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?