August 1, 2019
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)- Kemptville district has provided the URLA with its decision on fisheries management options for our lake. Readers will recall the the MNRF was considering introducing significant numbers of Walleye fry and reducing the numbers of existing fish (largely bass), to help these introduced fish to grow to adult-hood.
The MNRF received input from the public, and from the URLA, and others, including the Algonquins of Ontario, the FMZ 18 Advisory Council, and the Westport Area Outdoor Association. (The MNRF also made a presentation to our 2018 AGM.)
This input supported the importance of the Lake’s naturally-reproducing Walleye population. At the same time, the input also highlighted the interest of bass and pan fish anglers, among others, and their concerns with Walleye rehabilitation efforts, which have potential to impact this fishery.
The Ministry supports an adaptive management approach to managing the diverse fishery of Upper Rideau Lake. For a Walleye rehabilitation stocking effort to succeed, fish from a rocky shoal/shoreline spawning Walleye strain are required. However, this strain cannot currently be produced in sufficient numbers at the Ministry’s local fish hatchery due to limited capacity.
Accordingly, the introduction of Walleye by the MNRF into the Lake is being indefinitely postponed until and unless the Ministry is able to produce the required stock and number of Walleye fry. (However, Walleye provided by the Westport Area Outdoor Association will be introduced into the Lake to help maintain a small population. MNRF reports that this fish stocking is not expected to affect the Lake’s bass population. )
In sum, the Ministry will not be changing the Upper Rideau Lake fishery objectives at this time, and any future changes would require further consultation with potentially impacted stakeholders and Indigenous communities.
Should readers have any questions, they should be addressed to
Mr. Joffre Cote
MNRF, Kemptville District
10-1 Campus Drive,