Opening weekend for open-water angling is finally here! After the extremely long and intense winter that we were just faced with, it is finally time to dust off the boat and re-spool your open-water reels. It may feel like it was winter just last week… and that is because it is partly true… However, because of this extended winter and late spring, there are a number of things anglers need to keep in mind leading into this exciting weekend to kick off the open water angling season.
Opening Weekend of Open Water Angling Note from The Province:
- The province is advising anglers to be careful when the recreational fishing season begins in southern Manitoba on Saturday.
- The province warns of fast-flowing currents and colder water. Debris and hazards that are now underwater because of flooding also pose a risk.
- Anglers are advised to check conditions before going ice fishing on lakes that are still frozen.
- Because of late spring conditions, some fish might still be spawning. The province is asking anglers to release fish that are discharging eggs.
To Further the Walleye Spawn Information Here is a Note from the MWF:
- Saturday, May 14th is Manitoba’s season opener for recreational angling in the southern division! With the extended winter that Manitobans experienced this year, it’s certain that many anglers are eager to get out and enjoy some open water fishing.
- With the late arrival of spring, there’s a high probability that walleye will still be spawning when the fishing season opens in the Southern angling division. Typically, walleye begin their spawn when water temps reach ~44 degrees Fahrenheit. Currently, water temps are around 37 degrees Fahrenheit, which means very few fish will have spawned come the season opener.
For Anglers Wishing to get out on the Opening Weekend, The MWF offers these suggestions:
- Avoid fishing in known walleye spawning areas, especially large lakes that are still partially ice-covered.
- Purposely choose to fish for species that will be using different habitats than where walleye are likely to spawn.
- If you catch a pre-spawn or spawning walleye, please release it so that it can contribute to the next generation of walleye and a sustainable fishery for everyone.
An Important Statement to Resonate With:
As anglers and conservationists, we can’t control the weather, but one thing we can control is our actions. We ask that all anglers be good stewards of our fisheries and respect spawning walleye this spring.
One Final Note from Manitoba Parks is the note regarding Nopiming Provincial Park
Travel is not advised in Nopiming Provincial Park and many campground openings have been delayed in some areas due to high water levels and overland flooding. Please avoid these areas at this time and save them for later in the spring when the water levels have a chance to retreat.