MNR buying out commercial fisheries

Fort Frances Times and Rainy Lake Herald

The Ministry of Natural Resources, through its Fort Frances District Fisheries Management Pla, has determined that walleye and northern pike are being over-harvested on Rainy Lake.

The over-harvesting problem is particularly acute for walleye on the North Arm where walleye stocks are also stressed by localized spawning habitat degradation, water level fluctuations and alterations in fish community structure.

The management plan recognizes that the commercial fishery contributes substantially to harvest of these species.

The MNR is committed to reducing walleye harvests, particularly on the North Arm to the level of allowable yield.

As one means of doing this, it intends to eliminate walleye quotas through a process of governmental purchase, or by trading walleye quotas for quotas on other species.

To date, the MNR has purchased all or part of species quotas and equipment form four commercial fisheries on Rainy Lake, mainly on the North Arm.

As a result, harvests of walleye, northern pike, black crappie and lake whitefish have been educed.

It is not the intent of this initiative to eliminate commercial fishing from Rainy Lake.