Regulation - Minister

Temporary Fish Sanctuaries - Opinicon Lake and Charleston Lake

Regulation Number(s):
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
Summary of Proposal:
The proposed temporary regulation changes are to support long-term bass nesting and population research which has been conducted in Fisheries Management Zone (FMZ) 18 over the last three decades. The regulations are proposed to only occur in 2024 and 2025.
Research conducted by academia (Fisheries Conservation Foundation, Universities of Carleton, Illinois, Manitoba, and Queen's) has shown that pre-season bass fishing (either intentional or while targeting other fish species) and fishing for nesting bass once the season is open, has had a detrimental impact on population recruitment in several bass fisheries.

Regulation changes - to Ontario Fishing Regulations, 2007

The regulations are proposed to only occur in 2024 and 2025 fishing season.

Proposed sanctuaries

No fishing - April 15 to July 10

• Opinicon Lake - South Crosby Township - Queens University Biology Station to Eightacre Island

• Opinicon Lake - South Crosby and Bedford Townships - Deadlock Bay and "OPOC" Bay (OPOC - Opinicon Property Owners' Community)

• Charleston Lake - Lansdowne Township - Sheep, Democrat, Fisher, Hogback, Prospect, Tar, Victoria, and Rockhouse Islands

• Charleston Lake - Lansdowne and Escott Townships - Sand Bay and Sally's Hole Bay, including Browns Island

The proposed sanctuaries will support continued research in this area. The research intends to use spring-time bass spawning sanctuaries on both lakes to determine the level of improvement in reproduction and resulting population recruitment in comparison to unprotected areas. The research will also study the relative size of sanctuary area needed to provide for sustainable population recruitment for each waterbody as well as the area required to compensate for the negative impacts of pre-season fishing for nesting bass. The research also intends to collect data on population monitoring indicators which will be compared to historical data collected for each lake during the 1990's by the research group.
Support for the proposed temporary regulation changes has been provided by the FMZ 18 Advisory Council and affected lake associations.

The proposed changes are not anticipated to impact Aboriginal and/or treaty rights. Indigenous communities will be provided notification of the proposed changes. We welcome any feedback Indigenous communities may have.

Maps depicting boundaries of the proposed sanctuaries can be received by contacting the ministry contact listed below. Information on the research that has been conducted to date can be made available on request (see supporting materials section of this posting).
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
• The anticipated environmental and social consequences of this proposal are positive. The proposed regulation is very localized and will only impact relatively small portions of both lakes.

• The anticipated economic consequences of this proposal are neutral. Only small portions of both lakes will be closed to springtime fishing over a total period of only two open water fishing seasons.

• There are no annual administrative costs to businesses anticipated from these proposed changes.
Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
May 4, 2023
Comments Due Date:
June 19, 2023