Maintaining High Quality Fisheries Todd Eastman
Todd Eastman
Former Lands & Forests Issues Manager

As reported in the spring issue of The Outfitter, NOTO has partnered with MNR to document, analyze, assess and then communicate to the entire industry, the many self imposed conservation approaches operators have implemented to maintain quality fishing experiences at their establishments. Over the past months we have read through your email submissions, taken your calls and visited the websites of nearly the entire NOTO membership base.

Based on work to this point, I am left knowing that we are taking some incredible steps to protect the resource that is so important to our success and that the lakes and bodies of water we operate on truly support world class fisheries.

In that it may give you some new ideas about what to do at your operation to further implement and promote fisheries conservation, I wanted to share with you a sampling of the approaches we have documented. Also, you may notice that I have missed something you are doing at your place of business and if so, I encourage you to contact me right away.

Some of the conservation approaches being practiced in the nature and outdoor tourism industry include:

To encourage guests to be conservation oriented, operators have introduced a number of incentives including:

Again this is a sampling of what is happening in the industry. Please contact me if you are doing something different. The information above was mainly collected from operator websites and I know there are operators doing good things without any mention of these practices on their website. While visiting websites I noticed that many operations have inoperable links to MNR fish regulations.

The correct link that will get your guests to Ontario’s fishing regulations is: Publication/STEL02_163615.html

Another thing I noticed on some websites that may not be helping your reputation or interest from potential guests are many photos of caught and kept fish. Your website is a marketing tool that you want to be using to get guests to your camp. Although photos of harvested fish may seem like a good thing, in the eyes of the consumer it may equate to a lost opportunity. Photos of a live-released trophy walleye mean that I can book a trip to your operation and try my luck at catching that same, but now larger fish!

The next step of this project is to sit down with fish scientists and biologists from MNR to get a sense for the practices and approaches that are bringing the greatest benefit to the fishery. As it is abundantly clear that you are committed to fisheries conservation, we want to make sure that your time and energy brings the results you and most importantly, your guests desire. 

This article was taken from pages 9 & 10 of NOTO's "The Outfitter" publication, Fall 2008 Issue


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