The Freshwater Phil guide to Montreal shore fishing spots

Montreal's best shore fishing spots

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Sunfish bag limits in Ontario

Happy 2010 to all readers! This is my first post this season, still haven't got around to ice fishing, been too busy.

Logged on to the MNR web site to renew my Ontario license yesterday, figured I check out the new rules. Turns out that zone 18 where I do much of my Ontario fishing now has bag limits for Sunfish. Posted on http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/278713.pdf

OK, limits on a new species are nothing new, but this new rule has to be one of the strangest ones I've seen to date.

To begin with, they sate that "Many anglers from the US travel to Zone 18 specifically target sunfish, and they generate millions for the local economy".

Does this sound normal? People actually come across the border to chase the the almighty sunfish, when we've got the country's biggest muskies, walleyes, smallmouth bass and carp swimming in the same waters? Are Americans that desperate?

Now for part 2: The bag limit is 300 fish. Doesn't that seem just a "tad" high? If they claim to be doing this to protect the species, how's that going to help? Besides, are they implying that up until now, Americans have been taking more than 300 sunfish back across the border?
Who the heck is going to clean al those sunfish, and how much meat are they going to be left with by the time they're done?

On the bright side, they are alowing only 30 fish over 7 inches, so they are offering a bit of extra protection for the "giants".

My kids have had great days catching tons of big Bluegills and pumpkinseeds, but personally, I've never seen any adults targeting sunfish around here. We also never kept any, just not worth the mess and effort.

Is there something here that I'm missing / don't know about, or is this the most ridiculous fishing story of the year?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sunfish ........who cares....little egg stealers is all they are, them and blue gill, between them and the perch all true gamefish eggs are at risk of being eaten by the sunfish and blue gills, i`m sure there won`t be any population explosions that are that noteworthy even if there are less sunfish and blue gill, maybe just bigger perch, and thats not a bad thing.

Barzilai said...

Hello. I remember fishing for bluegills and that sort off a row boat in Loch Raven Reservoir near Baltimore, on old shad darts, and catching them one after the other. We filleted and fried them fresh, and I still remember how good they were. I've since gone on charters in Lake Michigan, caught brown trout, cohos and stuff, and they were good, too, maybe because of all the mercury and pcbs, served a crowd of sixty, but those sunfish still stand out.

Alan said...

From a US perspective we are not desperate we just like bluegills. What's weird is most Canadian anglers don't fish for them and apparently don't want us to fish for them either. what once was a win win will fall out to be a lose lose for the local economy. Here's a fish you guys don't want and we are glad to exorbitant license fees, accommodation rates, obtain passports and drive 6 to 8 hours to come up ad pump millions into your economy to get, but if you don't want our millions you can keep your bluegill.