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Fisheries News
EBR Registry Number: PB05E6808 Type of Posting: Policy
Ministry: Natural Resources Status of Posting: Proposal
Date Proposal Loaded: 2005/12/21 
Comment Period: 61 day(s) 
Written submissions may be made between December 21, 2005 and February 20, 2006. 
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NOTICE OF PROPOSAL FOR POLICY
© Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2005 
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Proposal Title:

Proposal for Regulatory Guidelines for Managing Sunfish Fisheries in Ontario

Short Description:
There are six species of sunfish (Lepomis spp.) in Ontario. Two species, the warmouth and orange spotted sunfish are designated as species of “special concern”. The other four species are relatively common, particularly in southern Ontario.

Currently, there are few, if any, restrictions on the harvest of sunfish species in Ontario. This proposal recognizes that sunfish can provide additional angling opportunities in many instances but that catch and possession limits need to be introduced. There are currently no catch and possession limits for sunfish in Ontario.

The major recommendations of this proposal include the designation of an all-year open season for sunfish in Ontario and the implementation of an aggregate catch and possession limit (3 options are offered). Additional recommendations address the use of size limits and fish sanctuaries.

Purpose of the Proposal:
To identify the most effective regulatory options to ensure sustainability for six species of sunfish (Lepomis spp.) in Ontario, based on existing science and current knowledge, and to simplify regulations which are ultimately selected.

Other Relevant Information:
The development of a standardized approach to managing sunfish in Ontario is part of a provincial initiative to streamline Ontario's recreational fishing regulations to achieve the following objectives:

IMPROVE CUSTOMER SERVICE BY:
- Making the fishing regulations in Ontario easier to understand.
- Increasing compliance by anglers due to simpler regulations.

IMPROVE FISHERIES MANAGEMENT BY:
- Reducing the cost of fisheries management.
- Providing a more consistent approach to managing fisheries on a broader basis.

The report (see web-link below) describes regulatory proposals for the management of the recreational fishery for sunfish in Ontario. The regulatory proposals are based on current scientific knowledge on the effectiveness of various regulations for managing sunfish. They are a combination of management strategies designed to provide angling opportunities while protecting sunfish from overexploitation.

In order to provide consistency to the management of sunfish in Ontario, the regulatory proposals will list the options to be used in the development of any new regulations for sunfish. Existing regulations will be analyzed to determine if they comply with the options described in the reports, and where appropriate, measures will be taken to maximize compliance.

Other Public Consultation:
Key outdoor groups such as the Northern Ontario Tourist Outfitters, The Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, and the Bait Association of Ontario will be invited to comment on the report.

Comments should be directed to the following Contact Person:
Steven J. Kerr, Senior Fisheries Biologist
MNR Fish and Wildlife Branch, Fisheries Section
5th Floor, North Tower, 300 Water Street
Peterborough, Ontario, K9J 8M5
PHONE: (705) 755-1205 FAX: (705) 755-1957 

Additional material in support of this notice is available by clicking the following hyperlink(s):
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/EBR/sunfish/toolkit.pdf

All comments will be considered as part of the decision-making by the Ministry if they: 
a. are submitted in writing;
b. reference the EBR Registry number; and
c. are received by the Contact person within the specified comment period.

Please Note: No acknowledgment or individual response will be provided to those who comment. All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record.
http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/MNR/EBR/sunfish/toolkit.pdfshapeimage_6_link_0