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Fedeli sends MNR Minister an open letter

Friday, December 14, 2012   by: Kate AdamsDecember 14, 2012

Hon Michael Gravelle, MPP
Suite 6630, 6th Floor, Whitney Block
99 Wellesley Street West
Toronto, Ontario M7A 1W3

Dear Minister:

I’m writing to ask you to rescind your decision to reduce the daily walleye catch limits on Lake Nipissing from four to two for those anglers with sport fishing licences and from two to one for those with conservation licences effective January 1, 2013.

Minister, you have taken the easy way out rather than perform due diligence in finding a longterm solution in the best interests of all Lake Nipissing stakeholders and interests. In my letter to you dated August 28, 2012, I outlined possible solutions and causes that needed to be examined with regards to declining walleye stocks prior to any management action to reduce catch limits.

You and your Ministry have been silent on these suggestions, so I can only assume I was correct in my August letter when I stated you had already made up your mind at that time.

If you had done your job, you would know that there are Lake Nipissing stakeholders ready to pay for and fully implement a walleye restocking program for the lake on their own without government assistance. Restocking has been scientifically been shown to be effective elsewhere. All they need, Minister, is your approval to proceed.

I will again point out that Lake Nipissing’s cormorant population has been allowed to grow over the last decade. The birds now take over 100,000 kilograms of fish – more than four times what anglers draw from the lake. You and your Ministry can no longer ignore this issue and need to
address it directly.

Minister, tourist operators around Lake Nipissing started receiving cancellation requests within hours of this decision becoming public. They should not have to pay for your Liberal government’s years of failure and mismanagement of this fishery. It’s time you admit this
decision is wrong-headed and short-sighted. There is still time for you to reverse it and engage with stakeholders to find a long-term solution. I look forward to your prompt response.

Sincerely,
Vic Fedeli
MPP Nipissing
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