Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to Find Out What Species of Fish Are in a Lake

MNR's New Fish ON-Line Tool
In April 2011, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) launched an awesome new Fish ON-Line tool. Anglers no longer need to visit Ministry of Natural Resources offices or find an in-the-know local fisherman to gather information about the various fishing opportunities in Northwest Ontario. It provides a lot of information that used to be hard to find. Now information about the various species of fish found in a certain lake, fish stocked in lakes and some information about the lake itself is available at

The MNR used a Google map and overlaid provincial fisheries data on top of it. The ministry then gathered on-hand information on about 13,000 lakes and has made all of that available as well. On those lakes, Fish ON-Line will let you see what fish species are available, the regulations for the lake and if there has been any stocking. Some lakes have the maximum and average depths of the lake. For many more bigger,  popular waterways such as Eagle Lake, the depth contour information has been overlaid as well.

For example, take Wabigoon Lake. If you click on the Lake Depth Contours in the left hand column, you can see the contours of Wabigoon Lake. Click the fish icon and you'll see the surface area of the lake is 9922 ha, the maximum depth is 14.6 m, the average depth is 6.1 m and it's in the Fisheries Management Zone 5. Click on the Wabigoon/Dinorwic Lakes Fact Sheet and you'll see specific Wabigoon/Dinorwic Lakes fishing regulations and lake facts. Under the Fish tab you'll see that Wabigoon Lake has Black Crappie, Whitefish, Muskellunge, Northern Pike, Sauger, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye and Yellow Perch.

You can quick link to a popular waterway or search by lake, fish species, stocked water body, GPS Coordinates. Use the Get Directions Tool and you can find your way around quite easily. You can also link to Licence Information, the Fishing Zone Regulations and the Lake Fact Sheet. The ServiceOntario offices are dotted on the map if you are looking to buy a Fishing Licence. You can also type in your location and getting directions to the ServiceOntario.

All in all, it is a pretty impressive fishing information tool.  If you are planning a fishing trip to Ontario, check out the Fish ON-Line website to find out more information on the lake you'll be fishing on. If you are looking for a fishing resort or lodge to stay at in Sunset Country visit

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