Catch carp with up to three lines in much of Ontario

A common carp photographed at the inlet at Upper Canada Village. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CORNWALL — Fishing for common carp has been made a little easier, with the province now allowing three lines in the water when going after the species in Fisheries Management Zones 12-20.

“This will help more anglers take advantage of Ontario’s world-class carp fishing opportunities,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry, announcing the change today.

“The St. Lawrence River system and tributaries are well-known as a fishing destination for carp anglers,” said local MPP Jim McDonell. “This new measure will make carp more attractive as a sportfish, which will also help to support local tourism operators who host international clients.”

The area covered by the new carp fishing regulations includes all of Southern Ontario and parts of Central and Northeastern Ontario.

In order to use more than one line, anglers must meet all of the following conditions:

• Anglers must use baits that are plant-based, or artificial corn
• When fishing from shore, each line being used can be no further than 2 metres (approximately 6 feet) from another line the angler is using
• When fishing from a vessel, all lines must be on board the vessel with the angler.

The conditions are intended to lower the risk of catching non-target species and reduce crowding at popular shore fishing locations, according to the province.

“I’m delighted that our government’s new regulations will make carp fishing more enjoyable and more accessible,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “Enjoying Ontario’s spectacular outdoors contributes to the success of our tourism industry and is a safe way to contribute to the province’s economic and social recovery — so that we emerge post-pandemic as a global destination of choice for anglers and all other tourists.”

Minister Lisa MacLeod (centre) feeds carp at Upper Canada Village, accompanied by SDSG MPP Jim McDonell, in July 2020. Zandbergen photo

Despite the challenges of the past year, the Ontario government says it has continued to improve hunting and fishing opportunities in the province.

Those measures include:

• A new selective harvest system and point-based moose allocation process to support sustainable populations and provide a fairer system for moose hunters
• A new spring catch-and-release season for bass in Fisheries Management Zone 20, which includes the Canadian waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River
• A regular annual spring hunting season for black bear
• A new fall hunting season for wild turkey in Wildlife Management Unit 72
• New Sunday gun hunting opportunities in southern Ontario at the request of select municipalities.

The Ford government is also careful to point out that “anglers and hunters should continue following the directives of their local Chief Medical Officer of Health when planning outdoor activities.”

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