Researchers were back on Lake Ontario in 2021 to conduct spring trawls in April, a time when baitfish are most sensitive to this type of survey. A total of 248 trawls caught 947,000 fish, representing 30 different species. The first was gaspereau, accounting for 89% of the catch. The second largest component was Rainbow Smelt at 6%, which is a substantial increase due to a huge age class of fish. The 2020 alewife year class (age 1) was also very abundant, possibly a record.
As a result, the chinook salmon plant for 2022 will be increased by 50,000 fish, all of which must be reared in pens or released from the Salmon River hatchery to improve survival rates. No decision has been made on the distribution of salmon in 2022.
“What this means is that this conservative approach, when we make changes to the seeding, won’t see big changes,” said Chris Legard, Lake Ontario unit leader, in a video. âIt will be year after year. We will be careful in our management actions and they will be adaptive according to the current conditions of Lake Ontario.
CED’s partner in lake management, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, will also increase its numbers by 50,000 salmon in 2022. No decision has been made as to where these fish will be. planted in the Lake Ontario system.