Outdoor Column

Freedom of Information request seeks location of Algonquin Park fishing spot

"If somebody has a copy of my interior camping permit, which shows which lakes I camped on each night, they can clearly and easily figure out which lake I caught these trophy fish in," Mike Borger told CBC.

'It was an incredibly smart ... way to get this information,' says fishing pro

Mike Borger holds one of the big brook trout that prompted someone to file a Freedom of Information request to find his fishing spot. (Mike Borger)

Someone is trying a novel method of finding a secret fishing spot.  

An Ontario fishing pro says a trophy brook trout fishing lake he documented in an Ontario Park may now be exposed due to a Freedom of Information request.  

Mike Borger and his son fished a small lake deep in the heart of Algonquin Park this spring, and he made a 40 minute video of their incredible trout fishing that was posted on Youtube.

Borger, who usually promotes fishing lodges and outpost camps on his website, did not name the lake.

But someone wanted to know where it was so badly they made a Freedom Of Information request to find out where he was fishing.
Mike Borger and another giant Algonquin Park brook trout (Mike Borger)

"I'm going to give him credit, because it was an incredibly smart — underhanded and a little bit devious — but also very smart way to get this information.  If somebody has a copy of my interior camping permit, which shows which lakes I camped on each night, they can clearly and easily figure out which lake I caught these trophy fish in," Borger told CBC.

Borger initially received a five-page letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, detailing the situation and the request, he said. 

After voicing his concerns, the ministry told him they would not confirm or deny the existence of his record to the person pursuing it, he said.

But there is a process if the requester wants to appeal the decision, Borger said.
Mike Borger learned of the Freedom of Information request from a five-page letter from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, he said. (Mike Borger)

Borger first fished the lake around 15 years ago, he said, and did quite well.

"I kind of just have kept it in my back pocket.  I've been busy these last few years. I haven't had time for a trip of that substance, because frankly, it takes days to get in there and days to get out." 

He went back with his young son to see if it was still good, he said, and discovered it was. 

The video of the trip has garnered more response than anything else Borger has published, he said.

So far 127 people have messaged him privately asking for the location of the lake, and he has politely declined all requests, he added. 

"I haven't told anybody about this lake.  I wouldn't even tell my best friend about this lake," Borger said.

"It just goes to show you how popular brook trout fishing in Algonquin Park is and the lengths some people will apparently go to find your fishing spot," he added. 

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