The main focus for the Director of Fisheries is to advance the interests of fishing on Kawagama and Bear Lakes through research, education programs and by being a liaison between the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry ('MNRF') and the KLCA Board on behalf of the cottagers of Kawagama and Bear Lakes.
Each year, the KLCA's annual Fisheries Report highlights some of our past year’s accomplishments, and future programs pertaining to:
- protecting fish and aquatic legislative priorities of the MNRF;
- assisting in the coordination of science-based conservation surveys and studies;
- connecting more of the KLCA membership to fish and wildlife conservation; and
- fostering conservation leadership amongst our membership.
Kawagama will host another SPIN study this coming year, along with a full Broadscale Fisheries study this summer. Summer Profundal Index Netting (SPIN) Surveys are a protocol which nets fish within a particular section of a lake for a two-hour period, and captured fish are measured and released. Temperature and oxygen data of the waters are also recorded. SPIN methodology samples larger bodied species that live below the thermocline. Warmer water species such as bass are typically not captured and recorded. This data is used by the Ministry to update fish consumption guides and, to a lesser extent, water quality data. Broadscale Fisheries Monitoring Program is a much deeper and thorough study of the life in our lake and overall health of our environment. Broadscale studies are intended to verify the abundance and health of all species of fish in our lakes, providing data on the biodiversity including the monitoring of invasive species, and are carried out over a multi-week period.
Both of these programs are vital pieces in understanding the biodiversity of our waters, and are fundamental building blocks in enhancing and protecting our waters. Updates on both of these important programs will be sent out in future email communications.
Beyond protecting and enhancing our fisheries, I personally have a keen interest in passing along my passion for the sport of fishing to my two daughters, and extended family members. As the KLCA's mission is to preserve and maintain our precious resources for now, and into the future, what could be more fitting than to focus on this message. Those of you who have introduced and nurtured your children through this magnificent sport will instantly know the great feeling of satisfaction this mentorship brings. For those of you who have not had the pleasure, the MNRF has a guide which speaks to this in detail, and the document is available for downloading here.
Some of the highlights:
- when you introduce a child to fishing, they learn by copying what you do. Please set a good example by teaching them how to fish safely and responsibly. The lessons they learn from you will be with them for a lifetime. Help protect our natural resources for future generations;
- fishing is easy to learn, and can be as inexpensive as you wish;
- fishing is truly one of the few sports one can do at any age, and a family can do together;
- opens up lines of communication with your family;
- creates common ground and shared experiences;
- fishing encourages problem solving and decision making;
- connects one with our lake and its natural resources; and finally,
- there is no other recreational activity that is as relaxing and good for one’s well being.
Tips to make your family fishing event fun:
- fish from the dock or from a boat. Most kids who have never fished won't care if its land or water based;
- go for the little guys! Our lakes are full of bass and are relatively easy to catch. Save the trolling for your young veteran fishing enthusiasts;
- make the tackle simple. A spin cast or spinning rod is a good starting point. In fact getting them involved in building a simple tackle kit adds to the excitement;
- bait, what could be easier than using worms (in fact my kids used to love to pick their own worms);
- be patient. Lines tangle. Hooks snag;
- timing: Don't stay out too long, always leave them wanting more;
- be a role model and wear your life jacket.
Have a happy fishing season!