MNR panned for not fish stocking Lake Mindemoya

KAGAWONG—The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) has come under fire for its position on not stocking fish in Lake Mindemoya.

“There have been a couple of things that have been interesting in discussions I’ve had with Wayne Selinger (MNR area biologist) recently,” said Jim Sloss, chair of the United Fish and Game Clubs of Manitoulin (UFGCM), at a meeting held last week. “There seems to be a lot of support in principle to having our hatchery raise walleye in the summer. Paul Methner brought this issue up and Wayne feels that it could work.”

However, it was pointed out the local MNR can’t approve the fish stocking of big waters; this would have to come from the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit (UGLMU).

Mr. Selinger, “has said Mindemoya Lake will never be stocked,” stated UGLMU member Jack Hayes. “He has blamed zebra mussels and rainbow smelt populations for this.”

“They (MNR) can’t keep stocking just Lake Kagawong and Windfall Lake should be stocked as well as Lake Mindemoya,” continued Mr. Hayes.

Mr. Sloss pointed out, “we all read the stories about the study carried out by First Nations (Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resources Centre, AOFRC) and Wayne will be presenting the results of a netting study the MNR did on Lake Mindemoya last fall. It will be interesting if the results are different than the other (AOFRC) study.”

However, Mr. Sloss said “when you see that 2.24 percent of the fish caught in the AOFRC study were walleye, it shows the hatchery has collapsed.”

It was mentioned that it appears Mr. Selinger has the final say on stocking and his boss supports no stocking of Lake Mindemoya, said one member of the committee.

Mr. Hayes stated, “there is no oxygen below 40 feet in Lake Mindemoya. Whitefish can go to the bottom, but other fish can’t. That’s what’s killing the lake.”