This month’s Outdoors Column in the Pembroke Daily Observer just out in print today:
Bring on a flurry of pike and pickerel
Jeff Morrison, the Daily Observer’s newest columnist, offers up his take on the great outdoors.
Anglers in search of the province’s top game-fish need wait no further as Ottawa Valley walleye and northern pike are now fair game in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15.
FMZ 15 is an immense region covering much of Northeastern Ontario; extending eastward to the Ottawa River, south to Arnprior, north to Deux Rivieres and west across all of Algonquin Park to Parry Sound. The Ministry of Natural Resources reminds all walleye and pike anglers that they must have a valid fishing license, and should abide by the daily limits for your area. Where length limits apply, anglers should measure their catch carefully, and any fish caught while angling must be kept whole so the length can be measured by conservation officers. If you should accidentally catch another species for which the season is still closed, it must be immediately ( and safely) returned to the water. Best of luck on your pike and walleye endeavors!
Scribe tickled about trout conservation
Still recovery from my annual trout trip to Témiscaming earlier this month, I am pleased to report that the brook trout in that region are alive and well. With much cooler water temps this year than is usual, the brookies were out in full force and feeding heavy. In recent years, we have been practicing catch and release on one of trophy trout lakes to help ensure the future of this fragile fishery. Of the 40 trout we caught on this particular lake, 30 were live-released without a scratch. To catch and safely release brook trout requires patience and a soft touch at canoe-side. Barbless hooks and a good set of long-nosed pliers are a must. Of the trophy-sized ‘specs’ we released, one measured a whopping 24.5″ and would easily tip the scales at over five pounds. To see a trout of this stature swimming away is an incredible feeling. Sure, we did keep enough smaller fish for two good meals and a couple to bring home, but the majority of fish were live released. If you had asked me 15 years ago about letting a five-pound brook trout go, I probably would have laughed. Practicing conservation of the species requires self-control, but offers copious long-term reward.
Blind Anglers International Tournament
The Blind Angler’s International Tournament (B.A.I.T) will once again “lure” legally blind men and women, along with top professional sport anglers, to the Nangor Resort in Westmeath, for a fun filled weekend on May 30th – June 1st. This year’s event kicks-off with a dinner at the Westmeath Community Centre in an event that aims to demonstrate abilities rather than disabilities. The opportunity to learn a new skill, or to re-kindle an old passion, serves as a mechanism of rehabilitation for the participants. The Arnprior Lions Club is hosting the tournament this year under the Lions’ B.A.I.T. project.
‘Bear proof’ the cottage or trailer
While spending time at the cottage or trailer this summer, it’s wise to remember that you’re in the natural habitat of black bears – omnivores easily attracted by human food and garbage. Cottagers are reminded to put waste out on the morning of garbage day, and not the night before, and never leave pet food outdoors. Make sure to thoroughly clean outdoor barbeque grills after use, and fill bird feeders only during the winter months. Do not put meat, fish or sweet food in your composter or in open garbage areas. These are just a few small precautions to make your property bear free this summer.
Next time at Outdoors Guy
Be sure to tune-in for the June Outdoors Guy column right here in the Valley authority on ‘The Great Outdoors,’ The Outdoors Guy in The Daily Observer and at www.thedailyobserver.ca. I’ll be launching my coveted 2014 Trivia Contest with some terrific prizes, featuring another great product field-test and news on my next book -Canadian Wild Game Cookbook, published by Canada’s most beloved cookbook producers Company’s Company. All this and more right here next month!