|Appalling Decision in Fisheries Management Zone 5
NOTO and tourism operators in parts of the northwest are disappointed, to say the least, with the poorly-timed announcement of the decision to change walleye limits in FMZ 5 for non-resident anglers only.
On December 14th, operators in this Northwestern Ontario fishery management zone were notified of the decision to reduce walleye and trout limits for non-resident anglers ONLY. For those that are open year-round, this meant two weeks’ notice for operators to communicate with their guests about these changes that were implemented on January 1, 2018. NOTO has berated MNRF for their continued lack of respect and understanding for tourism business owners.
NOTO has supported our members in the northwest as well as those of the Kenora District Camp Owners Association (KDCA) over the last three or more years in the FMZ planning process. We have written letters and held discussions with senior ministry staff to pressure MNRF to make fair and sound decisions based on scientific data.
It is our opinion, that IF MNRF has proof that there are legitimate concerns for fish populations of any species, then opting to limit one user group shows no real commitment from MNRF to improve the situation. We have expressed time and time again our complete opposition to fishing regulations that target one user group over another.
NOTO has shared the economic impact studies commissioned by Tourism Northern Ontario that show the substantial benefits that non-resident anglers, who stay at our lodges, bring to the Province as well as the local communities.
On this issue, NOTO will continue to ask MNRF to share their data from this fishery management zone so that we too can monitor the impacts, or the lack there of now that these regulations have been put into place. We encourage our members to keep us abreast of any impacts (negative or positive) that take place as a result of these new regulations.
As a whole, NOTO will continue to support our industry by advocating for fair and effective fishing regulations.