Bright fu­ture

Stu­dents en­joy sunny day of ice fish­ing on West Shoal Lake

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - OUTDOORS - DON LA­MONT

FOL­LOW­ING my visit to War­ren Col­le­giate in early Fe­bru­ary to con­duct an ice-fish­ing sem­i­nar, phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion teacher Rene Comeault was de­ter­mined to get his stu­dents out on the ice. On Mon­day, 30 stu­dents, teach­ers and adult vol­un­teers made the day a re­al­ity. By 10 a.m. ev­ery­one was fish­ing on nearby West Shoal Lake. Grade 12 stu­dent Ethan Gar­rett, a sea­soned ice fisher, had been on the ice an hour ear­lier, drilling holes and mak­ing sure things were right. I met Ethan on my first visit and had kept in touch with him on a weekly ba­sis to see how the fish­ing had been. While never spec­tac­u­lar, it was good enough to make the day an en­joy­able one for all the stu­dents. About 35 perch and two pike were caught by the time the stu­dents headed home. As the day went on, stu­dents were in­tro­duced to the use of elec­tron­ics in ice fish­ing, along with dif­fer­ent pre­sen­ta­tion meth­ods to catch the tar­get species — in this case, perch. It was a very suc­cess­ful out­ing, one the staff at War­ren Col­le­giate plan to con­tinue. Other plans in­clude sign­ing up for a high school fish­ing cham­pi­onship ten­ta­tively sched­uled next year for early March. A com­mit­tee is work­ing with the Man­i­toba High School Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion to con­firm de­tails in the near fu­ture. Thanks again, stu­dents, you were a lot of fun to be around! The ex­ten­sion of the ice-fish­ing sea­son has been made pos­si­ble by a re­turn to cooler tem­per­a­tures. Rivers in the south/cen­tral part of the prov­ince are flow­ing, but lake ice for the most part is still good and solid. I have been out to a num­ber of dif­fer­ent ar­eas in the last two weeks. Fish­ing, how­ever, has been re­ally in­con­sis­tent. Sun­day we headed to Lake Win­nipeg on a gor­geous sunny day. While we trav­elled large ar­eas to look for fish and drilled myr­iad holes in all depth ranges, by day’s end we had only two fish to show for it. I have talked to many hard-core an­glers over the last month and most “Re­cently Man­i­toba fish­eries have come un­der scrutiny of out­side agen­cies, claim­ing that our com­mer­cial fish­eries on our large lakes are among the worst man­aged in the world, based on con­cerns about in­ad­e­quate data for man­age­ment, an in­abil­ity to reg­u­late har­vests in a timely man­ner and man­age­ment poli­cies that do not re­flect the un­der­ly­ing bi­ol­ogy,” said Forbes. “At the same time, some of our fish­eries are among the best-man­aged in the world. Dif­fer­ent user groups share com­mon fish­ery re­sources, but data are lack­ing on how the re­source is al­lo­cated.” Forbes added the pub­lic fo­rum on fish and fish­eries will in­clude pre­sen­ta­tions from dif­fer­ent stake­holder groups and a de­bate among can­di­dates par­tic­i­pat­ing in the pro­vin­cial elec­tion.

DON LA­MONT / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Stu­dents from War­ren Col­le­giate spent the day ice fish­ing on West Shoal Lake.

DON LA­MONT / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

Pete Heib­ert with a Lake Win­nipeg wall­eye.

SUB­MIT­TED

Erin Wa­terer of Bal­moral was the win­ner of the Man­i­toba Youth An­gling art con­test,

with her sub­mis­sion ti­tled Ar­moured Tor­pedo.

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