Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced that the 2021-22 fishing season officially opens Saturday, May 15 in the southern division and Saturday, May 22 in the rest of the province.
“Manitobans are fortunate to have an abundance of trophy fisheries located throughout the province,” said Pedersen. “Recreational angling is a fantastic way to spend time with family while enjoying the outdoors.”
Some fish may still be spawning during the start of the angling season. Anglers are asked to protect fish stocks by releasing fish who are discharging eggs back into the water. By proactively releasing spawning fish, anglers will help protect fish stocks and sustain Manitoba’s fisheries.
All anglers are required to obtain an angling licence to fish in Manitoba, unless exempt. Angling licences are now available online 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and can be immediately purchased and printed at home. For more information and to purchase an angling licence, visit manitobaelicensing.ca.
Anglers also need to be familiar with Manitoba’s fishing regulations. New regulations for 2021-22 include:
- Marge Lake – walleye limit is two and all walleye shorter than 35 centimetres must be released;
- Bradley Lake – provincial smallmouth bass limits and size restriction;
- Mirror Lake – trout limit is one and closed to all fishing from Sept.15 to and including Oct. 31; and
- Summerhill Lake – walleye limit is four.
For more information on all provincial fishing regulations, refer to the 2021 Manitoba Anglers’ Guide at manitobafisheries.com.
Manitobans looking for fisheries information such as contour maps, fisheries assessment summaries and stocking information can use the interactive Lake Information for Anglers website, which provides valuable information in an easily accessible format. The Lake Information for Anglers website can be found at manitobafisheries.com.
To prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as zebra mussels, surface water-users are reminded of the requirements when entering and exiting all water bodies in Manitoba. Additional decontamination and bait requirements are needed within AIS control zones. AIS requirements and set fines for offences are in effect year round. The AIS open-water season checklist is a step-by-step resource that can help surface water-users comply with the Manitoba government’s AIS regulations.
The province will again be operating watercraft inspection stations to help watercraft users be compliant with AIS requirements. Anyone transporting a powerboat, canoe, Jet Ski or other type of watercraft over land, must stop at the inspection stations when they are open. The set fine for failing to stop at a watercraft inspection station is $672.
Monitoring has revealed an establishing population of spiny waterflea in Cedar Lake, located west of Grand Rapids. As well, a single spiny waterflea has been detected in a sample taken from Manigotagan Lake located south east of Bissett. Followup monitoring will be conducted this open-water season to confirm or refute the presence of spiny waterflea in Manigotagan Lake. This small, predacious invertebrate can consume large quantities of zooplankton, which are a vital part of the food chain and the food source for many commercially and recreationally important fish species. Spiny waterflea were first found in Lake of the Woods’ Buffalo Bay in 1995, and can also be found in the Winnipeg River, Shoal Lake (Ontario/Manitoba), Lake Winnipeg and Playgreen Lake.
Both zebra mussels and spiny waterflea can have negative impacts to Manitoba’s aquatic ecosystems. Adult mussels can attach firmly to surfaces such as watercraft, trailers and other water-related equipment like anchors. Zebra mussel larvae (veligers) and spiny waterflea are tiny and can go unnoticed in water and be transported to new water bodies by undrained watercraft and equipment like fishing gear.
Manitobans are reminded that when outside, it is still important to practise social distancing according to current COVID-19 public health guidelines. For more information, visit manitoba.ca.
For more information on AIS, the open-water checklist, and location and hours of watercraft inspection stations, visit manitoba.ca.