The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry made a lot of residents happy on the north shore of Rice Lake this past weekend.
A number of anglers were fined for various offences including using an artificial light to attract fish.
Cobourg resident, Randy Crossen has had a cottage at Shady Acres on the north side of Rice Lake near Keene. Shady Acres has over 300 full-service campsites nestled in McGregor’s Bay.
Crossen along with other cottages have had a number of issues with night time fishing.
“There’s been a lot going on over the years at night. You go down at night and it almost looks like Toronto with lights, lighting up that lake.”
Crossen gave Today’s Northumberland a number of photos taken from Saturday and previous weeks showing anglers in the area during the evening hours.
Growing up Crossen said he creek fished a lot and has nothing against anglers or the boats.
“People can enjoy fishing all they want, that doesn’t bother anybody. It’s the type of fishing they seem to do.”
Last year, when Crossen had to cross the lake after picking up his son at approximately 11 p.m., “you couldn’t even get through.”
“Some boats don’t have any marker lights on and they’re fishing in the dark, but their lit up around other boats. We’d have to crawl through to get back into the bay without trying to hit another boat.”
Adding to the issue is the channel in the area that is deep enough for boats is approximately five metres wide.
Crossen and a number of neighbhours have called numerous times to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Over the past weekend, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry officers laid numerous charges.
MNRF Conservation Officer Chris Jones said they’ve received “quite a few complaints” regarding night time fishing and the use of artificial lights.
The use of artificial lights pointed in the water tends to attract the fish giving the angler an unfair advantage – and it’s also illegal.
“Night fishing is the issue.”
Over the course of Friday, October 16 and Saturday October 17 there were 25 charges laid against anglers in the area of McGregor’s Bay.
· 15 for using an artificial light to attract fish.
· 1 was for catching a walleye that was to big.
· 5 charges for improper navigation lights or weren’t using them.
· 2 for improper safety equipment
· 2 for fishing with no license
Of 16 boats that were inspected 12 were in non-compliance.
“It’s a problem and we’ll be out there again,” said Jones.
Crossen and his neighbours are very appreciative of the efforts of the MNRF.
“I appreciate them coming in and I hope they keep it up and I hope they (some anglers) get the message that poaching is not welcome in Rice Lake.”