The Ministry of Natural Resources has to be careful about changes it makes in live bait regulations in the province.
The baitfish industry, anglers and the tourist sector have a lot at stake in how minnows and leeches are used.
The MNR is undertaking a provincial bait policy review with the aim of preventing any more invasive species from entering Ontario’s waters. The intent is good; the approach may need some changes.
The ministry is looking at all possible approaches to bait use and movement by anglers, including the status quo. The options address angler use and movement, such as restricting movement of bait between fisheries management zones; parks and protected areas; commercial sales and transport; allocation; and reporting.
Public comments will be used to shape the final proposals, the MNR said. Like the Northwestern Ontario Sportsmen’ s Alliance, among others, we question some of the ministry’s proposals.
For the time being, NOSA supports the status quo on rules governing the use of live bait in Ontario because it says none of the MNR’s proposed recommendations will actually address any perceived threat of invasive species introduction to Ontario.