The most significant regulation change Ontario anglers can expect in 2021 will affect Lake Ontario bass fishing.
In FMZ 20, the largemouth bass season will still open on the third Saturday in June and close on Dec. 31, but the opening of smallmouth bass will be pushed back to the first Saturday in July and close on Dec. 31.
This is to provide increased protection for nesting smallmouth, said Dan Taillon of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) Fisheries Section.
Both species will have a new catch-and-release-only open season from Jan. 1 to May 10 each year.
While mostly administrative, these additional changes include:
- Removal of High Lake (FMZ 5) and addition of Raynar and McLeod Lakes (FMZ 7) to ‘additional fishing opportunities’ lists
- Clarification that the size-based regulation for lake trout does not apply to the additional fishing opportunities in FMZ 11
- Clarification of the descriptions of Dryberry Lake, Nipigon Bay, and Big Sound of Georgian Bay
- Extension of the ‘additional fishing opportunities’ on the Saugeen River.
Anglers are also reminded that the MNRF has been working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to implement the outcomes of June 2019 consultations on the use of multiple lines for common carp and clarification of the rules associated with ‘chumming’.
The changes were not finalized when the new summary was printed. If approved, the MNRF will communicate changes via Ontario.ca and social media channels, officials stated.