Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters

May 05, 2008 16:18 ET

May marks the beginning of walleye season

Anglers encouraged to check fishing summary, safety gear, before heading out

Attention: Assignment Editor, Environment Editor, News Editor, Sports Editor, Travel/Tourism Editor ONTARIO- ONTARIO FEDERATION OF ANGLERS AND HUNTERS--(Marketwire - May 5, 2008) - For thousands of anglers in Ontario, May means one thing-walleye. In most of the province, walleye season opens during one of the first three Saturdays in May. In parts of Georgian Bay and Lake Ontario, (Zones 14 and 20), the season is already underway.
The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (O.F.A.H.) encourages all anglers to take the time before heading out on the water, to ensure that they are aware of the new fishing regulations that may affect them. This past January, the Ministry of Natural Resources (M.N.R.) began implementing new provincial fishing regulations, a substantial change from the previous system. One of the major shifts is a move to Fisheries Management Zones from divisions. Anglers should familiarize themselves with their zone regulations as well as the many exceptions for each. The Ministry has introduced an interim strategy for inland walleye (Zones 15, 16,17,18) that includes reduced catch limits and size limits. As well, new live bait regulations are in place. The Fishing Ontario 2008-2009 Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary, available at service centres, tackle shops and online, contains most of the information anglers will need.
"Fishing is an important part of our heritage, and a fantastic way to spend a day in the great outdoors," says O.F.A.H. Executive Director Mike Reader. "Making sure that you know the regulations, have the required licences and permits, and are fully equipped for safety, is a smart way to start the season."
Fast fishing and boating safety facts:
- Most Ontario residents between 18 and 64 years old require an outdoor card and a licence to fish, and must carry the card when fishing.
- A Pleasure Craft Operator Card is required (and must be carried) to operate a small-motorized boat.
- Seasons and catch limits vary across fish species and zones; check the new regulations summary carefully.
- Live bait can no longer be released into any water, including the water in which it was caught.
- Most small passenger vessels, including canoes, must be safety-equipped with a paddle or anchor, a bailer, sound signaling device, buoyant heaving line and a flashlight. Regulations vary by size and type of vessel.
- Every person in the boat must have a Canadian-approved, properly fitting lifejacket or personal flotation device with him or her.

With over 83,000 members and 655 member clubs, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters is the leading fishing, hunting and conservation organization in Ontario. For more information about the O.F.A.H. visit www.ofah.org, for information on fishing in Ontario, or to download the fishing summary, visit http://www.ontario.ca/fishing; for boating safety and operator regulations, go to www.tc.gc.ca/boatingsafety. /For further information: Jeremy Holden
Fisheries Biologist

Contact Information

  • Lezlie Goodwin, Communications Coordinator, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters
    Primary Phone: 705-748-6324 ext. 270
    E-mail: lezlie_goodwin@ofah.org