MNR wants fishing information from Black Bay anglers

Anglers heading to Black Bay this weekend can expect a visit from the Ministry of Natural Resources as it collects more information about the health of the fish population.
An angler makes a hole with an ice auger in preparation for fishing on Black Bay in northwestern Ontario. (Adam Young)

Anglers heading to Lake Superior's Black Bay this weekend can expect a visit from the Ministry of Natural Resources as it collects more information about the health of the fish population.

The MNR is conducting a creel survey, to tally how many of each species that people are catching.

A spokesperson for the MNR said technicians will ask some basic questions.

"We conduct some other surveys that give us an idea of the species that are in the bay and the relative numbers. But we don't really have an idea on what the sport fishery is taking from the fishery and how many fish people are catching,” assessment supervisor Fritz Fischer said.

“We know from a few years of anecdotal information on the ice fishery at Black Bay that there are quite a few perch being caught. But, we wanted to get a better idea of what is being caught in terms of perch and other species, and what of those fish are being harvested."

Fischer noted they have data from the commercial fishery, and data from anglers coming off of the bay in the summer and fall, but there aren’t any concrete numbers for the winter harvest.

Black Bay has a different yellow perch limit of 25 per person, compared to 50 for inland lakes. Yellow perch is the main species caught during ice fishing season

Fischer said technicians will be on the ice most weekends this season, as well as some weekdays.

The MNR will also conduct aerial surveys to see how many anglers are on the ice at Black Bay.

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