Spring pike and walleye abound

Anglers in search of northern pike and walleye are out in full force with both species now fair game in much of eastern and northeastern Ontario.

Be sure to check the rules and regulations before hitting the water, and should you accidentally catch a species for which the season is still closed, it must be immediately and safely released. Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 15 is large area extending eastward to the Ottawa River, south to Arnprior, north to Deux Rivieres and west across Algonquin Park to Parry Sound. Best of luck and be safe out there. For more information on fishing in FMZ 15:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/fisheries-management-zone-15-fmz-15

Farewell to Cobden

After 10 memorable summers in Cobden at Logosland Resort and campground, Mrs. Outdoors Guy and I have decided to sell our seasonal trailer. I will miss our home-away-from-home in the beautiful Ottawa valley, watching our daughter’s grow-up; catching frogs and minnows with their friends and swimming in Astrolabe Lake’s crystal-clear, spring-fed water; weekend tours into Pembroke, Shawville, Eganville, Round Lake and beyond. The Ottawa valley and Quebec’s Pontiac will always have a special place in my heart, and I plan to return regularly to visit our friends. Anyone interested in purchasing a great seasonal RV at Logosland, drop me a line: theoutdoorsguy@rogers.com

Conserving trout

Back in the early days of angling, the old adage ‘a fish caught was a fish kept’ usually applied, but it is not like that anymore and brook trout are no exception. Safely releasing a fragile brookie requires patience and a soft touch at canoe, or boat-side. Barbless hooks and a solid set of long-nosed pliers help and please, never use a nylon landing net. To watch a beautiful brook trout swim away after a nice battle is an incredible feeling. You can always catch and keep smaller fish to bring home but doing your part for conservation will pay-off in the end. We catch loads of big trout each spring and release more than 80 per cent of our catch while still enjoying some tasty meals. Practicing conservation of the species requires self-control but offers copious long-term rewards if you are willing to invest the time.

Spring bear hunt

With all the excitement surrounding pike and walleye season, do not forget about the spring bear hunt, which got under way at the beginning of May in a number of WMUs across Ontario. Relaunched in 2014 as a pilot project, Ontario’s spring bear hunt is hopefully back to stay. With June fast approaching, the once cautious male bears will have become accustomed to feeding at bait sites, and with the onset of mating, the boars travel extensively in search of a mate. Both of these factors will have a positive effect on hunter success rate. The spring bear season is strictly regulated, so please consult the rules and regulations: https://files.ontario.ca/mnrf-2019-hunting-regulations-en-04-0-2019.pdf

Deer tag deadline

Big game hunters are watching the calendar closely as several tag draws close between now and end of June. The Ontario Moose tag draw ends May 31 and the Elk draw closes June 10. There are three application methods available although your chances at a tag remain the same, whether you apply by telephone, internet or at a Service Ontario outlet. To apply over the phone call 1-800-288-1155, but remember that if you have already purchased your regular deer license, you’ll not be permitted to enter the draw this way, and must apply either online or visit a Service Ontario outlet. For more information: https://www.ontario.ca/page/apply-big-game-draw

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