The Ministry of Forestry, Wildlife and Parks of Quebec applies since April 1st 2014, the lake trout management plan 2014 – 2020. This plan was adopted to protect the lake trout which is overexploited around 63%. This plan aims to retain sufficient numbers of breeders for natural population replacement. It is for this reason that the minimum catch size that can be kept is 55 cm or more for Lake 31 Miles. This size corresponds to breeding maturity of the lake trout and permits them to have at least one season of reproduction. For our lake, the results of experimental fishing in 2013 gives a rather disturbing picture of the lake trout population. Catch distribution according to their size and age gives a population distribution that reflects a lack of smaller fish, which threatens natural renewal. These results represent a break from previous results. Hence the decision to ban the winter fishing on our lake until 2020. We are seeking the presentations made to us during our Annual General Meeting by the biologist, Julie Deschênes. The detailed results of the state of our lake trout will therefore possibly be available online.
According to these results, the association is more than ever convinced of the relevance to prohibit ice fishing on our lake to protect lake trout by allowing natural recovery of a population with characteristics of health and balance. We know that in winter, 7 or 8 catches out of 10 are lake trouts and many of them die even if they are returned to the water. Therefore, in accordance with the general principle of precaution, it is better to prohibit ice fishing on our lake and give us every opportunity to restore the trout population. Financially, it is the least expensive and easiest decision to apply to achieve our goal.