For the fifth time this year, an unmarked fishing net containing dead fish has been pulled from Lake Nipissing by the Ministry of Natural Resources.

dead fish caught in net

The Ministry of Natural Resources is looking for the public's help in identifying the owners of unattended nets left in Lake Nipissing. The MNR says the nets were left in the lake in the northeast corner of Great Manitou Island in the month of June. Conservation officers located and pulled the nets, which contained decomposed fish. None of the nets had any markings to identify ownership. (MNR)

The president of the Lake Nipissing Stakeholders Association, which helps restock the lake with walleye, said the lake is not in the position to needlessly lose any fish.

"Lake Nipissing is the only large lake in Ontario that does not have a fish assessment unit on it,” Scott Nelson said.

“The sports industry on Lake Nipissing is at a position that says, ‘what can we do?’”

He said the loss of fish from the nets is made worse because the lake is already facing a fish shortage.

“And then when we see this kind of spoilage and this kind of waste, with the current state of the lake, it's, it's unbelievable,” Nelson said.

All of the unmarked nets were found on the northeast corner of Manitou Island.

The MNR said it's investigating the situation.

Information from MNR press release:

  • When found, these nets were still properly set and were not adrift, but had been left unattended for an estimated three to seven days, or possibly up to 10 days. 
  • One net had a small black float on each end that could be used to locate the net, while another net had a white foam float and a small red float marking the ends. None of the nets had any markings to identify ownership.
  • The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is hopeful that the public can help to provide information leading to the owners of the nets.
  • If you have any information about these nets, please contact the MNR TIPS line at 1-877-TIPS-MNR (847-7667) toll-free any time, or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).


  • The original article stated the unmarked nets were located on the northeast corner of Manitoulin Island. They were actually located near Manitou Island.
    Jul 14, 2014 11:39 AM ET