December 20, 2015

Fishing License and Outdoor Card Reminder

It's that time of year again!
  • One year fishing license tags expire on December 31 of the year printed on the license tag.
  •  Three-year fishing license tags expire at the same time as the outdoor card, December 31 of their third year.
  • Outdoor cards expire on December 31 of the third year that the card was issued. You can find your card's expiry date right after the 15-digit card number. 
A valid fishing license includes 2 things:
  1. An Outdoor Card, valid for 3 calendar years.
  2. A fishing license tag (conservation or sport), valid for either 1 or 3 years.

November 30, 2015

Six Kinds of Fish this Winter

Walleye, Pike, Perch, Lake Trout, Brook Trout and Whitefish, oh my!

Here's an article on some of the top Northern Ontario ice-fishing spots for these delicious eaters. And some tips on how to catch them.

If you are planning to fish Brook Trout this winter, be sure to check with the MNR stocking program to find out which lakes are legal as not all Brook Trout fishing is legal during the winter months.


November 12, 2015

Ontario Takes Action Against Invasive Species

Ontario is taking further action to protect communities from the significant social, economic and ecological impacts of invasive species by passing the Invasive Species Act.

Northern Snakehead   Photo Credit: MSU
  • Globally, costs to the environment, agriculture and communities from invasive species are estimated to be $1.4 trillion — the equivalent of five per cent of the global economy and seven times the cost of natural disasters.
  • To report invasive species sightings, please call the Invading Species Hotline at 1-800-563-7711, or email
  • Download the free EDDMapS app to identify and report invasive species from your smartphone.

October 28, 2015

NO, NO, NO, NO but WHY?

CN says No, No, No, and No, to the October 6 plea for a short-term run of the Algoma passenger service to assist property owners in accessing cottages and camps that were abruptly abandoned when rail services ended on July 14, 2015 with no notice.

But the question that remains is why?

Linda Savory-Gordon (Co-Chair of the Coalition of Algoma Passenger Trains) said, "the response received by CN Railway reads that CN had said in July that it is permanently out of the passenger rail business and it is not a business interest to them."

I guess that answers why they will no longer run the passenger service on a permanent basis, but I'm left wondering why they won't help camp owners, their neighbors, in an emergency.

Savory-Gordon and CAPT are now asking CN to run a "special high rail vehicle" or bus that can travel on the rails to transport people to their properties. This would be for just a short time, allowing property owners to get in and winterize in order to prevent freezing water pipes, docks being damaged by lake ice, windows and screens being damaged because they were left unprotected and boats that are too close to the water disappearing during Spring flooding as lake ice breaks. And in some cases, boats are still in lakes.

October 07, 2015

Too Many Walleye = A $4,410 Fine

Seven were fined $630 each after pleading guilty to possessing more walleye than permitted under a Sport Fishing license. The party of seven were 22 Walleye over the limit.

Each is also prohibited from fishing in the Blanche River, it's tributaries and within one kilometer of the Blanche River for one year.

Source: Northern Life

For links to MNR information and the 2015 Ontario Fishing Regulations, click HERE

September 23, 2015

Operating Season for Three Ontario Parks Extended

Ivanhoe Lake, Fushimi Lake and René Brunelle Provincial Parks will continue operation through the 2019 camping season. The previous commitment was through the 2015 camping season.

Popular for wildlife, fishing and paddling, these 3 parks are stunning examples of the gems in Northern Ontario.

News Release HERE.

To learn more about each of these Provincial Parks...

August 24, 2015

Nipissing First Nation Council Moves to Close Commercial Walleye Fishery

"Nipissing First Nation (NFN) remains committed to the stewardship of Lake Nipissing and conserving the walleye fishery. On Monday, August 17th, NFN’s Chief and Council met to review reports and recommendations from NFN’s Natural Resources Department and decided to close the commercial walleye fishery effective at noon on August 22nd. This closure will remain in effect until the end of the 2016 Spring Fisheries moratorium."

Details Here
and Here 

August 12, 2015

Crown Land Camping

Is your next fishing trip going to include some Crown Land Camping? Here's what you need to know:

Canadian Residents:
  • Can camp for free up to 21 days at any one site in a calendar year.
  • Check if camping is allowed in a Conservation Reserve
Non-Residents 18 years and older:
  • Must be a non-resident camping permit to camp on Crown Land north of the French and Mattawa Rivers or in a Conservation Reserve anywhere in the province, unless otherwise prohibited.
  • Can camp up to 21 days at any one site in a calendar year.
  • Camping is NOT allowed in designated Green Zones 
  • Check if camping is allowed in a Conservation Reserve 
Non-Residents 18 years and older do NOT need a permit if you:
  • Rent a camping unit (tent, trailer, etc.) from a person who conducts business in Ontario
  • or your spouse owns property in Ontario
  • carry out duties as part of employment in Canada
  • stay on watercraft equipped for overnight accommodation, anchored over Provincial Crown Land covered by water. Stays are limited to 21 days.
  • are a charitable or non-profit group that is authorized by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to camp. To confirm eligibility, call 1-855-613-4256 well in advance of your trip.
Camping Permits cost $9.35 + tax per person per night.
You can buy your permit online, from participating ServiceOntario centres or from an authorized license issuer.

For more information about camping at a Provincial Park, see the Ontario Parks website.

Before starting a campfire, check local fire warnings and restrictions in the area.

Find out what activities you can participate in in each Conservation Reserve. In some areas you cannot use motorized vehicles.

Crown Land Use Policy Atlas

Please act responsibly. Thanks!

July 21, 2015

Long-Nose Gar

In lake spring and early summer their adhesive, and poisonous, eggs cling to stalks of grass. Within weeks, they can reach a foot long. Most anglers use a nylon rope lure. Always spot your prey first before casting within 6 inches of the predator's eye.

Source: Northern Ontario Travel
Has catching a long-nose gar been on your bucket list? Read On....

July 07, 2015

Freezing Fish

Personally, I'd rather eat what I catch and then go back out and catch more. Frozen fish does not even compare to fresh fish.

But if you've got to freeze fish, this is an excellent way to do so, especially if you're traveling some distance with your frozen fish in a cooler.

And I'd love to hear your thoughts? To freeze or not to freeze? What's your preference? And when you do freeze, what's your method? 

June 30, 2015

Fish License Free During National Fishing Week

Canada's National Fishing Week, Catch Fishing, is Saturday, July 4 through Sunday, July 12. Regulations still apply, but no license is necessary.

Check out some of these Ontario Events during this week for places to introduce your friends and family to fishing.

June 21, 2015

Plan Your Low-Impact Fishing Trip

Photo Source: CBC News

So you're heading to camp or the cottage for a weekend, week, or longer fishing trip. Plan for low-impact and avoid bush dumps or toting all that trash home.

Here are 15 tips for keeping the bush the bush and making your fishing trips a little more environmentally friendly.
  1. Bring only what you need. Plan well. 
  2. Buy fresh foods at a farmers' market and bring your own bag.
  3. Remove excess packaging and recycle it before you leave. For instance, a lot of food is put in a plastic bag, then inside inside a cardboard box that is wrapped in plastic on the outside. (See 2 and 4)
  4. Buy in bulk in refillable and reusable containers you are happy to take home. 
  5. No plastic wrap, please.
  6. Even if you have electricity, brew your coffee with something other than K-cups. A perk coffee pot with a reusable filter is perfect.
  7. Avoid travel-size containers for soap, shampoo, lotions, toothpaste. etc. Put all that in your own refillable containers. Better yet, encourage bulk containers to be left at camp or the cottage.
  8. Bring or install a water filter. If it's your camp, install one. If you are visiting, a simple backpacking water filter works fine for a week. HINT: The person who sits on the porch enjoying the view and pumping lake water from one bucket to another is excused from cooking and dishes. Bottled water is a huge environmental burden.It is estimated that over 3 liters of water are used to manufacture 1 liter of bottled water. 
  9. Choose reusable drink containers. An insulated cup that can be taken out in the boat or used at camp is perfect. Red Solo cups are not camp friendly, even if you do write your names on them.
  10. Whether you buy fishing equipment, cooking equipment, camp chairs, toys or anything else to take to camp or use at camp, buy quality items. These things should last numerous seasons and not end up in the trash at the end of your trip. 
  11. Take your reusable bait boxes to the bait shop and avoid all those little plastic disposable containers.
  12. Bring reusable dishes, cutlery and glasses. In most cases, your camp or cottage will have all that waiting for you. If you're camping, ask each person to bring his or her own place setting. Yup, you've got to do dishes. Enjoy the process and teach the kids.
  13. Bring all recycling back with you. Yes, I know, it's a pain in the butt. Just do it. You'll be a better person for it. Assign someone to be in charge of a recycling system. If you think about it before you leave, you'll be surprised at how little recycling you have to do.
  14. Choose a spot far enough away and compost vegetables only. No meat, cheese, grease, animal waster and other bear-attracting items, please. 
  15. If it's not your camp, ask the owners if they recycle or compost. Use your best judgement if they say yes to recycling. Some camps say they do when it really goes into the camp dump. You'll know if you pay attention. And asking helps educate others and raise their level of consciousness. 

June 05, 2015

May 05, 2015

Finally An Answer...

... to "What happens when a pike swims off with your lure?"

I'm relieved to know I'm not killing Northern Pike unnecessarily. Good news for the pike, not so much for my lost lures and pocketbook.

But for every lure I've lost to a pike, I do hope someone has found it.

"The pike shook the lures with ease." And pike are more stressed by long handling and air exposure than just releasing them with the lure.

Source: CBC News Thunder Bay

April 17, 2015

Magnetawan Hatchery Lives Another Year

In a surprise decision, the MNRF allowed the Almaguin Fish Improvement Association to continue stocking walleye in Ahmic and Cecebe Lakes until March 21, 2016.

Read more here...Source: North Bay Nipissing News

April 09, 2015

Ice-Off Northern Pike

While you're waiting for ice off, here's an interesting and information article, Springtime is Trophy Northern Pike Time, about first-ice-off fishing for big northerns.

Source: Siouxland Outdoors

Start lining up your shallow bays with currents.

I have several favorite Northern Ontario lakes that have more than one shallow bay with a current. That's where you'll find me at ice off.

And please share photos of your ice-off Northerns with me here. I'm happy to publish them.

April 02, 2015

March 18, 2015

Railmark to take over ACR Passenger Rail Service

Railmark Canada Ltd has finalized its agreement to continue operation the Algoma Central Railway (ACR) service in danger of ending this year on March 31.

This is a huge boost and relieve to camp owners, businesses and communities along this 100-year-old plus rail line.

You can read the details at SaultOnline.

You can learn more about the history of the ACR HERE.

March 11, 2015

Get The Kids Working in Natural Resources This Summer!

Applications are open for Ontario youth who want summer jobs in Natural Resources and Forestry.  Find your summer job with the MNR.

  • There are more than 35 government programs to help youth build skills, start a business or find a job.
  • In 2015, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is offering more than 840 youth employment opportunities in Northern Ontario.
  • In 2014, Ontario’s Summer Jobs programs allocated almost $78.5 million, which helped 117,217 students find summer jobs and access employment services.

March 03, 2015

Ontario Drive-In Fishing

 If you drive-in fishing is important to you, here's a wonderful resource for fishing Northern Ontario in Algoma Country Drive-In Fishing.

February 24, 2015

Clean A Perch In 10 Seconds

Now here's a perch-cleaning technique to aspire to. And I love that he gets it done while still on the ice. Nice!

February 18, 2015

A Fun Way To Support The Algoma Central Railway

The Algoma Central Railway (ACR) is, in some cases, the only source of transportation to many private and outfitter fishing and hunting camps along the line. Many are not able to drive to camp or even fly in.

If you would like to support the ACR and have a delightful weekend, here's a 3-Day-Train Event.

February 12, 2015

It's Free Fishing Weekend In Ontario

This coming weekend is Ontario's Free Fishing weekend. There's a lot happening from derbies to lessons and of course eating and fun. Check out some of the fishing events during Free Fishing Weekend at Ontario Family Fishing Events.

February 10, 2015

Look At What It Takes To Double Ice Fishing Success

Okay, I'm conflicted. I'm all for doubling my ice fishing success. And, I'm not sure I want to take to the ice with all that technology. WiFi, oh my! What do you say? Would love to hear your opinions on this article at Ontario Fishing Network.

February 03, 2015

Know Your Regulations and Behave Yourself

Fishing violations on Lake Nipissing result in a $1,500 fine.
Fishing violations result in jail time.

Those who fish are generally very considerate of our environment and our need to preserve our resources. These stories create a bad reputation for all of us who enjoy the sport legally. Please folks, go out there and have fun, know your regulations and behave yourself.

January 28, 2015

Alewives, Vitamin B and Steelhead

There is speculation from New York State's Department of Environmental Concern (DEC) that Steelhead in Lake Ontario may be stressed by a lack of vitamin B in their diet; there primary food source being alewives.

As of now, it's simply speculation. But there is some anecdotal evidence of Early Mortality Syndrome in Steelhead.

Read more at WXXI News

January 20, 2015

All About The Northern Ontario Walleye Trail (NOWT)

Do you fish tournaments? Or are you toying with the idea of fishing your first tournament?

"Walleye Tournaments started popping up all over Northern Ontario as the sport started to grow." ... "Today we see tournament anglers coming from all over Ontario and some of the U.S. to compete in these tournaments."

Here's an interview by David W. Reid with Cory Nephin, NOWT Board Director and President.


January 09, 2015

Ontario Ice Fishing Report

The Ontario Ice Fishing Report posts conditions and species, updated every Thursday. Or so they say. Updates seem to be a little slow, but each area/lake includes names and phone numbers if you want to give them a call and get the latest reports on your destination lake.