A daily yellow perch creel-limit for sport anglers in Canadian
waters of western and central Lake Eriehas been
put into effect by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
The limit in the basins now will be 50 perch a day for resident
or nonresident anglers having the full sport-fishing license,
and 25 a day for anglers having the conservation license.
The regulations also apply to the Detroit River and Rondeau
Previously the province did not limit the daily sport catch
of perch in western and central Lake Erie.
John Cooper, an OMNR spokesman in London, said that the
new limits are part of Ontario’s cooperative agreement with
fishery agencies in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New
York in 2000 to take a conservative approach to the harvest
of yellow perch. It took 18 months, he explained, to establish
such sport rules.
The cooperative agreement is aimed at conserving the lake’s
perch stocks while they recover from lows registered in
the early 1990s.
"Many factors that regulate the abundance of yellow perch
stocks, such as climate, weather, habitat, exotic species,
phosphorus management, and food-web changes are difficult
to control directly," the ministry said. "Controlling the
harvest of perch is easier to manage and the response is
The province previously took steps to reduce the commercial
netting of perch, especially during spring spawning time.
"Although the Lake Erie ecosystem has changed dramatically
over the last decade, the basic habitat requirements for
yellow perch, such as moderate water-depth, water temperature,
and productivity levels, remain intact," the OMNR said.
"There are signs that yellow perch stocks have been recovering
in response to recent management actions taken by the five
Lake Erie fishery agencies to reduce exploitation."
Ohio, for example, has maintained its 30-perch daily sport
limit and reduced commercial net-quotas as its contribution
to perch conservation.
discussion of the new Ontario perch sport-limits was presented
in greater detail than usual. The purpose is to illustrate
the depth of the province’s commitment to addressing Lake
Erie fishery issues and taking necessary management actions
- something that too often is poorly understood down here
on the south shore. Few parties here
appreciate or understand the OMNR’s commitment to walleye-stock
conservation, either. The ministry has
been a full-fledged player in that cooperative conservation
game as well, and has labored mightily to reduce commercial
walleye quotas on the north shore. So doing is a major contribution
to walleye conservation efforts lakewide, even though the
action is a political hot potato in the province because
of the strong, influential, commercial-netting lobby there.
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