Lake Manitou Area Association encouraged to pursue issues regarding declining lake trout

Lake Trout (Shutter Stock)

SANDFIELD—Members of the Lake Manitou Area Association (LMAA)  were encouraged by one of its members to pursue the declining populations of Lake Trout in Lake Manitou over the past few years with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF).

At the 23rd LMAA annual general meeting held earlier this month at the Sandfield School House, LMAA member Craig Hoyt said, “I am an angler, having fished for the past 30 years and for the lake specifically lake trout, and based on the information I have collected, the general rule of thumb is that lake trout fish populations have declined (in Lake Manitou).”

Mr. Hoyt explained that he has researched MNRF stocking numbers for Lake Manitou from 2005 to the present.  “Intriguing is the lack of stocking by MNRF and the differing numbers on a public report done by the MNRF and the numbers I received from another MNRF representative. When I compared all this information they were so different it was incredible.”

“I was going to pursue my concern with stocking, but it was suggested to me that I should consult with the association (LMAA) in trying to find out exactly what has been stocked (by the MNRF), and pursue a realistic stocking program for the lake,” said Mr. Hoyt, noting this should include lake trout and brook trout.

“I thank Craig for bringing forward the issue of stocking,” said Brenda Edington. “The drain and dam at the lake is one of the issues. If you talk to people who have been around the lake a long time they will tell you the number of fish in the lake has changed dramatically. The river levels have been reduced and with it, boating and fishing on the lake has declined greatly.”

Ms. Edington said, “there used to be between 150-250 ice huts on the lake in the winter, but this year there were between 20-25 and all reports are that no one is catching any fish.”

“I can vouch that there are very few fish in the lake,” stated Darrell Dewar. “All winter I caught 10 fish this year, while in the 1980s I would get about 50, with the same amount of fishing time put in.”

Mike Costigan, president of the LMAA noted that the groups executive will discuss the concerns raised by Mr. Hoyt and other members of the LMAA and whether the LMAA itself will pursue these concerns with the MNRF.

A representative of the MNRF indicated to the Recorder after the LMAA meeting the stocking list that had been published by the MNRF for public viewing had been incorrect, but the subsequent list provided to Mr. Hoyt by the MNRF was accurate.