Here’s How You Can Stop the Spread of Invasive Species

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Recreational angling opens today in southern Manitoba and May 19 in remaining areas, but regardless of where people fish, the province is calling on anglers to respect the rules around moving watercraft, water-related equipment and firewood, Sustainable Development Minister Rochelle Squires announced.

“Manitobans are hooked on fishing, and so are the tourists who are lured to visit our beautiful lakes and rivers, generating more than $200 million in direct and indirect impacts to our economy,” said Squires.  “That’s a lot of lines in the water, and we want to remind and encourage all anglers to be sure they clean, drain and dry their boats to protect our rivers and lakes from aquatic invasive species.”

All anglers need an angling licence to fish in Manitoba, except the following people:

  • youth under the age of 16 who have permanently resided in Manitoba for at least six months;
  • any Canadian resident or non-resident youth under the age of 16 and the person must fish with a licence holder or someone exempt from holding a licence, and their catch must be applied to the limit of that person; or
  • Indigenous harvesters.

Angling licences are available at Manitoba Sustainable Development offices and numerous licence vendors throughout the province.  Anglers should be familiar with Manitoba’s fishing regulations.  When purchasing a licence, anglers should obtain the Manitoba 2018 Anglers’ Guide to review provincial regulations.  The Manitoba 2018 Anglers’ Guide can also be found online at www.manitobafisheries.com.

Watercraft users are reminded to do their part in preventing the spread of zebra mussels and other invasive species.  Watercraft inspection stations will be set up this weekend in Selkirk (Selkirk Park boat launch), Headingley (weigh station) and Eriksdale (PTH 6 at PTH 68E).  It is mandatory that people with any kind of watercraft, including boats, canoes, and other personal watercraft, must stop at the inspection stations when they are open.

Before leaving any body of water, take the proper steps to:

  • clean and remove aquatic invasive species and aquatic plants from the watercraft, trailer and all water-related equipment before leaving the shore;
  • drain all water from the motor, bilge, bait bucket and any compartments before leaving the shore;
  • remove all drain plugs before transporting watercraft over land;
  • dry all water-related equipment and any hard-to-drain compartments that have contacted the water with a dry towel before placing into another water body; and
  • dispose of all bait used in a control zone water body in the trash prior to leaving the shore.

The minister noted another important change for campers and tourists to be aware of this year is the confirmed presence of the emerald ash borer in Manitoba and the designation of Winnipeg as a federally regulated area.  This means firewood cannot be moved out of Winnipeg and anyone caught transporting firewood could be fined up to $1,300 for individuals or $15,000 for businesses.

For more information on invasive species, call (toll-free) 1-87-STOP AIS-0 (1-877-867-2470) or visit www.gov.mb.ca/stopthespread/ais.

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