Monday, April 14, 2014

Round Table discussion with Fisheries & Oceans Minister Shea & MP Larry Miller held in Owen Sound

I was one of the Group that met Friday in Owen Sound & when I introduced myself I mentioned I ran the School Salmon Hatchery Program for the Lake Huron Fishing Club, after the question & answer period was finished Minister Shea asked if I would talk about the School Salmon Hatchery Program, that really made my day.

By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound
Friday, April 11, 2014 6:32:52 EDT PM

Canada’s minister of fisheries and oceans says the federal government must remain vigilant in its fight to prevent Asian carp from becoming established in the Great Lakes.
Gail Shea, while in Owen Sound Friday, said the feds in 2012 committed $17.5 million over five years to protect the lakes from the threat of the fish and is working to finalize regulations that would ban, from coast to coast, the importation, transportation and possession of live aquatic invasive species.
Shea, along with Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound Conservative MP Larry Miller and Progressive Conservative MPP Bill Walker, met with representatives from local sports fishing groups and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters for a roundtable discussion on Asian Carp.
“They reinforced the fact that we can’t let up on our efforts to keep these carp out of our waters,” Shea said in an interview, after the meeting at the Best Western Inn on the Bay.
“The Great Lakes fishery, of course, is a very valuable fishery for Canada. And we know the damage that Asian carp can do.”
Asian carp, which were brought from Asia to North America in the 1960s and 70s, prefer cool to moderate water temperatures like those found in the Great Lakes, according to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.
They could, if established, eat the food native fish in the Great Lakes depend on and crowd them out of their habitat, causing significant damage to the sports and commercial fisheries, the MNR says.
Shea said the fish, which include bighead, silver, grass and black carp, are not yet in Canada.
It has been illegal since 2005 to possess live Asian carp in Ontario.
However, the carp have earned the nickname zombie fish because they are known to appear dead but revive after being out of water and on ice for a couple days.
As a result, Ontario is working to pass a law that would only allow gutted Asian carp into the province.
Shea said the federal government is working on similar regulations.
“They are in the process. They will be in place by the fall,” she said. “This will be a national regulation.”
Miller said Asian carp can devastate an entire fishery and the government is working expeditiously to keep them out of Canada.
“Asian carp, if they were ever to get into the Great Lakes, they’ll be in my part of the world quicker than almost any other MP’s. Because they’re going to come up through Lake Michigan, if they come, and as soon as they turn into Lake Huron and Georgian Bay, either go north or east. So it’s a grave concern,” he said.
Miller said about 18 to 20 people, including members of the Sydenham Sportsmen’s Association and Bruce Peninsula Sportsmen’s Association, took part in the round table discussion.
“We had a great turnout and great representation. These individuals who were here, all they want is a healthy fishery. That’s what we all want,” he said.

By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound
Friday, April 11, 2014 6:32:52 EDT PM

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