Lack of walleye found in Lake Mindemoya a concern for Fish and Game Club

KAGAWONG—The results of the recent Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre (A/ORC) broad scale monitoring fish study on Lake Mindemoya has provided information that is of concern for members of the United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin (UFGCM), particularly in the area of walleye populations.

“The A/ORC carried out a survey, which will be similar to a study being carried out the MNR (Ministry of Natural Resources) later this fall,” said Al Holroyd, a member of the UFGCM at a meeting last week. “Then the results of the two studies will be put together. Interestingly, one of the main concerns that has been raised is whether the walleye are reproducing naturally,” he told the meeting. He said that only 66 walleye were caught, a small number.

“It appears the numbers of walleye are down,” said Jim Sloss, UFGCM chair.

“Yes, there were only 66 walleye caught in the study, and no small ones were caught,” said Mr. Holroyd.

“This could certainly be indicating a problem,” said Mr. Sloss. He suggested the club could consider sending a letter to MNR area biologist Wayne Selinger, requesting MNR planting records in the Manitoulin area over the past few years to look at what lakes are being stocked and how many have been stocked.

Mr. Sloss told the Recorder that, “one of the things we need to know is what lakes fish are being stocked in and how many. For instance, if Tobacco Lake is not being stocked, we would like to see this happen and if it is being done this should be continued. One of the oldest lakes on the Island that has been well known for its walleye population in the past has been Windfall Lake, but I understand the fishery is not good there.”

“We will see how the MNR monitoring goes in Lake Mindemoya and see if they have the same results as the A/ORC,” said Mr. Sloss. “We also want to know exactly what is going on, and provide input on what could be done to restore the fish populations. The MNR has been very cooperative on projects and information like this, and we want to move forward along with them.”

Keith Nahwegahbow, fisheries technician with A/ORC, provided a summary of the BSM carried out on Mindemoya Lake August 12-23. In an email to Mr. Holroyd dated September 5 he reported, “a total of 2,380 fish were caught in 40 net sets. The composition is located on the following table: yellow perch, 1,904 caught or 80.50 percent of the total number caught; rock bass, 123 or 5.17 percent; common shiner, 89 or 3.74 percent; walleye, 66 or 2.77 percent; blacknose shiner, 58 or 2.44 percent; smallmouth bass, 52 or 2.18 percent; white sucker, 40 or 1.68 percent; lake whitefish, 20 or 0.84 percent; cisco, 7 or 0.29 percent; log perch, five or 0.21 percent; spottail shiner, three or 0.13 percent; rainbow smelt, two or 0.08 percent; northern pike, one or 0.04 percent; and fathead minnow, one or 0.04 percent.

Mr. Nahwegahbow mentioned in his email, “Sixty-six walleye were caught during the project. The smallest walleye was 700 grams, which is about a pound and a half. We should have caught some smaller than this. This information can be concerning. I won’t have all the information until all data is analyzed.”

Tom Sasvari