Temagami Stewardship Council


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Fisheries News
EBR Registry Number: XB05E6802
Type of Notice: Information 
Ministry: Natural Resources 
Status of Notice: Information Date 
Information Notice Posted: 2005/10/13 


© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2005

Title : 
Ministry of Natural Resources announces the development of a coordinated strategy to protect lake trout populations in Ontario 
General Reason for Notice: 
This notice is for your information. The Environmental Bill of Rights does not require this notice to be placed on the Environmental Registry, however, section 6 of the Act does allow the Environmental Registry to be used to share information about the environment with the public. 

Further Specific Explanation: 
The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) is posting this notice on the Environmental Registry for information purposes to inform the public about the development of a coordinated strategy to protect lake trout populations in Ontario. MNR will be posting the policy proposals that stem from the coordinated strategy on the EBR Registry for review and comment later this fall.
Short Description: 
The coordinated strategy will consist of several components: 
- a science based, uniform approach to determining shoreline development capacity on lake trout lakes using a standardized dissolved oxygen criterion; 
- consolidation of land management policies for Crown lands adjacent to lake trout lakes, with subsequent amendments to the relevant area-specific land use policies in the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas; 
- regulatory proposals for the management of the lake trout sport fishery; and 
- confirmation of lakes identified for lake trout management. As part of its coordinated strategy to protect lake trout populations, MNR will be inviting public comment on a policy proposal for a uniform standard dissolved oxygen criterion for determining shoreline development capacity on lake trout lakes. The dissolved oxygen criterion will support recent (March 2005) revisions to the Planning Act Provincial Policy Statements (PPS) by providing technical guidance to municipalities for the protection of lake trout populations. 
Secondly, MNR will be posting a policy proposal, inviting public comment on a consolidation of its land management policies and practices for Crown land adjacent to lake trout lakes. These policies generally limit sale and development of Crown land on lake trout lakes, where future land uses would have a negative impact on lake trout habitat. The land management policy consolidation will lead to amendments to the area-specific land use policies for lands adjacent to lake trout lakes, as documented in the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas.
Furthermore, MNR will be posting a policy proposal, inviting public comment on regulatory proposals for the management of Ontario’s lake trout sport fishery. The posting will identify the most effective regulatory options to ensure sustainability for lake trout in Ontario, based on existing science and current knowledge. The development of a standardized approach to managing lake trout in Ontario is also part of a provincial initiative to streamline Ontario's sport fishing regulations (see web-link below).
These proposed initiatives will apply to lakes that are currently designated and managed by MNR as lake trout lakes. A comprehensive and complete list of lake trout lakes will be posted on the EBR Registry. The list will be subject to revision from time to time, as updated scientific assessment and inventory data become available. Subsequent revisions to the list of designated lake trout lakes will be posted on the EBR Registry for public comment.
MNR currently has a range of policies for the management of lake trout lakes. Some of them are documented in local or regional fisheries strategies, and some of them are contained in the Crown Land Use Policy Atlas. There is a need to update and clarify these policies in order to support effective management. The lake trout is the only major, indigenous sport fish species in Ontario that is adapted to oligotrophic lakes (i.e., lakes with low levels of nutrients, high dissolved oxygen levels, and typically deep areas with very cold water). Its slow growth, late maturity, low reproductive potential and slow replacement rate make it susceptible to a variety of stresses. It is an important component of Ontario’s rich biodiversity, because of the unique character of the species and the unique gene pools of many of its individual stocks.
The lake trout is a sensitive species that is adapted to a narrow range of environmental conditions. It is an excellent indicator of the health of the fragile aquatic ecosystems of which it is a part.
Lake trout lakes are rare. Only about one percent of Ontario’s lakes (i.e., 2,200) contain lake trout, but this represents 20-25% of all lake trout lakes in the world. The province, therefore, has a great responsibility to manage them wisely. The lake trout is an important fishery resource in Ontario. It is a preferred species among many anglers, both resident and non-resident, and provides a diversity of fishing opportunities.
There has been a general decline in both the quality of the sport fishery for lake trout and in lake trout habitat in many lakes. Lake trout, and lake trout lakes, are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of human activities, including exploitation, enrichment from cottage septic systems, acidification, species introductions, and habitat destruction. Because of their high sensitivity to disturbance, special protection is required for these lakes and their lake trout populations. Approximately 5% of the province's lake trout populations have already become extinct; 43% of the extinct populations were in southeastern Ontario.
Purpose of the Notice:
To advise the public that the MNR is developing a coordinated strategy to protect lake trout populations in Ontario. Comments are not being sought at this stage.
Other Relevant Information: 
The web-links which appear towards the bottom of this notice provide additional information: 
- Planning Act Provincial Policy Statement 
- Recreational fisheries management framework
Other Public Consultation: 
MNR will be undertaking focused stakeholder consultation with key groups on the various components of this coordinated strategy. Selected municipalities and other interested stakeholders will be directly invited to comment when subsequent proposal notices are posted on the Registry later this fall.
Contact Person: 
Warren Dunlop, Aquatic Ecologist 
MNR Fish and Wildlife Branch, Fisheries Section 
300 Water St. 
Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5 
PHONE: (705) 755-5944 FAX: (705) 755-1957
Additional material in support of this notice is available by clicking the following hyperlink(s): http://www.mah.gov.on.ca/userfiles/HTML/nts_1_23137_1.html 
html http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/ebr/fmz/Framework-RecFMZ-feb16.pdf