MNRF changes common carp fishing regulations

·2 min read

TORONTO – The provincial government announced new measures meant to make carp fishing more accessible in southern Ontario including along the St. Lawrence River.

The new regulations, announced February 24th, allow anglers to use up to three lines when fishing for common carp.

“This will help more anglers take advantage of Ontario’s world-class carp fishing opportunities,” said Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry John Yakabuski.

The regulation changes cover zones 12 through 20 including Lakes Huron, Erie, Ontario, and the Ottawa River.

“The St. Lawrence River system and tributaries are well-known as a fishing destination for carp anglers,” said Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry MPP Jim McDonell. “This new measure will make carp more attractive as a sportfish, which will also help to support local tourism operators who host international clients.”

There are a few conditions for anglers to follow if using more than one line. Bait used by anglers must be plant-based or artificial corn. Those shoreline fishing cannot have their lines more than two metres apart. If fishing from a boat, all the lines need to be on board with the angler.

The ministry said conditions are to lower the risk of catching non-Carp species of fish, and reduce crowding of anglers at popular shoreline fishing locations.

Matt Windle, a research scientist with the St. Lawrence River Institute said that the common carp are an introduced, non-native species of fish originally from Asia.

“The fish can cause damage to local aquatic ecosystems by reducing water clarity, uprooting vegetation, and competing with native fish species for food sources,” he said.

“Although technically not classified as invasive, they do cause problems for other native fish in the region, and as such I am in favour of the proposed plan to adopt multi-line fishing for this species, with the caveat that there be measures in place to prevent increased bycatch of native species.”

The carp fishing season opens this year on May 1st and runs until July 31st.

Phillip Blancher, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Leader