FMZ 10 changes in the works

by Steve Galea | October 20, 2022
FMZ 10 map

A proposal that may change fishing regulations in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 10 is now available for public comment on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (ERO) until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12.

The 201-page Fisheries Management Plan posted by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) outlines the status of the zone’s fisheries, sets fish population objectives, and suggests regulatory options to better manage recreational and aquatic resources within the FMZ, which is located within the MNRF’s Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie District with some portions falling within Timmins, Wawa, Kirkland Land, and Chapleau Districts.

The document, developed by the FMZ 10 Advisory Council, has input from the First Nations’ and Metis’ communities, local anglers, business representatives, cottage owners, and the general public.

Proposed angling regulation changes in the French River

Walleye

To achieve FMZ 10’s objective of increasing mature spawning walleye equal to or greater than 350 mm and decrease mortality and biomass in the river, while maintaining quality and quantity of angling opportunities, the council has proposed two options.

Option 1: Maintain status quo.

Option 2: Modify size limits and seasons for walleye.

  • Size limits: none between 43-60 cm, not more than one greater than 60 cm.
  • Season: Open January 1 to the third Sunday in March, and the third Saturday in May to December 31.
  • Daily catch limits: four with Sport Fishing Licence and two with a Conservation Fishing Licence.

Pike

Option 1: Maintain status quo.

Option 2: Modify size limits and seasons. 

  • Prohibit keeping fish between 70-90 cm and allow only one fish greater than 90 cm.
  • Season: open January 1 to the third Sunday in March and the third Saturday in May to December 31.
  • Daily catch limits: four with a sport licence and two with a conservation licence.

Option 3: Modify size limits and seasons. 

  • Anglers possessing a sport licence cannot keep more than one greater than 61 cm, and none greater than 86 cm. Anglers with a conservation licence are prohibited from keeping fish greater than 61 cm.
  • Season: open January 1 to the third Sunday in March and the third Saturday in May to December 31.
  • Daily catch limits of four with sport licence and two with a conservation licence.

Bass

Option 1: Maintain status quo.

Option 2: Modify size limits and seasons.

  • Remove slot size limits.
  • Open the season from January 1 to the third Sunday in March and the third Saturday in May to December 31.
  • Daily catch limits of six with sport licence and two with a conservation licence.

Proposed muskie regulation changes zone-wide

For 2022, exceptions to the current zone-wide regulations are being proposed for the:

  • Goulais River – Upstream to the area known as Whitman Dam.
  • Echo River including Echo lake – Upstream to dam at 46.574046, -83.93532
  • Thessalon River – Upstream to Rydal Dam in Plummer Township at 46.36537, – 83.74196.
  • Mississagi River –Upstream to dam at Red Rock Falls.
  • Serpent River –Upstream to Highway 17.
  • Wanapitae River – Portion upstream of confluence with French River to Sturgeon Chutes.
  • French River – All waters of FMZ 10 and FMZ 11.

The proposed regulations for these waters are:

Option 1: Maintain status quo.

Option 2: Modify season and catch and possession limits.

  • Daily catch limit of one greater than 137 cm with a sport licence and none with a conservation licence.
  • Open the season from the third Saturday in June to December 15.

There is also a proposed Spanish River muskellunge exception upstream to the Hwy. 6 bridge (also include Aux Sables River from confluence with Spanish River, upstream to Hwy. 17):

Option 1: Maintain status quo (closed all year).

Option 2: Modify season and catch and possession limits.

  • Daily catch limit of one greater than 137 cm with a sport licence and none with a conservation licence.
  •  Open the season from the third Saturday in June to December 1.

Proposed pike regulations changes zone-wide

Option 1: Maintain status quo.

Option 2: Modify size limits.

• Size limit of none between 70-90 cm, and not more than one greater than 90 cm.

• Season: open all year.

• Daily catch limit of six with a sport licence and two with a conservation licence.

Option 3: Modify size limits.

• With a sport licence not more than one pike greater than 61 cm may be kept with, none greater than 86 cm. None greater than 61 cm with a conservation licence.

• Season: open all year.

• Daily catch limit of six with a sport licence and two with a conservation licence.

Lake trout and other angling regulations in the FMZ will remain unchanged.

To comment on the ERO Posting or to see the full draft of the FMZ10 Management Plan visit: https://ero.ontario.ca/notice/019-6024

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