Ontario Takes Steps to Better Protect Lakes, Rivers and Fisheries
Province releases final bait management strategy after extensive consultation
TORONTO – The Ontario government released its final bait management strategy to protect the province’s lakes and rivers from the threat of invasive species and fish diseases. As part of this new strategy, the government will be establishing four bait management zones to limit the movement of live bait across the province.
“It is critically important to protect and preserve our lakes and rivers for people to enjoy for generations to come,” said Mike Harris, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “This new strategy will go a long way towards reducing the risk of spreading aquatic invasive species and fish diseases that pose a serious threat to our fisheries and biodiversity. This initiative will also help us increase business certainty for the commercial industry that relies on bait.”
Live bait that is harvested in one area of the province is often shipped, sold, and later used in another region. If unused bait is not disposed of properly, invasive and other illegal bait species that may be mistakenly mixed in with the bait, or fish infected with disease, have the potential to establish new populations or infect other fish in the new waterbody.
To prevent the spread of invasive species and fish diseases through the movement of live bait, four bait management zones will be established across the province. This will limit the movement of most bait to the same bait management zone where it was harvested. Individual anglers who wish to use live bait outside of their own bait management zone will be required to purchase bait from a licensed commercial bait operator in the zone where they will be fishing.
“Our government is committed to protecting the province’s lakes and rivers while ensuring the baitfish industry can continue to thrive,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “We will continue to work with industry and key stakeholders to implement the bait management policy to ensure a smooth transition.”
The final Sustainable Bait Management Strategy, posted on the Environmental Registry of Ontario, is a result of extensive engagement with bait operators, stakeholder groups, the public, and Indigenous communities. They provided input on key elements related to the use and movement of bait, the type of bait allowed, and administrative improvements.
Ontario’s bait industry is estimated to be worth $23 million per year.
In 2020-2021, Ontario is investing over $2 million to support ongoing research, monitoring, and management of invasive species across the province.
Ontario is the only jurisdiction in Canada that has standalone invasive species legislation. The Invasive Species Act provides legislative tools to prohibit and restrict certain invasive species and carriers that facilitate the movement of invasive species.
Protecting our environment from invasive species by working with partners and other governments and using tools to prevent, detect and respond to invasions is a commitment under the Made-in-Ontario Environment Plan.
Anglers spend more than $1.6 billion annually in Ontario and support jobs in many rural and northern communities that depend on recreational fishing.
The use of bait is one route for the potential spread of fish-based diseases (e.g., viral hemorrhagic septicemia [VHS]) and invasive species (e.g., round goby) across Ontario.
July 21, 2020 Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Spring Chinook Low Returns
Declines in chinook salmon populations have occurred across B.C., Alaska, Washington and Oregon. (Robin Loznak/The News-Review via Associated Press)
Expanded fishing closures and size restrictions are part of new actions announced by the federal government to protect threatened Fraser River chinook salmon. Terry Beech, parliamentary secretary to the fisheries minister, says large areas of the ocean near the mouth of the Fraser River will be closed to fishing and chinook that are more 80 centimetres long must be released. He says they’re taking the unprecedented action because of historic low populations of chinook salmon, which are the favoured food of endangered southern resident killer whales.
In a technical briefing with reporters on Friday afternoon, Fisheries staff said the population of killer whales is currently at 72 individuals. While there were two calves born last year, there was also a loss of three individuals, and another whale is missing. Marine vessels are required to turn their engines to neutral idle within approach distance of southern resident killer whales. (Jonathan Hayward/Canadian Press) The ministry says it is focusing recovery measures on threats of contaminants, reduced prey availability, and acoustic and physical disturbance. For marine vessels, that includes restrictions on fishing within 1,000 metres of killer whales and slowing down to seven knots or less when within 1,000 metres of killer whales.
Big Bar landslide update
Fisheries and Oceans Canada acted last year to protect Fraser River chinook stocks, including efforts to clear a massive landslide in the river which further threatened the species. The Big Bar landslide happened in a remote area north of Lillooet some time in November or December 2018, but it was not reported to Fisheries and Oceans Canada until June 2019.
Michael Crowe, centre, of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and two members of the B.C. Wildfire Service place a salmon in a vessel being used to transport them up the Fraser River with a helicopter, past a massive rock slide near Big Bar, west of Clinton, B.C., on July 24, 2019. The rock slide has narrowed the river, creating a five-metre waterfall that is preventing many migrating salmon from getting through to spawning grounds. Earlier this month, officials with Fisheries and Oceans Canada told a Commons committee that 99 per cent of early Stuart and 89 per cent of early chinook salmon were lost in 2019 because of the slide. They reported that about 60,000 fish were helped over the slide last year, while 220,000 made it past on their own once water volume dropped. Contract to clear B.C.’s Big Bar landslide balloons to $52.5M as crews’ race to allow for salmon migration Beech says of the 13 Fraser River chinook salmon populations, 12 are considered to be at risk. He says the latest chinook protection measures were developed following consultation with Indigenous communities, recreational and commercial fishing organizations, and environmental groups.
Decline in Chinook due to climate change, fishing
According to DFO reports, the declines in chinook salmon populations across B.C., Alaska, Washington and Oregon have been associated with “large-scale patterns of environmental change and increased environmental variability.” Those changes include rising water temperatures, pollution, deforestation, water extraction and extreme weather events. ‘Almost complete loss’ of early salmon runs at Fraser River slide last year: DFO Fisheries and Oceans estimates chinook productivity declined between 25 and 40 per cent since the early 1980s across many B.C. stocks.
The government says its new 2020 measures are aimed at reducing fishery moralities, but that some First Nations’ fisheries will continue to have priority access to salmon for food, social and ceremonial purposes.
The Canadian Press
Valcourt, Quebec, BRP (TSX: DOO; NASDAQ: DOOO) announced today it has re-oriented its marine business by focusing on the growth of its boat brands with new technology and innovative marine products. The company will discontinue production of Evinrude E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines. Its Sturtevant, Wisconsin facility will be repurposed for new projects to pursue BRP’s plan to provide consumers with an unparalleled experience on the water.
BRP says it remains committed to their Buy, Build, Transform Marine strategy which has been underway since 2018 with the acquisition of Alumacraft and Manitou boat companies in the U.S., followed by the acquisition of Australian boat manufacturer Telwater in 2019.
“Our outboard engines business has been greatly impacted by COVID-19, obliging us to discontinue production of our outboard motors immediately. This business segment had already been facing some challenges and the impact from the current context has forced our hand,” said José Boisjoli, President and CEO of BRP. “We will concentrate our efforts on new and innovative technologies and on the development of our boat companies, where we continue to see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers,” he added.
Following BRP’s decision to discontinue E-TEC and E-TEC G2 outboard engines, the company has signed an agreement with market leader Mercury Marine to support boat packages and continue to supply outboard engines to their boat brands. BRP says they will continue to supply customers and dealer network service parts and will honor manufacturer limited warranties, plus offer select programs to manage inventory. These decisions will impact 650 employees globally.
With this announcement, BRP plans to position itself to expand its presence in the pontoon and aluminum fishing markets through technologically advanced solutions. They will leverage their R&D resources to enhance the boating experience with unique new marine products, such as the next generation of engine technology with Project Ghost and the next generation of pontoons with Project M, code names for new products we expect to transform the industry.
BRP will also consolidate Alumacraft operations from two sites to one. All Alumacraft operations will be transferred to St Peter, Minnesota and the Arkadelphia, Arkansas will be permanently closed. In addition, they will upgrade the boat production facilities to reorganize manufacturing sites and apply the modularity model used elsewhere in BRP’s ecosystem.
FTR reached out to BRP regarding the future of Evinrude and received the following replies regarding the iconic brand’s future.
Q: Will you keep the doors open to produce Evinrude engines again someday?
BRP: “We are re-orienting our marine strategy and concentrating our efforts on next generation engine technology, publicly known as Project Ghost, our boat business and other marine projects where we see a lot of potential to transform the on-water experience for consumers. We have no plan to bring back the production of outboard engines E-TEC and E-TEC G2.”
Q: Will you sell the brand or the technology of your Evinrude engines?
BRP: “Evinrude has a long history and we will maintain the trademark. At this point, we have no intention of selling the brand or the technology of Evinrude.”
Fishing Tackle Retailer – May 27, 2020.
Greg Wollner, former Rapala Vice President, has joined Northland Tackle as CEO. Greg Wollner, long-serving Rapala Vice President and former American Sportfishing Association (ASA) Board Chairman, has been appointed CEO of Northland Tackle. His responsibilities will include introducing new products to the brand and a focus on customer service. Wollner has been in the industry for more than 25 years at Galyan’s Trading Company and at Rapala. His last position in 11 years at Rapala was as Corporate Vice President International and Special Projects. In 2018 he joined the Allegis Corporation, an access hardware supplier, as Vice President of Product Management. He was also a board member of the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) and on the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame Selection Committee. “I’m excited to join a leadership team that is so passionate and enthusiastic about fishing and understands the sport and the customer,” said Wollner. “Our experience, a dedication to continued innovation in product offerings and commitment to excellent customer service, are paramount to the Northland Fishing Tackle heritage and success going forward.” Northland, founded in 1975 by John Peterson, is one of the country’s leading producers of jigs, live bait rigs, spinner baits and spoons.
(Angling International – by Anthony)
FIOPS, the body that represents the tackle trade in Italy, has written to ministers in the Government asking for the reinstatement of fishing across the country.
The organisation representing the tackle trade in Italy, one of the countries in Europe worst hit by Coronavirus, has urged the Government to reinstate fishing, give the go-ahead for tackle shops to reopen and allow the industry to get back to normal.
In a letter to ministers, The Federazione Italiana Operatori Pesca Sportive (FIOPS) President, Andrea Collini, and Director, Francesco Ruscelli, say that they believe it is now safe to lift the ban on angling and allow the sport to be carried out with necessary safety measures in place.
The letter states: “The Coronavirus emergency has deeply marked the very fabric of our social, economic and productive lives. We are slowly approaching an eagerly awaited stage two that will gradually restart the country, but it is important to take into account the very heart of the Italian economic framework is characterised in particular by the millions of small and medium-sized businesses.
“These include companies and stores that sell sports and recreational fishing items.”
The letter went on to emphasise the economic impact of the fishing tackle industry on the Italian economy, stating that in total it was worth around €2.8 billion.
“Phase two of the recovery should definitely include resumption of a series of sports and recreational activities that can be carried out which respects social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks.
“Fishing falls perfectly into this kind of activity because it can be carried out alone and can comply with a mandatory spacing between fishermen of about ten metres.
“Steps can also be taken to ensure that fishing tackle shops and manufacturing facilities are safe for everyone. Control of the number of people in the stores can be introduced so that anglers can safely buy bait and equipment.
“We believe that we cannot further penalise the recreational sector and – yes – the economic value its brings to the economy and millions of people.
“FIOPS, the representative body of a large number of Italian sports and recreational fishermen, manufacturers and vendors of fishing products, believes that the time is now right to restart the fishing industry. We remain at the disposal of the Government institutions for any technical support that may be useful in dealing with the current situation.”
(Angling International – by Anthony)