enforced and regulated a whole lot better than it is currently being done, the quota system is relatively meaningless! On several occasions I watched fisheries staff monitor commercial fishers at Winnipeg Beach. They sat in a truck with binoculars and watched the boats going out and coming back and marking them down on a clipboard. All the boats were the same, with tubs stacked several feet high and covered with tarps. Not once did any fisheries personnel go and check the fish as they were offloaded into trucks or could they even see this process from where they were parked behind the berm. I understand the limited, shoestring budget allotted by the province, but it seems to me that enforcement is severely lacking! I know my limited knowledge and observations are not the entire picture but I think the solution is quite simple with a minor cost as follows. Hire some summer students to monitor commercial ports and make it mandatory for commercial fisheries to check in and log their daily harvest. There are approximately only a dozen or so protected harbors on the lake that have boat launches that would need to be monitored. Compare this data to any MFWF shipments and other declared sales and they should be comparable. If not, then a follow up should be conducted! Quite simple!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yes - I agree that it would be great for enforcement resources to be increased. Recently the Conservation Officer Service and Wildlife and Fisheries staff were merged into one Branch. There have also been some recent announcements regarding investments in our Branch. While I don’t really know exactly what will happen, I am very optimistic about fisheries enforcement in the future.
Derek.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

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I think protecting Walleye populations in the LW/ Red River system gets a lot of attention and due to sheer growth and popularity of angling pressure in the last decade, rightfully so. I know that angling is relatively light pressure compared to the commercial harvest but enough of them, as is the case now, and it starts to have an impact on the fishery. I applaud the proposed specific closures and changes and the need to protect the fishery for future generations.

In the case of the commercial fishery, I recognize the income and employment opportunities created and the benefits to the provincial economy but IMO regulation is pretty lapse. I applaud the province for buying back some of the commercial quotas and the move to 3 1/2" mesh size restriction, which is a real good start. IMO, the biggest problem has not yet been addressed! It has been estimated that half of the annual commercial Walleye harvest caught on LW are not submitted under our current quota system, and are sold illegally on the black market. Until this issue is enforced and regulated a whole lot better than it is currently being done, the quota system is relatively meaningless! On several occasions I watched fisheries staff monitor commercial fishers at Winnipeg Beach. They sat in a truck with binoculars and watched the boats going out and coming back and marking them down on a clipboard. All the boats were the same, with tubs stacked several feet high and covered with tarps. Not once did any fisheries personnel go and check the fish as they were offloaded into trucks or could they even see this process from where they were parked behind the berm. I understand the limited, shoestring budget allotted by the province, but it seems to me that enforcement is severely lacking! I know my limited knowledge and observations are not the entire picture but I think the solution is quite simple with a minor cost as follows. Hire some summer students to monitor commercial ports and make it mandatory for commercial fisheries to check in and log their daily harvest. There are approximately only a dozen or so protected harbors on the lake that have boat launches that would need to be monitored. Compare this data to any MFWF shipments and other declared sales and they should be comparable. If not, then a follow up should be conducted! Quite simple!
I am in agreement with "lirwin"....especially when you consider sport fisherman take 10% of the walleye and commercial take 90% on Lake Winnipeg.....getting us to make changes to save that population is a waste of time in my opinion unless the commercial fisherman are involved and the rights based harvesters as "OriginalCzar" stated previously. To have control of this issue our fisheries and associated governing bodies have to make changes to all of these groups with regards to harvesting quotas, fishing methods and periods!
 

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I read the results from this survey and was optimistic that some positive change was coming. I was wrong and was left with a bad taste in my mouth. I was quite disappointed with the actions that have already been decided to be implemented as a direct result from this single survey, and likely even beforehand. Although I agree with some actions, the vast majority of stakeholders (75%) who participated did not specifically comment on specific proposed changes and yet it has already been decided that they will be implemented.
Personally, I don't keep big fish and seldom keep fish at all, but I would like to consider the option if I caught a 35"+. Let's put this issue into proper perspective! Take all the fish over 55 cm and 70 cm that are kept by recreational anglers, then compare that to the commercial harvest. I would be very surprised if recreational anglers account for more than a fraction of a single percentage point. I don't mean to knock commercial fishers but there is something very wrong with this picture! You cannot effectively manage any fishery without looking at the big picture, and targeting the vast majority of the harvest. Once this is done and if there is still a problem, then I would be 100% supportive of such initiatives or even more drastic measures.
IMO, this survey was a whitewash and just a cover to ram through an already existing agenda. Selling it as "providing better angling opportunities", give me a break! It takes away a whole lot more than it gives back! Tourism will be negatively impacted. Far bigger issues and impacts on the LW fishery, such as finally addressing the illegal commercial black market that makes the current quota system virtually meaningless, are not even addressed, or at least, even on the table. IMO "What we heard" as a title for the cherrypicked results of this survey is completely inaccurate, and little more than a marketing ploy. It is more like "what we wanted to hear".
 

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If I am not mistaken rights based harvesters are not exempt from a "conservation closure". I believe that all fishing, including both angling and commercial have to be completely closed first, in order for it to apply to rights based harvesters. The only so called "conservation closure" that I am aware of for fishing, currently in effect, is for Sturgeon on certain parts of the Winnipeg River system. There are some in place for hunting but from what I have seen, enforcement is pretty much non-existent. Personally, I don't think there is the political will to open up that can of worms.
 

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If I am not mistaken rights based harvesters are not exempt from a "conservation closure". I believe that all fishing, including both angling and commercial have to be completely closed first, in order for it to apply to rights based harvesters. The only so called "conservation closure" that I am aware of, currently in effect, is for Sturgeon on certain parts of the Winnipeg River system.
That is what I thought as well but then saw this in the PDF:

Closed to All Angling Areas • Manitoba is proposing to strategically close some areas to all angling from the first Monday in April, to and including the third Friday in May, to protect spawning fish. • Proposed “closed to all angling” areas include: o the Red River and its tributaries, to the first impassable barrier between Lockport and Lake Winnipeg o the Assiniboine River, downstream of the Portage Diversion to Highway 240 o Dauphin Lake and its tributaries • Indigenous rights-based harvesters can continue to fish for food in these closed areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hello all,

If there are questions about the angling strategy (which was modified from the original), or about the engagement process, I would be happy to discuss with you - call 204-345-1450.

Derek
 
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