Ontario’s fisheries resources are an important part of its biodiversity, and contribute to the province’s economic, social, and environmental well-being. This document, Ontario’s Provincial Fish Strategy: Fish for the Future, sets out a practical and strategic framework for managing Ontario’s fisheries resources from 2015 forward.
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The Demise of American Eel in the Upper St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Ottawa River and Associated Watersheds: Implications of Regional Cumulative Effects in Ontario
Abstract.—American Eel mortality has increased substantially over the past century due largely to significant cumulative effects of fishing and fish passage through hydro-electric turbines across their range. Nowhere has this been more pronounced than in waters of the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Ottawa River and associated watersheds. We illustrate this by examining the cumulative effects of hydroelectric facilities on eels migrating downstream through the Mississippi River and Ottawa River, and outline further impacts eels encounter en route to spawn in the Sargasso Sea. The probability of a mature female eel surviving its emigration through the Mississippi and Ottawa River to the upper St. Lawrence River is estimated to be as low as 2.8% due to turbine mortalities alone (2.8–40%). Mortality risk increases as the eel attempts to run the gauntlet of fisheries in the lower St. Lawrence River and the probability of out-migration survival is estimated to be as low as 1.4%. Some mortalities could be mitigated through improved application of existing laws, development of policy requiring consideration of cumulative effects and improved integration among program areas responsible for sustainable management of fisheries, biodiversity, dams and hydro-electric facilities. We recommend changes to policy, procedures and internal organizational structures provided with clear directions, and call for increased accommodation of Aboriginal perspectives.
MacGregor, R., T. Haxton, L. Greig, J. M. Casselman, J. M. Dettmers, W. A. Allen, D. G. Oliver, and L. McDermott. 2015. The demise of American Eel in the upper St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Ottawa River and associated watersheds: implications of regional cumulative effects in Ontario. Pages 149–188 in N. Fisher, P. LeBlanc, C. A. Rose, and B. Sadler, editors. Managing the impacts of human activities on fish habitat: the governance, practices, and science. American Fisheries Society, Symposium 78, Bethesda, Maryland.
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Spawning Bed Cleaning
2013 FWIN Netting Report
by Jim Rook, French River Stewardship Council:
During the late 1980’s it became apparent that the French River walleye fishery was in decline. It was noted by recreational anglers as well as the local tourist lodges whose economic viability was threatened by the walleye decline.
In response to the declining fishery a French River Fishery Cooperative was created led by the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) as well as interested tourist operators, and members of our local French River community.
Scientific studies based upon the Fall Walleye Index Netting Protocol (FWIN) were initiated. The FWIN program is designed to measure the relative abundance, size and age distribution, mortality, growth rates and conditions of a walleye population. Continue reading