Apsley Voice - June 2006 - Page 1

 Liz and Bill

June 2006


Restoring Jack’s Lake Walleye

by Barrie Richardson

The Jack Lake Cottagers’ Association Fishery Task Force was created to improve the Walleye fishery. However, before we start any effort we have to ask fishermen two questions.

Would you adjust your fishing habits if the Walleye fishery could be restored?  “Restoration” can be loosely defined as “a reasonable expectation to catch Walleye on an average of each outing”.
Did you know that habitat health, how we fish and what we keep are more essential to restoration the fishery than restocking?

The key question is #1.  Many fishermen think new limits and the use of slot sizes is a good thing for other people.  Catching that 24-incher and then putting it back is very hard.  But, that has to happen if mature specimens can do their job.  Take a camera and record your trophies.

Here is another question: “How would you feel if the MNR was to declare a ban on all fishing on Jack’s Lake for 5, 10 years?”   This is how Quebec starts its fishery restoration programs in both remote and accessible lakes.  Ontario employs user-friendly ways of bringing a fishery back to vigor.

MNR testing on Jack’s Lake shows that re-stocking the Walleye is presently a wasted effort.  The major goal is to increase the “biological space-per-species”1 available to Walleye.
  1. Catch and Release: 
 a) Keep one Walleye over 14 and under 18”
 b) Release all fish under 14 and over 19”  
  1. Catch, Cook or Bury:  Perch and Crappie.  Plus, smallmouth and Largemouth Bass are good tasting.
  1. Rehabilitation of spawning sites:  Walleye need shallow rocky beds in which to spawn.  They require a “rubble” type of bottom, not mud or a smooth stone bottom.  JLCA and the MNR are working together on restoring specific spawning shoals starting in 2006.  The spring walleye Watch has been carried out by volunteers.
Ice Fishing Fact.  Winter fishing does not provably depress the Walleye population.  Ice fishing helps reduce the trash-fish and Cisco making more Bio-space available to the Walleye.  Banning ice fishing will not improve Walleye catches. (Source: MNR data).  If the Fish Hut Removal date was the same for the North and South lakes, open-air fishing would reduce “meat-hunting”.

Meanwhile you can still fish for Walleye, just increase your appetite for Bass and Black Crappie ... both of which are great ‘eating’.  Walleye are not native to Jack’s Lake.  They were introduced by happenstance and soon decimated the Lake Trout and Muskie on this lake.  Luckily, ‘accidental’ stocking was in water conducive to Walleye, creating Jack’s Lake’s Walleye reputation. In the early years the lake was also not as accessible or susceptible to its present fishing pressure.

Restoring Jack’s Lake Walleye we have to reduce “space” competition by depleting the “trash fish”.  If we do that we can then restock and know that there will be “space’ for more Walleye.  Meanwhile the population of Walleye will increase through simple conservation and spawning ground rehabilitation.  Payback?   JLCA can accomplish a Walleye improvement in three to five years.
What can you do?  Fish sensibly.  The Catch and Release policy would still allow you to keep enough for the uniquely delicious Walleye shore lunch. 

A sense of ‘care and custody’ by all fishermen will do more than anything to increase the chances of getting a Walleye on your hook.  It is not hard to think “conservation’ and good fishing at the same time.

1. Bio-space means that every specie of fish requires space, food and breeding conditions.  If the “Bio-space” will only support a million Walleye of all ages, that is the absolute limit. If we stock another million Walleye, those new fish will decline and the population returns to the original one million.  One million would be the population of Walleye despite restocking.  “Bio-space” is created by reducing competing species especially the Sun-fish, Rock bass and Crappie.

Gil Watt & Fred Carthew  hold up a musky that was caught in Jack Lake.  Its not a walleye, but what a fish!!
New to the Apsley Voice:  
  • Opinion ... More or Less Democracy by Heather Brooks-Hill                                              Page 4
  • People in the Community ... A Profile   This issue profiles Dr. Charles (Chuck) Griffith          Page 3  
Also in this issue of the Apsley Voice:
  • Parks, Recreation and Birds                   Page 5
  • ATV's, Lions and Public School News   Page 7
  • Library Events and News                       Page 10
  • Seniors, Homeopathy and The Bard       Page 11

 Page 1         Bringing the News of Apsley & Surrounding Communities


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Other Pages in The Apsley Voice for June 2006 ...

Page   1: Restoring Jack's Lake Walleye
Page   2: Apsley Voice - Directory & Masthead
Page   3: Local News: Cafe Talk, Legion, Thanks to Janice Griffith and Community Profile: Joan Forsyth
Page   4: Local News: Council Term Change, Sister Jane and Peterborough Regional Health Care Centre
Page   5: Parks, Recreation & Birding

Page   6: Local News: Marvel Rapids Golf Activities and Mother's Day Contest Winners
Page   7: ATV's, Apsley School and Apsley Lions
Page   8: Classified Ads & Church News
Page   9: Philosophy and Community Health News
Page 10: Library Events and News
Page 11: Seniors, Homeopathic History and The Apsley Bard

© Apsley Voice 2006