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– MISSED OPPORTUNITIES
The stocking program in Northwest Ontario has been around for decades, in some cases it is designed to help re-introduce depleted species, in others it is to introduce new sport fishing opportunities.
Currently in NW Ontario there is a widespread stocking program which is creating “put and take lakes”. These lakes and ponds are stocked regularly with Brook Trout, Splake and even Rainbow Trout to provide additional angling opportunities as well as to take pressure off native/natural fish populations.
Brook trout / Splake tend to live for about seven years and reaching about 9lbs (Splake can reach this size sooner). Stocked as fingerlings or yearlings as noted in the stocking lists, a particular year fish will reach a nice fishing size 2-4 years after.
For prime fishing, look for a stocking 3-6 years ago with stockings every year (the smaller fish will tend to be caught first).
These lakes are all listed in the regulations under “additional opportunities” and have increases limits and seasons.
Stocking lists are put out every couple of years and are available online and at MNR offices throughout the region.
Get out and enjoy some of these underutilized angling opportunities this spring.
Typically stocked lakes are open year round, have a limit of five fish (aggregated) with no size restrictions. These lakes are available throughout our region and are one of our most underutilized angling opportunities.
Fishing stocked lakes eliminates pressure on native fish stocks which are a precious commodity and one which will hopefully grow into a major industry (tourism) in our region.
Splake are a hybrid of a Lake and Brook Trout. They gain the growth of a laketrout however the habits and even taste of a brook trout. Although naturally possible, the stocking program is needed as splake are unable to reproduce.
Brook trout, using the Nipigon strain of Brook trout and creating a widespread stocking program has yielded an incredible put and take fishery throughout the region.
Stocked lakes tend to be smaller, easily fished (even from shore, canoe), as well they tend to have increased limits as they are designed as put and take lakes in order to reduce the pressure on natural fisheries.
Large nightcrawlers, spinners, bobbers, Little Cleos, jigs and flyrods all make for great fishing in these overlooked lakes.