MNRF to conduct fall walleye index netting program on Mindemoya

MANITOULIN—The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) has undertaken a fish stocking program this year on Manitoulin, as well as a fisheries netting survey on Lake Kagawong and now the ministry has announced that it will be conducting a Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) program on Lake Mindemoya.

“Yes, again this fall the MNRF will be conducting Fall Walleye Index Netting (FWIN) on Lake Mindemoya to further assess walleye populations,” stated Wayne Selinger, local biologist with the MNRF, last Friday. “We have evaluated the status of walleye populations in Lake Mindemoya five times since 1997 using the (FWIN) protocol.”

Mr. Selinger explained, “the survey will be completed when surface temperatures are between 15 degrees Celsius and 10 degrees Celsius. Standard gillnets with a range of mesh sizes designed to catch a variety of species and sizes will be set at randomly selected locations around the lake. All fish captured will be sampled to obtain biological information.”

“The information gathered will allow us to estimate walleye abundance in the lake, explore growth rates, reproductive condition, year class strength, etc,” said Mr. Selinger.

Mr. Selinger turned his attention to fish stocking activities the MNRF has undertaken on Manitoulin this year. “The MNRF Sudbury District stocked the following fish on Manitoulin Island in 2017: Lake Manitou, 13,780 brook trout yearlings; Whitefish (Otter) Lake, 1,800 splake yearlings; 11,390 walleye fingerlings in Silver Lake; and 40,120 walleye fingerlings and 968,000 walleye fry on Lake Kagawong.”

“These numbers do not include stocking that may have occurred by the Upper Great Lakes Management Unit in the waters of Lake Huron,” said Mr. Selinger. “Blue Jay Creek Fish Culture Station also provided the Gore Bay Game and Fish Club with over 10,000 walleye fingerlings in support of its advanced culture project on Lake Kagawong.”

Mr. Selinger was also asked about MNRF crews having conducted a fisheries netting survey on Lake Kagawong this past summer and it has been rumoured that there were good catches of walleye resulting from ongoing introduction efforts.

“A standard netting survey was completed on Lake Kagawong this summer as part of the provincial Broad-Scale Monitoring Program,” said Mr. Selinger. “Results of the survey are not yet available because the fish still need to be aged and the data needs to be entered and analyzed. For more information about Ontario’s Broad-Scale Monitoring Program please visit this link https://www.ontario.ca/page/broad-scale-monitoring-program.