Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Stop Bass Killing!

If you visit Northwestern Ontario, like many Americans and Canadians, this is something that will effect you!

Contact these two biologists to view your opinion and demand to save bass! Must be done before Nov. 30th!

Barry Corbett ... barry.corbett@ontario.ca
Darryl McLeod ... darryl.mcleod@ontario.ca

Gord Pyzer, noted outdoor writer and retired Minstry of Natural Resources Scientist has brought this to my attention.

Here is Gord's letter:

Hi folks ... I have a huge favour to ask of each one of you.

The Fisheries Management Plan for Zone 5 in Northwestern Ontario is currently under review and what is being proposed for bass is extremely troubling.

A small group of folks, who are opposed to bass, have persuaded the MNR to include the option of killing four (4) bass, <35 cm in size, every day of fishing during the critical winter and spring spawning periods. In other words, from November 30th to July 1st.

All of the major research into managing bass populations - especially fragile northern bass populations - that has been carried out by OMNR scientists like Dr. Mark Ridgway and Dr. David Philip, clearly shows that targeting bass in the winter and when they are spawning in the spring has major negative effects on both the over all bass population and the age class structure.

Quite simply, the research is very clear that there are absolutely no redeeming qualities when anglers fish for bass in the winter and during the spawn.

Indeed, Dr. Philips research in southeastern Ontario, where the bass season is closed during the winter and spring, shows that in some lakes 100% of the nesting males exhibit hook wounds and were the season to be open, it is conceivable that the entire population of spawning males could be killed and harvested.

Unfortunately, the small pocket of anglers in and around the Atikokan area have attempted to "hijack" the process. Quite frankly, they do not like bass and wish to see bass eliminated and removed from the lakes and rivers in the region, despite the fact that bass have been present in NW Ontario for over 100 years.

What is even more incredulous, however, is the fact that maintaining the "status quo" and keeping the regulations we currently have, is not even an option that is being offered to anglers during the planning process.

This is akin to asking ... "would you prefer to be hanged, electrocuted or killed by lethal injection" ... without offering the option of staying alive!

Indeed, without the status quo option even being offered, the process is completely flawed.

I would not presume to tell you what to say, but I can tell you that the science is crystal clear: Killing bass when they are most vulnerable over the winter, and especially when they are nesting in the spring, results in severe negative consequences.

As Ontario anglers, these are YOUR FISH and you have the right to provide input before the process closes on November 30th.

I would ask but one favour, simply send an email to the following two OMNR biologists and tell them what you think.

Barry Corbett ... barry.corbett@ontario.ca
Darryl McLeod ... darryl.mcleod@ontario.ca

Barry and Darryl are both great guys, who have advised me that they will ensure your comments are taken to the planning committee.

All you need to say is that you do not support the harvest/killing of bass in the winter and spring when they are nesting and that a protective winter/spring bass season needs to be implemented in Northwestern Ontario, identical to that which is in place in southern Ontario.

And remember, the deadline for comments is November 30th so send the boys an email now.

Thanks folks ... but more importantly, the bass thank you!

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