The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s (MNRF) fish-stocking efforts have, for the most part, been on target throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
MNRF Senior Media Relations Officer Jolanta Kowalski said the MNRF’s COVID-related procedural changes, initiated at the onset, have allowed Ontario’s nine provincial fish culture stations to remain fully operational while ensuring staff safety. Changes included cancelling volunteer help at stocking events until it is safe to do so.
This year, truck stocking began in April, and, in the Southern Region, aerial stocking commenced on April 25, gradually expanding northward.
Following enhanced safety measures, MNRF staff was also able to complete its wild walleye spawn collection for 2021. “We currently expect to meet all of our stocking targets in 2021, including those for walleye,” Kowalski added
In 2020, the MNRF met its targets for all species including Atlantic salmon, aurora trout, brook trout, brown trout, splake, lake trout, lake whitefish, rainbow trout, and chinook salmon. Walleye was the exception due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 at that time.