MNRF confirms fishing, hunting seasons remain open across the province
Jesse Bonello - Staff Writer
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) shared fishing and hunting currently remain open across the province.
“At this time, fishing and hunting remain open in Ontario. All rules and regulations are in effect. Conservation Officers continue to patrol and protect our natural resources during the COVID-19 outbreak. As the outbreak evolves, we must all follow the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health and act responsibly. Before stepping outside, all Ontario residents are reminded to:
Check for local restrictions on outdoor
Practice physical distancing - stay two metres away from other
Do not gather in groups while hiking, fishing, or hunting,” the MNRF stated.
“On the advice of the Chief Medical Officer of Health, Ontario will continue to take decisive action to stop the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to monitor the situation and re-evaluate if further actions are required. We will share any updates on changes to fishing and hunting regulations at Ontario.ca/fishing and Ontario.ca/hunting.”
In an interview with Acadia News last week, Ontario Premier Doug Ford confirmed that residents will still be able to fish while keeping social distancing a priority.
“Fishing will still be open but the fishing derbies we’re requesting, we’re not putting an order in, but I think it’s common sense we don’t want the fishing derbies to happen. If people want to make sure there’s social distance and they’re on the shore and they want to throw a reel and hook in the water then by all means, as long as they focus on the social distancing rules, get out there and get a little fresh air. We don’t see an issue with that,” Ford told Acadia News.
Sioux Lookout’s Junior Walleye tournament has been cancelled for 2020. “Due to the evolving Covid-19 situation and the government’s recommendations, this year’s Junior Walleye is being cancelled. SLAH (Sioux Lookout Anglers and Hunters) feels it is our responsibility to do everything possible to protect the health and safety of all. Thank you for your understanding. We are planning for 2021 and hope to see you there,” a Facebook post from the Junior Walleye Planning Committee informed on April 20. A decision is expected to be made by May 15 to determine if Sioux Lookout’s annual Walleye Weekend fishing tournament will proceed this year. Walleye season is set to begin on the third Saturday in May.
A number of boat launches have been closed across Ontario, but the Municipality of Sioux Lookout shared currently no decisions have been made in regards to the public accessing local boat launches.
“At the present time, no decisions have been made with respect to accessing the boat launches. It is expected that a decision will be made in the next two weeks and will be communicated to the public at that time,” said Michelle Larose, Sioux Lookout CAO.