Posted on: May 7, 2020 | Environment
The 2020-21 fishing season officially kicks off Saturday, May 9 in the Southern Division and Saturday, May 16 in the rest of the province, Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen announced today.
“Recreational fishing is a great way to get outside, explore the outdoors and enjoy Manitoba’s wilderness,” said Pedersen. “Manitoba has an abundance of rivers and lakes that provide some of the world’s best fresh-water angling opportunities and can still be enjoyed by Manitobans in a safe, responsible manner while practising social distancing.”
Due to late spring conditions, many fish will 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. Manitobans are also reminded to exercise caution around flowing water and deteriorating ice conditions while enjoying Manitoba’s fishing opportunities.
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 www.manitoba.ca/covid19.
The Manitoba government announced on April 9 the launch of its new, online service for the sale of outdoor licences and permits including angling licences. 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 www.manitobaelicensing.ca.
Anglers also need to be familiar with Manitoba’s fishing regulations. On April 1, a new regulation came into force that states all walleye and sauger under 35 centimetres in length must be released from the Red River, Winnipeg River below the Pine Falls Dam, and Lake Winnipeg and its tributaries up to the first impassable barrier. This regulation will help support walleye and sauger populations in these fisheries. For more information on all provincial fishing regulations, refer to the 2020 Manitoba Anglers’ Guide at www.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.
After three years of monitoring Singush Lake, no evidence of the presence of zebra mussels has been found. As a result, the lake, located in Duck Mountain Provincial Park, will reopen for day-use boaters in 2020.
For more information on AIS, Singush Lake or to access the open-water checklist, and location and hours of watercraft inspection stations, visit www.manitoba.ca/stopais.